November 25, 2012
Why do republicans shout about communism? I live in an ex-communist state and if you had even the smallest understanding of how communism operated, you wouldn’t compare it with Obama’s or any liberal administration.

Because it works as a political tactic.

Americans have no idea what actual socialism is, so they imagine that the smallest amount of statism is communism. This has been true since the labor wars of the 1880s-1920s, when Americans fought the rise of unions. It was true in the first “Red Scare” of the 1920s and 1930s. It was true during resistance to the New Deal. It was true in the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. It was true in Americans’ resistance to Medicare in the 1960s. And it’s true today, with Obamacare.

People do what works, and claiming that anything you don’t like is communist—or Hitler!—has often worked in American politics. So that’s what we claim …

—ADDENDUM: I should add that the same claims were made with the use of federal power to end segregation, to eliminate barriers to women in society, and now on issues like gay rights. It’s a fall back term of little meaning but deep cultural resonance.

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    When I returned from France I was startled to find that Solidarity and Lech Walesa were darlings of the Regan right,...
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    I wish I could beat every single Teabagger in the US over the head with this post
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