May 2004
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Day May 26, 2004

If all else fails, call ’em “communist”

I feel like I’m watching re-runs of Cold War “B” movies. Linda Chavez, the president of something called the “Center for Equal Opportunity,” wrote an editorial on Townhall.com in which she calls John Kerry a “communist apologist.”

Wow, a communist apologist. I haven’t heard anybody called a communist for at least a decade.

Why? Because communism isn’t a powerful ideology we’re fighting anymore. Communism — by which I mean the form of police-state socialism seen in the USSR and China — hasn’t been a potent force for a long time. The Soviet Union is gone, replaced by regrettably messy third-world market economies, China has begun “face-saving” slow market reforms, and what you have left is Cuba hunkered down as a shadow of its former self after 40 years of economic embargo and the loss of its major supporter.

Calling Kerry a communist sympathizer is ludicrous, even if you read the 1971 Senate testimony which serves as the basis for this wacko attack. Kerry described the Vietnam conflict as a civil war within a country seeking liberation from colonial rule. Which is historically accurate. In retrospect, we know today that Ho Chi Minh was not being controlled like a puppet from either Moscow or Beijing, despite the rampant “domino theory” paranoia of the 1950’s and early 1960’s.

Hell, Robert McNamara doesn’t believe in the domino theory or that Minh was a Soviet puppet anymore.

Kerry goes on to say the words which allow Chavez and others to brand him a communist sympathizer, claiming that the Vietnamese people

didn’t even know the difference between communism and democracy….I think you will find they will respond to whatever government evolves, which answers their needs, and those needs quite simply are to be fed, to bury their dead in plots where their ancestors live, to be allowed to extend their culture, to try and exist as human beings.

Dangerously subversive stuff, huh?

Leaving aside the fact that Kerry is basically saying that the Vietnamese people were simply interested in the pursuit of life, liberty, and opportunity (and who isn’t?), we have to get over “inside the Beltway syndrome.” The vast majority of people simply don’t care about policy, or geopolitics, or party loyalty. The vast majority of people, in our country or any other, are interested in living their lives. As I read it, that’s what Kerry said.

But Chavez isn’t interested in reality. It’s a lot more fun to use 33 year old testimony to brand a political candidate as disloyal. And even more fun to dust off Joe McCarthy to help do the job. Especially if you can’t think of anything current or relevant to say.

Pathetic.