National Affairs: McCARTHYISM: MYTH & MENACE

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Prohibition was such an all-pervasive issue that it shut off discussion of problems that turned out to be far more important. Prohibition polarized Congress, dominated the 1928 election, absorbed the White House, obsessed the press and smothered discussion of other grave questions of the Coolidge-Hoover period. The yatter over Prohibition died with Repeal. In 1953, the responsible leaders of the U.S. will not get public discussion back on the most important issues until they extinguish the McCarthyism debate by an equivalent of Repeal. Since serious people can hardly believe that Communism influences the present Administration, much ground is already cut from under McCarthy's feet.

The U.S. had traitors and conspirators in the 1930s and '40s, and previously it had Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, too. Public debate has long since passed over A for Arnold and B for Burr. The time seems to have come when C for Communist Infiltration may also be considered a lesson mastered. If so, the U.S. may be able to pass on to D for Defense and E for Enterprise.

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