By Jeff Knox : Opinion
Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- When I was growing up in the '60s and '70s, communists were evil people in far-away lands that our military was battling in the Cold War and never-ending proxy wars.
The first time I met an American who openly claimed to be a member of the Communist Party, was in about 1984, after I'd completed a stint in the Army – keeping tabs on communists – and was working part-time in a call center. I was working there while waiting for clearance paperwork to go through so I could go to Alaska as a government contractor to again keep tabs on communists.
She was a coworker in the call center, and was right out of Central Casting, a very masculine lesbian who wore heavy black boots, baggy jeans, a surplus military trench coat, and a flat-crowned, OD green fatigue cap. She would often leave fliers and copies of a communist newspaper lying around, decrying the evils of capitalism, and promoting some march or “revolutionary action” aimed at realizing the dream of a classless society. I would have liked to have sat down with her to try and understand how she had gotten so confused, but unfortunately, I couldn't afford to do that.
While it would have been interesting to learn what a young, middle-class, white woman found attractive in a failed ideology that was responsible for more deaths than any other political system in history, the people who issue security clearances were notoriously unforgiving of any sort of relationship with a communist.
Even just spending time arguing with one could easily result in the loss of my clearance, and thus, the loss of my pending job. So I would listen on the sidelines while others challenged her world view, and just shake my head in wonder at the nonsense she would babble in response.
I had learned about Joe McCarthy in school, and while I recognized that McCarthy had gone overboard with his communist witch hunts, I also felt that he had served an important purpose and had done a great service by making communism a dirty word and driving its adherents from the mainstream. My libertarian leanings felt pangs about the injustice of his tactics, but my patriotic team spirit celebrated the victory over the “red menace.”
What I didn't understand was that by suppressing communist views, McCarthy effectively closed off fair discussion and debate with these misguided people. He didn't end communism in America, but rather pushed it out of open society, leaving it to fester and spread quietly among guilt-ridden liberals and people who felt disenfranchised. Just because few people openly declared themselves to be communists, that didn't mean they stopped holding or sharing those beliefs using different labels. And through the decades, the perception of McCarthy, and McCarthyism, slowly changed. It was already changing when I was in high school, as he was painted as a zealot, political extremist, and opportunist, catching up innocent people with his crusade and blacklisting.
By the time I attended college, after I got out of the Army, McCarthy had completely transformed into the bad guy of the story, and everyone he had gone after had become victims.
By then, the anti-war hippies of the late '60s and '70s, who were in college while I was in high school, were teaching college, and today those same people are the tenured professors and administrators of our institutions of higher learning.
Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers went from violent revolutionary communists, to respected academics and political operatives. Communists of the '60s moderated their rhetoric and changed their labels as they built their power base within academia and the Democrat Party, shifting the party farther and farther to the left over the decades. Then taking it from “liberal” to “progressive,” to “socialist,” over the course of just a few years. After Barack Obama's whiny and divisive “identity” politics, the the false narrative of Black Lives Matter, the socialist campaign of Bernie Sanders, the lying corruption of Hillary Clinton, and the resulting election of Donald Trump, it seems that large numbers of people who really should know better, are openly embracing – or at least accepting of – communists and communist ideology. Suddenly it's mainstream again.
Today, we see communists and anarchists teaming up to quash free speech in Berkeley and other colleges and universities around the country. We see masked punks carrying Soviet flags and chanting clever “peace” slogans like “The only good cop is a dead cop,” and “Cops and klan go hand in hand,” in Texas of all places. To be fair, it was in Austin, which isn't really Texas any more, but still, not the sort of thing you'd expect from the capitol of the “Lone Star State.”
Communism is a murderous, failed political ideology, as is its softer little sister, socialism. By embracing these failed systems, these misguided morons are endorsing regimes that were much more deadly and evil than the Nazis or the Fascists, and they are utilizing the exact same tactics, except here in the U.S. they also use our freedoms and protections against us, claiming the very rights that they would deny to others, and demanding that police protect them from the mean old racists.
It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
The good news is that even though there are way too many people in this country who refuse to see the evil of communism and socialism, only a relative few of them are radicalized to the point of engaging in street violence, and the American people are finally fed up enough with that nonsense that they are demanding that police not allow these misfits to run rampant. They are also serving to wake people up to the stupidity and violence of this demented death cult, opening people's eyes and causing some of them to rethink their positions.
The one thing that all Americans need to understand is that communism, socialism, racism, nazism, libertarianism, constituionalism, and all sorts of other “isms” – good, bad, and indifferent – are free to be practiced and preached in our democratic republic. That's not the case under communism or socialism. Just like nazism, in a communist or socialist regime, no other belief or ideology is, or can be tolerated.
Communism and socialism might sound good in theory, but in practice they must be totalitarian, and that can only be accomplished through utter brutality. There can be no individual freedom under communism, and that is un-American.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.