While I was not around during the McCarthy era, I did study the witch hunt he helped lead against real and alleged communists. While Americans had grounds to be worried about the Soviets, lines were crossed that should not have been crossed. On the positive side, America seemed to have learned something during this time period. Unfortunately, not everyone took the lesson to heart.
In what strikes me as an act of madness, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann recently asserted that Obama “may have anti-American views” and urged the media to investigate Congressional Democrats who might have “anti-American” views. If only Joe McCarthy were still around to run the hearings.
I do believe that there are people who are anti-American and wish to harm America. Some of these people reside here in the United States. However, I am careful to distinguish between people I happen to disagree with and people who are actually anti-American. Since America is supposed to be a democratic state dedicated to liberty, I think that it is important to allow a great deal of leeway before branding someone as anti-American. Such a person would need to show clear hostility towards the basic principles of the country. They would also need to endorse or engage in activities that are harmful to the United States. In short, they would have to show themselves as a clear foe of America’s core principles and not merely someone who holds different political and moral views. Obviously, this is not a necessary and sufficient defintion, but should suffice to paint a general picture.
While some people might disagree with Obama and label him as a socialist, he hardly seems to be anti-American. Like McCain, I think he wants to do what is right for America. While I think that Congress has largely proven to be corrupt and ineffectual, they do not seem to be anti-American. At worst, they seem indifferent to America and concerned mostlywith their own agendas.
While this is old news, the most prominent anti-Americans in the country seem to inlclude current and former members of the Bush Administration. After all, basic liberties and rights have been trampled upon and that is rather anti-American. On the left, Ayers’ past behavior certainly marks him as anti-American in many ways. There are also other left wingers who are clearly anti-American and should be seen as such.
I do agree that people who are harming America need to be exposed and dealt with. Fortunately, Bachman has helped us out here. By making such baseless and hateful accusations, she seems to have revealed someone who needs to be carefully watched. This person would, of course, be herself.