Skip to comments.The Kennedys and McCarthyism
Posted on 11/23/2013 7:48:54 AM PST by ReformationFan
Joseph Kennedy had befriended McCarthy because he found him to be a likable fellow Irish-Catholic who had all the right ideas on the domestic communist menace. These warm feelings were quickly transferred to the entire Kennedy family. JFK liked the fact that McCarthy went after the "elites" in the State Department whom JFK regarded with contempt. (13) Even before McCarthy made accusations against the State Department of subversion, JFK had already aligned himself with the militant anti-communists who blamed the Truman State Department for the "loss" of China. So JFK declared on the House floor in January 1949.
"The responsibility for the failure of our foreign policy in the Far East rests squarely with the White House and the Department of State." (14)
Small wonder then, that at the same Harvard seminar where he cheered Nixon's victory to the Senate, that JFK expressed the view that McCarthy "may have something" to his charges of domestic subversion that had by then become vocal. (15)
There were also other deep personal bonds between JFK and McCarthy by the time McCarthy reached the peak of his power in 1952 and 1953. Not only had McCarthy been a frequent guest at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis, but McCarthy had also dated two Kenendy sisters, first Eunice (the mother of Maria Shriver) and then Pat (who later married actor Peter Lawford). McCarthy was invited to the wedding reception for Eunice and Sargent Shriver, and even presented Eunice with a silver cigarette case inscribed "To Eunice and Bob from one who lost." (16)
The ties with Bobby were forged when he gave RFK a job as minority counsel to his Senate committee investigating domestic communism.
(Excerpt) Read more at mcadams.posc.mu.edu ...
Anyway, the big ideological conflict within the Left in mid-20th century was between Stalin's approach and Hitler's approach. In Germany, the Fascists and the Communists engaged in many street fights. In America, the Communists thought Hitler was a fine gentleman -- after he signed the non-aggression pact with Stalin. One big Happy Family! Then Hitler invaded Russia and the American Communists hated his guts.
Anyway. the Kennedy family were supporters of Fascism. Old Joe didn't like the British much and he didn't want us to get involved in WWII. Given all that, it is hardly surprising that a strong anti-communist like Joe McCarthy would find allies within the Kennedy family. I have absolutely no idea what McCarthy thought about Fascism, but he certainly opposed the communists -- just as the Kennedys did, right up until Teddy became their patriarch. At that point, the Kennedys went right over to Karl Marx.
“Although some do not see it this way, to me Fascism is definitely a leftwing philosophy. It is collectivism, and Mussolini was very clear on that point. Hitler’s party was the National Socialist Workers Party, so that sort of tells the story. Big, centralized government, few personal rights for individuals. Sounds leftwing to me.”
Exactly. I remember being taught in school that fascism was “right-wing collectivism” but that whole concept is an oxymoron.
“Anyway, the big ideological conflict within the Left in mid-20th century was between Stalin’s approach and Hitler’s approach. In Germany, the Fascists and the Communists engaged in many street fights. In America, the Communists thought Hitler was a fine gentleman — after he signed the non-aggression pact with Stalin. One big Happy Family! Then Hitler invaded Russia and the American Communists hated his guts.”
Exactly. Just like lefty Barbara Streisand’s openly communist character in the 1973 movie “The Way We Were”, a left wing movie that (unintentionally I’m sure) proves that the right wingers were correct.
“Anyway. the Kennedy family were supporters of Fascism. Old Joe didn’t like the British much and he didn’t want us to get involved in WWII. Given all that, it is hardly surprising that a strong anti-communist like Joe McCarthy would find allies within the Kennedy family. I have absolutely no idea what McCarthy thought about Fascism, but he certainly opposed the communists — just as the Kennedys did, right up until Teddy became their patriarch. At that point, the Kennedys went right over to Karl Marx.”
The State Department (and the OSS/CIA) had been largely populated by the ivy leaguers, which had been in turn, bastions of the WASPs, with Irish Catholics being viewed somewhat suspiciously. Bill Donovan (who himself harbored ambitions of being America's first Roman Catholic President) was, I believe, one of the first to employ the notion of, "the best and brightest," recruiting heavily from the ivies when standing up the OSS. In doing so, he unwittingly(?) seeded the intelligence and later diplomatic communities with the very elitists the Kennedys would naturally resent, not out of ideology, but envy.
Joe McCarthy continues to be demonized, despite having been essentially vindicated by history. That the Kennedy family was closely allied with him in the 1950s is an ultra-rare mark in their favor.
Fascism is a form of socialism. I know the left tries to disassociate that fact, but it is the truth.
Idiot Libs still blame McCarthy for the Hollywood blacklisting.
John and Bobby were our heroes and the people here act like they were total cretins. Both were allies of Joe McCarthy and both often transcended common politics.
I remember when Molly Ivins died and Freepers refused to trash her; even though she was an absolute enemy of conservatism. The loss of John Kennedy was a great loss for my generation and this country, and he was far more a friend than a foe.
JFK was a disaster for America, and Reagan despised the man as a Marxist. Reagan wrote a hand written letter to vice president Nixon saying that he was going to switch parties, and wanting permission to help Nixon defeat Kennedy.
Here are Reagans private thoughts on JFK-
"I do not include Kennedy's acceptance speech because beneath the generalities I heard a frightening call to arms. Unfortunately he is a powerful speaker with an appeal to the emotions. He leaves little doubt that his idea of the "challenging new world" is one in which the Federal Govt. will grow bigger & do more and of course spend more. I know there must be some short sighted people in the Republican Party who will advise that the Republicans should try to "out liberal" him. In my opinion this would be fatal."
One last thought, shouldnt someone tag Mr. Kennedys bold new imaginative program with its proper age? Under the tousled boyish hair cut it is still old Karl Marxfirst launched a century ago. There is nothing new in the idea of a Govt. being Big Brother to us all. Hitler called his State Socialism and way before him it was benevolent monarchy.
The funny thing is that was courtesy of HUAC when McCarthy was never a member of the House of Representatives. As I understand history, McCarthy went after communists in the departments of state and defense and pretty much left Hollyweird alone.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.