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BREAKING: Did Someone Say McCarthyism? Rounding Up Oath Keepers And Other “Disloyals” 

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Recently the Anti-Defamation League released a list of names of individuals who appeared on the Oath Keepers membership roster who they determined held some sort of “sensitive” office. There were 370 individuals who are serving in the military, law enforcement, first response, or public office of some kind. The left has immediately called for these individuals to be fired from their jobs and some even are calling for prosecution. 

This list and the subsequent Partyline reaction comes in the wake of Joe Biden calling all of his primary political adversaries a danger to the country and to democracy. The implication of these events combined are that those who belong to certain ideological groups are now to be considered “disloyal” and “unfit” for society and certainly for publicly held employment or office. 

This is not the first time America has wandered down the path of political persecution. Before the advent of what we refer to now as “McCarthyism” President Truman called on his Department of Justice to create a list of organizations which the government considered to be dangerous to democracy. It was called the “Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations.” The list actually started with Roosevelt but was at the time referred to as the Biddle list per the Attorney General’s name. 

Those associated with the organizations on the list were considered “disloyal” to American values and to democracy. In the McCarthyism era, these lists were used to inform the FBI and Department of Justice on which group member lists they wanted to obtain and investigate. The list was given to the media and the media upheld the organizations on the list as treasonist groups, spies, and dangers to the country. The list is considered by historians of all ideologies to be an aborhence of the first amendment which resulted in catastrophic consequences for the individuals associated, freedom of assembly and beyond. 

The consequences were far reaching. As per the intention of the list, there was a time when involvement with any group on the list was enough to disqualify someone from employment with the federal government or even in the private sector. The treasury department revoked tax exempt status from the organizations. Relying on media reporting on the list, private businesses would halt business with any of the organizations on the list or known members of those organizations. Hotels would refuse to rent rooms, and news outlets wouldn’t hire individuals they found to associate with the organizations. 

For persons associated with organizations on this list: The State department revoked passports and executed deportations, public school systems denied children access to textbook usage, the Federal Housing Administration by Congressional mandate barred their use of subsidized housing and veterans were denied use of the G.I. Bill amongst other benefit banishment. 

In 1947 the list included 51 organizations included American Patriots Inc, Communist Party USA, National Federation for Constitutional Liberties, the National Negro Congress, and the Workers Alliance. 

By the conclusion of the organization there were over 300 organizations including ones we’d today consider far right and ones today we’d consider far left. What they had in common was questioning the Department of Justice and Government or governing Party interests as well as the media. 

It’s easy to say now that this list and McCarthyism was clearly unconstitutional and immoral while pretending the situation with the Oath Keepers and “MAGA Republicans” is different. I mean the communists (pretending those were the only targets) weren’t actual threats to democracy! These people really are! These are the actual bad guys! But the list of old also included organizations like the Klan and the actual Nazi party (contemporaries of the original Nazi party). Some of the people on the list really were bad guys. And it was that seed, that truth, that the Government and media manipulated in order to lump thousands of individuals into the same bowl as those few bad guys. 

Make no mistake, lists are bad. There has never been a time in world history where the government kept a list of people and it turned out okay. If we allow the government, the Party and the media to go down this path we are asking to revert to McCarthyism era “silent generation” paranoia or worse. 

History spells it out for us plainly. They used the word “fascism” as well as “communism” during that era too. The real fascists are the ones who intentionally hamper freedom of speech and association, period. We cannot go back.

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