Red Decade; Eugene Lyons; thug persecution of anti-Obama dissent
We have had more than a year to observe the religion that is Obama-worship and the Obama cult of personality. But worse than the unearned praise and unearned rewards are the personal attacks on those who refuse to worship Obama. Right now we are witnessing coordinated attacks upon "Fox News," the Chamber of Commerce, "big insurance," Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, etc.
This type of attack is nothing new. In the 1930's, American supporters of the Soviet Union would not tolerate criticism of their faith. Anyone who pointed out the brutality of the Soviet system was attacked [I am referring to attacks by American fifth columnists for the Soviet Union - not persecution by the Soviet government in Russia]:
People shut their eyes and their ears and their minds to anything which might reflect on their new religion. Supposed "intellectuals" were sure they were demolishing detailed reports on Russian realities by insulting the authors. I shall have more to say about the arts of character assassination as practiced against infidels. The process served essentially as a psychological trick for ignoring their views with a clear conscience.Red Decade, p. 194
One day an apologetic stranger came to see me. He told me a heart-rending tale. It seems that his wife, a high-strung and warm-natured woman, had devoted years of ardent effort to the communist movement. Several weeks before, she had heard me speak at a forum meeting at the Community Church of New York. What I had to report on Russia had shaken her faith. She came home that night and suffered a nervous breakdown. Now her husband came to plead that I go to the hospital and assure the woman that I had lied, that everything in Russia was lovely . . . .
I became familiar with high-pitched, hysterical hecklers; with insulting letters. As I came out of the auditorium after talking to a few hundred schoolteachers gathered at the Ethical Culture School on a Sunday afternoon, a wild-eyed, dark-visaged woman shouted obscenities at me and tried to scratch out my eyes. She was one of the "activists," I was told, of the communist local of the New York Teachers Union.
And my own experience was mild compared with those of dozens of others who dared to tell aloud what they knew of the bogus Utopia. Eye-scratching and name-calling and sneering were in the temper of the Red Decade. The methods seemed even less edifying when disguised as "literary criticism" in the New Republic or as "economic analysis" in the Nation, or as slapstick humor in a column by the late Heywood Broun.
Only when we see the thugs through the eyes of history can we see them for what they really are.