We are living in insane times. How insane? Consider this: Progressives believe that Russian agents infiltrated the U.S. through computer hacking to influence the U.S. election, consciously working to damage our American system of democracy and way of life. To prove this, they point to specific reports from the intelligence community. Conservatives on the other hand, dispute the entire allegation. Following their leader, they do not trust the reports and refuse to believe that Russia was a threat or even involved. Many of them like the idea of a new friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Jump in my time machine.
We are now back in the 1950’s. (I was a child then, but I remember.) What is happening? Conservatives are inflamed because of intelligence reports that Russian Soviet agents have infiltrated the U.S. government and the media. Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities committee are holding hearings trying to root out the foreign agents that want to influence and destroy our way of life. Liberal Progressives on the other hand refuse to believe the reports and decry all of it as nothing but a “witch hunt.” McCarthy is proven to be a fraud and many lives are damaged by false allegations and undeserved punishment.
But what was the truth then and what is the truth now? First, anyone who thinks that Vladimir Putin is vastly different than the communist leaders of an earlier Soviet era is frighteningly ignorant. His values, goals and strategies were shaped by the KGB. He is our enemy just as much as the Soviet leaders were in the 1950’s. The evil excesses of 1950’s conservative anticommunism served to hide the real threat of Russian spying that existed. Anticommunism created brutal distractions that actually helped our enemies. The real Russian threat led to the Soviets stealing American nuclear secrets and creating their own bomb.
Both progressives and conservatives need to stop acting like vicious gangs of street urchins out to destroy each other. The external threats are real. Now they come from both Russia and the People’s Republic of China, a country well-known for infiltrating the U.S. with their agents. Donald Trump is not going to negotiate us into great relationships with these countries. Greed is the driving force of the U.S., but there are far deeper forces at work in both Russia and China.
Russian intrusion into our election should be a wake-up call for progressives. While they were right to stand against oppression and false accusation in the 1950’s, they were dangerously wrong to discount the threat entirely, just as conservatives are dangerously wrong to discount the threat right now.
Our collective immaturity has metastasized into collective insanity. We cannot survive this way for long.