Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Seeing Red

Roy speak, you listen.
I remember this and I also remember that in some circles (like Mad magazine!) red-baiting was an object of ridicule. I didn’t know then that it had been an object of ridicule for years before that, going back to the beatniks, The Manchurian Candidate, and Joseph Welch. But as I grew older it became more obvious that red-baiting was some bullshit, and anyone who pulled it was probably trying to get away with something. In fact culture reflected that: Red-baiters were figures of fun, obviously flim-flam men, the Tartuffes of democracy.

When the Soviet Union actually collapsed, and with it any chance of a Dictatorship of the Proletariat in our lifetimes, I figured that nonsense was over for good. People only called you a commie-pinko as a joke, like calling you an Albigensian.

But here we are in 2020, and last week Michael Bloomberg literally called Bernie Sanders a communist in a Democratic debate, and today we have people practically drawing a Stalin mustache and red star on Sanders because he noticed that Cuban kids don’t get rickets anymore and can read.
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