Friday, July 13, 2007

The Real Climate of McCarthyism

One of my main priorities last weekend was to pay as little attention as possible to the Live Earth series of concerts. For the most part, I was successful in this endeavor. Nothing against the music, I just wanted to avoid the sanctimony. I am indebted to Allahpundit at Hot Air, however, for bringing the one worthwhile part of this event to my attention.

Among the news articles and blog posts about Live Earth that I happened to come across after the fact, a familiar name caught my interest. Allow me to quote Newsday:

However, Etheridge aside, it was nonmusicians at this concert who made the most passionate pleas about demanding action for the environment. "Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies," said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmentalist author, president of Waterkeeper Alliance and Robert F. Kennedy's son, who grew hoarse from shouting. "This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors."

(Emphasis added-DD)

Yes, the American Library Association, in its infinite commitment to intellectual freedom, recently hosted a keynote speaker who likes to call his domestic political opponents "traitors". To be fair, I don't remember him using the actual word in his ALA keynote speech, but he might as well have. The rest, even the part about his voice sounding hoarse, is all too painfully familiar.

In 2003, American Libraries reported that James Neal, head librarian at Columbia University, "compared the current political climate in the U.S. to the McCarthy era". Four years later, he has been proven correct, though perhaps not in the way he envisioned.


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