I want to tell a story. Many of you may know what I am talking about. There was a time in this country when people were persecuted because of ideology. For their belief in certain ideals and certain principles, they were excoriated, treated as dirt, accused of treason against the principles of the United States, vilified and shamed.
They lost their livelihoods, they were prevented from undertaking their professions, they were blacklisted, blackmailed, and forced to hide their beliefs. In fact, those who were accused, had to publicly reject those beliefs and swear allegiance to the vocal majority. Anyone associated with this ideology was scrutinized, humiliated in the press, on TV and in all forms of communication. Even members of Congress conducted witch hunts to find people who might share these beliefs, as they believed and charged those beliefs were dangerous to our American way of life.
The effect was felt most deeply in the entertainment world, where any entertainer who was associated with this ideology, or even simply agreed to perform for a group of people who were accused of having this ideology were blacklisted, essentially barred from performing again in the industry. People were cowed, and afraid to even associate with anyone remotely affiliated with this ideology.
I think you know what I am talking about. It was a dark time in our history. Thinking about this unfortunate, unfair, reactionary, ruthless attack on an ideology made many people sick, to believe this could happen in America.
But I’m not talking about McCarthy or McCarthyism, about his witch hunts and blacklists.
In fact, I am talking about hypocrisy. I am talking about the liberal progressive people out there who pretend to cling to left wing “progressive and liberal” politics and social awareness and freedoms and free speech…and yet, when it was time to prepare for the inauguration of the new President of the United States, the entertainment industry reacted with…blacklists? Is it possible to repeat what happened with McCarthy? Did Hollywood and the music and entertainment industry really make it known that anyone who had anything to do with the inauguration would be blacklisted, they would be ostracized, humiliated, cast out? Just for having anything to do with….an ideology they despised? Is it possible?
During this time, despite my Democratic Party upbringing, and my lifelong liberal views, I found myself disgusted in ways I could not describe. To think my uncle had been accused of an “ideology” by the McCarthy board on fake grounds, and cleared, and then 65 years later the same thing would be done to any entertainer who would even consider playing the Inauguration an honor, to attempt to make sure anyone who supported the new President knew that anyone supporting his political view would be essentially ostracized from the industry turned my stomach.
I never thought I would see the day “Democratic Party” was spelled “h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y”. Never.
Just imagine the hue and cry, and the arrests and prosecution were someone to hold up a prop representing the bloody severed head of President Obama, or put on a play of Julius Caesar with an Obama lookalike as the Emperor, and have him stabbed 97 times. Hypocrisy. At its absolute worst.
I don’t agree with much of what is going on in the White House. But our system of government is based on this electoral process, and our pendulum swings every four or eight years, and through those shifts in policy and ideology our ship of state runs mostly in the middle, which is why it has survived so well for 241 years thus far. It is a time of trouble, and the last eight years left us and the world more divided than it has been in many many years. I am not sure this is the time to heal the division, but it is certain time for soul-searching and self-examination, on both sides. Both sides. The notion that the Left’s excrement somehow resembles roses is nauseating every time I hear it. We are better than this, all of us.
This is especially for Peter Beinart*, who apparently used hypocrisy in his article in the Atlantic, but does not understand the enormous irony in having done so, as the Democratic Party has descended into McCarthyism itself, and has apparently lost all judgment on what democracy and freedom of speech means in the United States.