Are we on the verge of a ‘new McCarthyism’? After watching actress and Democratic activist Scarlett Johansson face intense scrutiny for standing behind her brand ambassadorship with the Israeli company Soda Stream, Glenn wondered if we are witnessing the beginning of a new wave of witch-hunts. On radio this morning, Glenn explained what he believes to be the ‘new McCarthyism’.
It was about 70 years ago the so-called ‘Hollywood Ten’ were called in to the House Committee on un-American Activities to defend themselves against charges of communist subversion emanating from the movie industry. And this was the beginning of an era in which some in Congress – most famously Joseph McCarthy, and less famously, John F. Kennedy – undertook an effort to expose who they suspected of conspiring to bring about the radical overthrow of the American system of government. In response to the overreaching negative effects of these efforts… I thought we all learned our lesson.
In the summer of 2012, Michele Bachmann and five colleagues of hers in the House of Representatives were lambasted for their McCarthy-like witch hunt questions about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in our government, including at the highest levels of foreign policies in the form of Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff, Anthony Weiner's wife. But the attacks have not been limited to the politics of personal destruction. The government has taken a set of negative powers and flipped them on their head – turning the political system into a weapon.
Yesterday, I found it absolutely amazing that the president said that there was not a smidgen of anything wrong [with the IRS]. You remember in 2010 when the president said, we're going to punish our enemies. Well, he wasn't kidding… But the pendulum now has swung. It is swinging further beyond politics into now your home, into civil society, which is even more insidious. In the Soviet Union, neighbors were encouraged to spy on their neighbors. I guess you would say maybe, at this point, [there is] a softer version of the same system in America.
Leftists and many on the right have replaced McCarthy's questions with their own. The ones that are prevalent in our society right now:
- Do you now or have you ever supported the state of Israel?
- Are you now or have you ever supported the Tea Party?
- Do you now or have you ever supported traditional marriage?
- Do you now or have you ever supported the Second Amendment?
- Do you now or have you ever supported the intent behind Edward Snowden's revelations?
- Do you now or have you ever supported the GOP – George Bush or Mitt Romney?
McCarty and his colleagues had questioned Americans over their efforts to subvert the Constitution and bring down America. But today, the left and the right are questioning Americans who seek to uphold the Constitution and restore America. I mean you want to talk about flipping it on its head.
Which brings me to Scarlett Johansson… We disagree, I think, on practically every issue. But Scarlett Johansson has been crucified for the act of signing on as a spokeswoman for an ad that you saw on the Super Bowl last night. An Israeli company based in Judea and Samaria, otherwise known as the West Bank. For this crime of supporting an Israeli enterprise, operating in a region that those on the left feel shouldn't be even there… Scarlett Johansson has been attacked by members of the boycott, the divestment and sanctions campaign, which include Code Pink. She's been dropped by OXFAM, an aid organization she was a spokeswoman for eight years. Most recently she's been condemned by one of the worst guys, Roger Waters.
Leave aside the fact that this Israeli company scores high on all measures of fairness, of justice, of equality. SodaStream employs both Palestinians, Jordanians I would point out by heritage, and Israelis who work side by side with Muslim employees, allowed to pray five times a day there at the SodaStream plant. They receive pay and benefits far in excess of what they ever could hope to achieve anywhere else, and yet somehow or another she's a hater.
I want you to know that even though I disagree with Scarlett Johansson on almost everything, it will stand with Scarlett Johansson against all despite the legions of areas of which we disagree. She's putting her career on the line for what she believes in. I have incurred the wrath of those who seek to do harm to Israel and other things. I've never, ever tried to boycott, get anybody fired at all. I was the guy with van Jones who said, ‘Don't fire him. I just want to know how he got in. Do you believe the things he believes?’ No, they went and fired him. I would support any and all who stand with the only free democracy in the Middle East, our staunchest ally, and the first line of defense of the west. It is the canary in the coal mine. It is the font from which our Judeo Christian heritage, all of our laws comes from there. And I'll do it until my last breath, but I don't want to make this into an Israel thing.
I want to talk to you about McCarthyism. I mean it is clear m that regardless of your political affiliations, if you zig or zag from the hard-core party line of the left, let alone attack any of its sacred cow cows, your career is over.
And if you want a list: What about Maria Conchita Alonzo? She's the one who stood with the Tea Party candidate and lost her job. Or Danesh Azad, or Mark Stein. Or how about the guy who made that horrible film. It was a horrible, horrible film on Islam. But look at what happened to him. They destroyed that guy's life. Hmm. But beyond the names that you might know, how about the countless nameless and face already Americans throughout America how about the people you'll never meet. The people like you.
At the end of the day, tolerance requires hearing opinions and beliefs in which you disagree with. I'm sorry, I don't agree with your opinion. Threatening anyone who challenges your belief with a lawsuit, unemployment, or worse, the left has become a real caricature of Joe McCarthy. They themselves have fought against for all these decades, but they didn't mean it… I will stand with those on the left and the right with whom I disagree as long as they practice tolerance and diversity of opinions that they purport to believe in… Left and extreme right: You're becoming everything you have always said we can never be.