History is written by the victors, and there can be no doubt that the left has dominated American culture since the Progressive Era. Exhibit A is what we know, or think we know, about Senator Joseph McCarthy. The left created a myth that has become history.
I've ordered Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies by M. Stanton Evans, but have not yet read it. The book looks to have an astonishing store of facts that no one else has cared to examine. Evans has been working on this story in one way or another for over half a century.
The revelations in this book review alone are breathtaking:
In short order, 20 million people a day would be watching the Army-McCarthy hearings on live television. In those hearings -- in which no proof was offered that Cohn had threatened investigative action against the Army to get favors for Schine -- McCarthy would suffer a blow from which he would never really recover. It was delivered by the sanctimonious Army special counsel Joseph Welch, who baited McCarthy into blurting out that one of Welch's law firm associates, Fred Fisher, had been a member of the National Lawyers Guild, a Communist front.
In a scene that has been played and replayed countless times in the ensuing five-plus decades, Welch delivered an Oscar-worthy performance:
"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never fully grasped your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to Harvard Law School and came with my firm and is starting what looks like a brilliant career with us.... Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad... I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you.
"Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
His eyes reportedly filling with tears, Welch wound up:
"Mr. McCarthy, I will not discuss this further with you. You have been within six feet of me, and could have asked me about Fred Fisher. You have brought it out. If there is a God in Heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good, it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it with you further."
There was only one problem: Welch himself had "outed" Fisher six weeks earlier. As the New York Times reported in a story about the Army filing formal allegations against Cohn and McCarthy:
"The Army charges were signed by its special counsel, Joseph N. Welch. Mr. Welch today [April 15] confirmed news reports that he had relieved from duty his second assistant, Frederick G. Fisher Jr. of his own Boston law office, because of admitted previous membership in the National Lawyers Guild, which has been listed by Herbert Brownell Jr., the Attorney General, as a Communist front organization."
To this day you will not hear it reported that this big dramatic moment that slew the McCarthy dragon was a calculated, bald-faced lie. The irresponsibility of the establishment media in perpetuating this lie boggles the mind.
It's a story about "group think," about the left's remarkable ability to conform ideologically, to stay obediently within "political correctness" and to shun any independent thought. It reminds us how dangerous is public education (government schooling). Americans spend their youth learning to conform; they are NOT taught to think independently, but instead they are "socialized" by progressive education. This ideological conformity is critical to the left.
It's a story about the left's cynical "the end justifies the means" premise. Words are mere weapons to the communists, to be used as necessary to defeat their enemies. As we have seen from the history of communism in practice, those who can flout the truth can commit any atrocity, no matter how big.
Most important, the Joseph McCarthy story is about how communists manipulated the Democrat Party and the media into spreading outright lies about the man. It's a story of smears and character assassination, something that continues on the left to this day (see Borking). We think of the Democrat Party as especially bad today, but it has long been a party full of radical leftists, communist sympathizers and useful idiots.
I look forward to reading the book.