Fifty Years of Treason
Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the
side of treason. You could be talking about Scrabble and they would
instantly leap to the anti-American position. Everyone says
liberals love America, too. No they don't. Whenever the nation is
under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.
This is their essence. The left's obsession with the crimes of the
West and their Rousseauian respect for Third World savages all flow
from this subversive goal. If anyone has the gaucherie to point out
the left's nearly unblemished record of rooting against America,
liberals turn around and scream "McCarthyism!"
Liberals invented the myth of McCarthyism to delegitimize
impertinent questions about their own patriotism. They boast
(lyingly) about their superior stance on civil rights. But somehow
their loyalty to the United States is off-limits as a subject of
political debate. Why is the relative patriotism of the two parties
the only issue that is out of bounds for discussion? Why can't we
ask: Who is more patriotic -- Democrats or Republicans? You could
win that case in court.
Fifty years ago, Senator Joe McCarthy said, "The loyal Democrats of
this nation no longer have a Party."(1) Since then, the evidence
has continued to pour in. Liberals mock Americans who love their
country, calling them cowboys, warmongers, religious zealots, and
jingoists. By contrast, America's enemies are called "Uncle Joe,"
"Fidel," "agrarian reformers," and practitioners of a "religion of
peace." Indeed, Communists and terrorists alike are said to be
advocates of "peace."
Liberals demand that the nation treat enemies like friends and
friends like enemies. We must lift sanctions, cancel embargoes,
pull out our troops, reason with our adversaries, and absolutely
never wage war -- unless the French say it's okay. Any evidence
that anyone seeks to harm America is stridently rejected as "no
evidence." Democratic senators, congressmen, and ex-presidents are
always popping up in countries hostile to the United States --
Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Iraq -- hobnobbing with foreign
despots who hate America. One year after Osama bin Laden staged a
massive assault on America, a Democratic senator was praising bin
Laden for his good work in building "day care centers." At least we
can be thankful that in the war on terrorism, we were spared the
spectacle of liberals calling Osama bin Laden an "agrarian
The ACLU responded to the 9-11 terrorist attack by threatening to
sue schools that hung god bless america signs. Is the ACLU more or
less patriotic than the Daughters of the American Revolution?
Public schools across the nation prohibited the saying of the
Pledge of Allegiance. Is it more patriotic or less patriotic to
prevent schoolchildren from saying the Pledge of Allegiance?
University professors called patriotic Americans "naive" and
described patriotism as a "benign umbrella for angry people."(2) Is
it more patriotic to love your country or to ridicule those who do
as "naive" and "angry"? These are not questions impenetrable to
Liberals want to be able to attack America without anyone making an
issue of it. Patriotism is vitally important -- but somehow
impossible to measure. Liberals relentlessly oppose the military,
the Pledge of Allegiance, the flag, and national defense. But if
anyone calls them on it, they say he's a kook and a nut. Citing the
unpatriotic positions of liberals constitutes "McCarthyism."
In the 1988 presidential campaign, Vice President George Bush
pointed out that his opponent Michael Dukakis had vetoed a bill
requiring students to begin their day with the Pledge of
Allegiance. Liberal heads spun with the dark reminders of the
McCarthy era. Dukakis instantly compared Bush's dastardly trick of
citing his record "to Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Red-baiting during the
1950s."(3) Despite this slur against his patriotism, Dukakis said,
"The American people can smell the garbage."(4) At least
sophisticated Americans could smell the garbage. As one
journalist said of Bush's unwarranted reference to Dukakis's
record, it was intended to "rile up" ignoramuses in the American
populace: the "folks who don't know any better," whose inferior
"education or experience has not taught them that the right to
speak out is the rudder of this great big boat we call America."(5)
The only people whose "right to speak out" is not part of this
great big boat we call America are Republicans who dare to mention
that a Democrat vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance. Free speech is a
one-way ratchet for traitors. While journalists assailed Bush for
creating an atmosphere of intolerance for those who "object to
patriotic oaths," they didn't mind creating an atmosphere of
intolerance toward those who support patriotic oaths.(6)
Later, while campaigning at a naval base, Bush said of Dukakis, "I
wouldn't be surprised if he thinks a naval exercise is something
you find in the Jane Fonda Workout Book."(7) Again, there were
wails of "McCarthyism" all around. Showing the left's renowned
ability to get a joke, one reporter earnestly demanded to know:
"Did Bush mean to imply that Dukakis is anti-military?"(8) Bush
responded to the hysteria over his Jane Fonda joke, saying, "Was
that funny? Reasonably funny? A naval exercise -- I thought that
was pretty funny."(9)
Historians claimed they had not seen "patriotism used with such
cynical force" since the fifties. It was "disturbing," historians
and political analysts said, for Bush to manipulate symbols to
"raise doubts about the Democratic nominee's patriotism."(10)
Historian William Leuchtenburger, at the University of North
Carolina, said, "I don't recall anything like this before. I don't
think there has been an issue like this -- an issue so irrelevant
to the powers of the presidency."(11) Washington Post
columnist Mary McGrory complained about the "McCarthyesque form" to
Bush's language: "The subliminal message in all the nastiness and
bad taste is that Dukakis is somehow un-American: doesn't salute
the flag or dig defense."(12) The New York Times denounced
Bush for "wrapping himself in the flag." Through his "masterly use
of the subliminal" Bush had used "political code." The code was
"pledge plus flag plus strong defense equals patriotism."(13)
(Evidently true patriotism consists of hatred of flag plus hatred
of Pledge plus weakness on national defense.) Not going for
subtlety, this was under the headline "Playing Rough; Campaign
Takes a Turn onto the Low Road."
A frenzy of "McCarthyism" arose again in Bush's next presidential
campaign against noted patriot Bill Clinton. While a Rhodes
scholar, Clinton joined anti-war protests abroad. One year after
the USSR crushed Czechoslovakia, Clinton had taken what the media
called a "sightseeing trip to Moscow." For mentioning Clinton's
anti-war protests abroad, Bush was called a nut and a McCarthyite.
Clinton campaign aide George Stephanopoulos said Bush was "off the
wall, lost his compass."(14) Clinton's running mate, Al Gore,
accused Bush of "smear tactics, McCarthyite techniques."(15)
Meanwhile, CNN's Robert Novak defended McCarthy, saying, "Joe
didn't do any innuendo, Joe would have said the guy is a
"McCarthyism" means pointing out positions taken by liberals that
are unpopular with the American people. As former president Bush
said, "Liberals do not like me talking about liberals."(17) The
reason they sob about the dark night of fascism under McCarthy is
to prevent Americans from ever noticing that liberals consistently
attack their own country.
Liberals unreservedly call all conservatives fascists, racists, and
enemies of civil liberties with no facts whatsoever. Reviewing the
movie 8 Mile in The New Yorker, David Denby praised
the interracial friendships portrayed in the movie and then said,
"Perhaps the specter of such friendships is what right-wingers
actually hate most." Conservatives are prohibited from citing
actual facts that reflect poorly on a Democrat's patriotism, but
liberals regularly fire off shots like that from their little movie
Liberals malign the flag, ban the Pledge, and hold cocktail parties
for America's enemies, but no one is ever allowed to cast the
slightest aspersion on their patriotism. The very same article that
attacked Bush for questioning Dukakis's patriotism questioned
Bush's sensitivity to civil rights -- for mentioning Dukakis's veto
of the Pledge. The writer scoffed: "George Bush will really be a
stand-up guy when it comes to civil liberties. You betcha."(19) We
could draw no conclusions from Dukakis's veto of the Pledge. It was
a "smear" merely to state the implacable fact that Dukakis had
vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance. But apparently it was not a smear
to attack Bush's stand on "civil liberties for mentioning Dukakis's
veto of the pledge."(20)
Only questions about patriotism are disallowed -- unless it is to
say that liberals are the "real patriots." Phil Donahue said the
"real patriots" were people who aggressively opposed their own
country's war plans: "Are the protesters the real patriots?"(21) It
is at least counterintuitive to say that it is more patriotic to
attack America than to defend it. Even Donahue couldn't continue
with such absurd logic, and quickly condemned patriotism as "the
last refuge of scoundrels," and warned: "Beware of
In addition to opposing any action taken by your own country, "real
patriotism" also consists of promoting the liberal agenda. After
9-11, Mario Cuomo said real patriotism consisted of fighting the
"war on poverty."(23) Liberal columnist David Broder said "real
patriotism" consisted of expanding the Peace Corps and Clinton's
worthless Americorp.(24) A writer for the Kansas City Star,
Bill Tammeus, said real patriots "support education, especially the
public schools."(25) The only "unpatriotic" act he identified was
trying to "silence dissident voices."(26) A man protesting the
Pledge of Allegiance in public schools said, "True Americans
separate church and state."(27) A woman opposing the Pledge said,
"Real patriotism, and real love for your country, is . . . dissent,
or people fighting against the closure of hospitals."(28) Liberals
don't mind discussing who is more patriotic if patriotism is
defined as redistributing income and vetoing the Pledge of
Allegiance. Only if patriotism is defined as supporting America do
they get testy and drone on about "McCarthyism."
In June 2002, an American-born Muslim named Abdullah al-Mujahir was
arrested on charges of trying to build a dirty bomb. Most Americans
were worried about a terrorist taking out Lower Manhattan. But the
New York Times was worried about an outbreak of
"McCarthyism." According to the Times, the arrest reminded
many people of "McCarthyism and of zealous F.B.I. agents defining
the limits of political orthodoxy." Al-Mujahir's arrest had
"revived a fear that has permeated popular history: that a
homegrown fifth column is betraying fellow Americans on behalf of a
foreign foe."(29) Historian Richard Hofstadter diagnosed the
country's attempts at self-preservation as a form of "political
paranoia."(30) Even Benedict Arnold was thrown in to the
Times's enumeration of victims of America's "paranoia,"
raising the question: Is there no traitor liberals won't
Liberals attack their country and then go into diarrhea panic if
anyone criticizes them. Days after 9-11, as the corpses of
thousands of our fellow countrymen lay in smoldering heaps in the
wreckage of the World Trade Center, Professor Eric Foner of
Columbia University said, "I'm not sure which is more frightening:
the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric
emanating daily from the White House."(31) On the basis of
exhaustive research, apparently the events of September 11,
including the wanton slaughter of three thousand Americans, were
worse than Bush's rhetoric -- frightening and disturbing though it
may be. Whenever a liberal begins a statement with "I don't know
which is more frightening," you know the answer is going to be
Foner claimed to be the victim of McCarthyite tactics for not being
lavished with praise for his idiotic remark. A report by the
American Council of Trustees and Alumni -- founded by Lynne Cheney
and Senator Joseph Lieberman -- cited Foner's remark as an example
of how universities were failing America. This was, Foner said,
"analogous to McCarthyism." These "self-appointed guardians" were
"engaging in private blacklisting" and "trying to intimidate
individuals who hold different points of view." A private group
issuing a report criticizing him was "disturbing" and a "cause for
considerable alarm."(32) The eminent historian Ronald Radosh is
blacklisted from every university in the nation because he wrote
the book definitively proving the guilt of executed spies Julius
and Ethel Rosenberg. But if someone fails to agree with tenured
Columbia professor Foner, he screams he is being intimidated.
"There aren't loyalty oaths being demanded of teachers yet," Foner
said, "but we seem to be at the beginning of a process that could
get a lot worse."
If Eric Foner wants to claim he is patriotic, doesn't he have to do
something to show he supports America, someday? Why is it assumed
that patriotism is an unmeasurable quality? Is Eric Foner more or
less patriotic than Irving Berlin? Berlin wrote the great patriotic
song "God Bless America." He donated all profits from the song in
perpetuity to the Boy Scouts of America -- an organization so
patriotic it removed President Clinton as honorary president.
Berlin served in World War I and entertained the troops in World
War II with a play he wrote for the troops, This Is the
Army. He greeted prisoners of war returning from Vietnam at the
White House, playing "God Bless America."(33) If only Berlin were
around today, he could write us a new song for the war on
terrorism, something like, "Good-bye Walla Walla, I'm off to Smash
Meanwhile, Foner compared the malevolent terror of Islamic
terrorists to "rhetoric" from President Bush. He defended Soviet
atrocities.(34) He is still defending proven Soviet spy Julius
Rosenberg. If only Foner could see beyond what is bad for the
United States, he might see that fighting terrorism and Communism
might be good for people of other nations, too. In a long tradition
of patriotism, in 1941, Foner's father was fired from his job as a
state college teacher under the New York State law that prohibited
state-supported teachers from engaging in seditious or treasonous
speech. (Inasmuch as this happened in New York State while Joe
McCarthy was still a young circuit court judge in Wisconsin, the
New York Times referred to Foner's firing as a "pre-McCarthy
Red scare."(35) Isn't someone who opposes his own country less
patriotic than someone who loves his country?
While consistently rooting against America, liberals have used a
fictional event forged of their own hysteria -- "McCarthyism" -- to
prevent Americans from ever asking the simple question: Do liberals
love their country?
1. Arthur Herman, Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and
Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator, New York: Free Press,
2000, p. 203.
2. Lynn Smith, "Patriotism: One Size Does Not Fit All; A New
Generation of Americans Must Assess What It Means to Be Loyal,"
Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2001.
3. Phil Gailey, "Bush Campaign Takes a Disturbing Turn with Attacks
on Patriotism," St. Petersburg Times, September 11,
4. Peter Applebome, New York Times, October 30, 1988.
5. David Nyhan, "A Tide of Hysteria Rolls in on Dukakis," Boston
Globe, September 30, 1988.
6. Phil Gailey, "Bush Campaign Takes a Disturbing Turn with Attacks
on Patriotism," St. Petersburg Times.
12. Mary McGrory, "The Bush Barrage," Washington Post,
September 11, 1988.
13. R. W. Apple, Jr., "Playing Rough; Campaign Takes a Turn onto
the Low Road," New York Times, September 18, 1988.
14. Michael Isikoff, "President Drops Clinton Trip Issue; Bush
Denies Attacking Foe's Patriotism," Washington Post, October
15. Harry Smith, "Senator Al Gore Discusses the Presidential
Campaign," CBS This Morning, October 14, 1992.
16. Bernard Shaw, "In Which Section of the Country Do Bush
Innuendos Work?" CNN Inside Politics, October 8, 1992.
17. Tom Bethell, "Bush Calls a Liberal a Liberal and Looks More
Like the People's Choice," Los Angeles Times, September 27,
18. David Denby, "Breaking Through: 8 Mile and Frida," The New
Yorker, November 11, 2002.
19. David Nyhan, "A Tide of Hysteria Rolls in on Dukakis,"
21. Phil Donahue, Phil Donahue, MSNBC, December 16,
23. Geri Nikolai, "Cuomo Talks Patriotism, War," Rockford
Register Star (Rockford, Ill.), April 3, 2002.
24. David S. Broder, "Pave a New Road to Patriotism," San Jose
Mercury News, May 26, 2002.
25. Bill Tammeus, "Authentic Patriots," Kansas City Star,
October 6, 2001.
26. The Kansas City Star was so impressed with this point,
it ran Tammeus's column twice. Bill Tammeus, "Commentary:
Patriotism Requires Much More Than Flags," Kansas City Star,
October 9, 2001; Bill Tammeus, "Authentic Patriots," Kansas City
27. Doug Erickson, "Board Reverses Pledge Ban; Hundreds Speak at
Meeting; Vote Is 6–1," Wisconsin State Journal,
October 16, 2001.
28. Janet Hook and Greg Krikorian, "Outrage Ignited on All Sides,"
Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2002.
29. Richard Gid Powers, "The Nation: Fifth Column; The Evil That
Lurks in the Enemy Within," New York Times, June 16,
32. Matthew Rothschild, "The New McCarthyism: Cover Story," The
Progressive, January 1, 2002.
33. See, e.g., Maynard Good Stoddard, "'God Bless America' . . .
And Irving Berlin," Saturday Evening Post, September
34. See generally John Patrick Diggins, "Fate and Freedom in
History: The Two Worlds of Eric Foner," The National
Interest, Fall 2002.
35. William H. Honan, "Jack D. Foner, 88, Historian and Pioneer in
Black Studies," New York Times, December 16, 1999. In the
classic trajectory for Communists, years later, Foner was put in
charge of his own department at Colby College in
Excerpted from TREASON: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to
the War on Terrorism © Copyright 2003 by Ann Coulter.
Reprinted with permission by Three Rivers Press, a division of
Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
- paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press
- ISBN-10: 1400050324
- ISBN-13: 9781400050321