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From the Pen of David Horowitz: September 29, 2009

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Posted on September 29 2009 12:49 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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In life, McCarthy was part of the Right. In death, he has been possessed by body snatchers on the Left.  The apprehensions aroused by charges of “McCarthyism” are based on the Left’s assertion that there is a powerful and destructive impulse lurking just under the surface of our political life: a native fascism easily ignited and ready to rage dangerously out of control. It is an assumption not often questioned, although the evidence suggests that the opposite is true.  Arthur Miller’s efforts in The Crucible to portray it as a peculiarly American atavism notwithstanding, the history of McCarthyism actually shows how alien the witch-hunt mentality is to the American spirit and how superficial its hold on the American psyche.  Appearing in the extraordinary circumstances of the postwar period, McCarthyism was brief in its moment and limited in its consequences.  And it was complete in the way it was purged from the body politic. The Wisconsin senator’s strut on the stage ended in a crushing repudiation by his colleagues in the Senate and an enduring obloquy in the rogues’ gallery of American history, a position close to that of Benedict Arnold and a handful of other villains.  His enemies survived to be rehabilitated as martyrs and heroes of an American political “ nightmare”, while he himself is the only figure from that haunted era to suffer irreparable damnation.

Destructive Generation by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

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