red scary moment
all yesterdays lighted fools
way to dusty death
McCarthyism been on my mind of late.
Groundless accusations, unjust charges along with statements having no basis in truth.
Can’t imagine why I was thinking about that era.
A thought came to me that brought me up sharp.
One of those moments when you stop and look over the edge of the cliff.
I had said to myself, what if Joe McCarthy had social media.
What if the Red Scare had facebook.
It is bizarre for me to remember that the Congress of the United States authorized and created an investigative committee named HUAC.
If you don’t remember it stood for House Un-American Activities Committee.
It is even odder when I remember that it was formed in 1938, 12 years before Joe McCarthy came along.
House Un-American Activities Committee.
And this in the era when all the news was in Newspapers.
And when Tail-Gunner Joe came along in 1950 with his list of 300, 786, 938 or was it 1,100 names (Joe couldn’t keep track either) of ‘known communists in the State Department’, HUAC was all set and waiting for him.
Had twitter and facebook been around during the Red Scare maybe this country would have come to an end.
But cooler heads, in the end, prevailed.
I say that because I can get feeling that way now.
I say that because the feelings in play across the nation look to be in place for along time and I cannot imagine where the cooler heads will come from, let alone, prevail.
But I think of other things.
I remember that Mr. Hitler came to power in 1932 and proclaimed a new Germany that would last 1,000 years.
In his novel on the era, The Winds of War, Herman Wouk has his hero, Pug Henry, watching the German army in action and thinking that the 1,000 Reich looked like a good bet to make it.
Then I remember the 1936 Olympics.
The Berlin Olympics.
The Olympics that came up with the Olympic Torch and Olympic Flame.
I remember watching a documentary on the track star Jesse Owens, who won 4 gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.
Mr. Owens got his shot at the 4th medal as part of the 400 Meter Men’s Relay team because the USA Olympic team quietly removed another member who was Jewish but I digress.
There was some controversy that Mr. Hitler did not shake hands with Mr. Owens or congratulate him on his medals.
At the end of the documentary, Mr. Owens stood at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium that stands to this day in the suburbs of Berlin.
As I remember it, Mr. Owen’s talked about Mr. Hitler and said something along the lines of, well, I am here now and he is not.
That 1,000 years of Hitler’s country lasted about 13.
In no way do I mean to say that the current political climate is reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany.
In no way can the current political farce of masks and vaccines and garden parties compare in any way to Hitler’s Germany.
Hitler’s Germany did not last.
Cooler heads did prevail.
In the USA, people realized that the House Un-American Activities Committee was Un American.
Maybe they even realized that the term Un American was as dumb as it sounded.
Cooler heads did prevail.
I guess I don’t need to be too worried today.
Who said it better than Big Bill?
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
(Macbeth, Act V, Scene V)