Friday, February 17, 2006

Hyman's ACLU Smears 3

There’s little that need be said about Hyman’s latest installment of his personal ode to Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. He simply rehashes more 75-year-old “evidence” to suggest that today’s ACLU is some sort of subversive communist organization.

He quotes ACLU founder Roger Baldwin’s “pro-revolutionary” statements in the 1930s without acknowledging that radical rhetoric was far more widespread during the Great Depression, when there was ample evidence to raise doubts about the wisdom of America’s brand of capitalism. As noted in the previous post, the American Legion, a group Hyman suggests is beyond reproach, openly sympathized with European fascism. Does that make today’s American Legion a neo-Nazi or subversive group?

He also claims Baldwin “advocated violence to overthrow the U.S.” He offers no citation for this fact, probably because he knows that
Baldwin was a pacifist who admired the non-violent means of social change used by Mahatma Gandhi in India.

Contrast this to the words of
American Legion founder Alvin Owsley who, when asked if his comparison of the American Legion to the fascists in Italy suggested a takeover of the United States government, said, “Exactly that.”

Should Owsley’s dusty boast from another era cause us to vilify today’s American Legion? Of course not. But for Hyman, imaginatively interpreted quotations from the ACLU’s founder are reason enough to lambaste the ACLU today.

Nor does Hyman address the obvious response to charges that Baldwin was a subversive, anti-American force: if Baldwin was so dangerous, why did members of the U.S. military
ask him to help foster fledgling democratic governments in both post-war Japan and Europe?

No, rather than making any coherent case against the current ACLU, Hyman uses rhetoric that’s about as relevant to today’s world as eight-track tapes, slide rules, and Betamax recorders, making both him and those who buy into his contorted logic look like paranoid dolts.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 5.96


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