In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Hollywood began the process of “blacklisting,” denying work to entertainment professionals who were alleged to have been members of or sympathizers with the Communist Party.
In retrospect, this is viewed almost exclusively as an ugly episode in American history, even though there was a belief — probably untrue in most cases, but still reasonable given the dangerous geopolitical circumstances of the time — they were smuggling pro-communist messages into their work.
Whatever the case may have been, a large number of these people were actually communists in sympathy with the Soviet Union — a sympathy that necessarily entailed the destruction of American democracy.
This is glossed over when we talk about the blacklist. But, yes, these individuals had First Amendment freedom of association, no matter how misinformed and pernicious that association might have been.
Fast forward roughly 70 years and the left has decided blacklists mightn’t be the worst idea.
Not for them, of course. In fact, one of the loudest voices in the post-election call to have supporters of President Donald Trump blacklisted was Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a self-described socialist.
The irony is always lost on her:
Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 6, 2020
“Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future,” she wrote in a Friday tweet.
Yes, I can see it now. The House Cancelation Committee, chaired by Ocasio-Cortez: “Do you now or have you ever owned a MAGA hat?”
Not only is this counterproductive, it’s also not terribly frightening to many she’s potentially targeting.
Just ask conservative actor and commentator James Woods:
Are you literally making lists? I understand you’re an ignorant nitwit who’s never had a passing acquaintance with a history book, but political lists are EXACTLY what Communists do: Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro. So put me at the top of your list, you moron. I’d be honored. https://t.co/vQzmjwBRMe
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 7, 2020
“Are you literally making lists?” Woods wrote. “I understand you’re an ignorant nitwit who’s never had a passing acquaintance with a history book, but political lists are EXACTLY what Communists do: Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro. So put me at the top of your list, you moron. I’d be honored.”
Woods wasn’t the only conservative blue checkmark to note they weren’t losing sleep over this:
Nobody’s scared of you Alexandria
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 6, 2020
Archive this: You are insane.
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) November 6, 2020
Dare you to try.
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) November 7, 2020
One Venezuelan went viral, however, by noting how this worked where he was from:
This is exactly what happened in my country, Venezuela, they make a list of 3 million of people, everyone was banned for any state “benefit ” or any job, thousands was fired after that list. Me included.
This tactic is a common practice in the twins ideologies Fascism/Socialism.
— M. Cobretti (@Gorilalomoplata) November 7, 2020
Now, neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris is Hugo Chávez or Nicolás Maduro (though Harris can sound close). But what supporters of Ocasio-Cortez’s “archive” were saying was that this would be a warmer version of that:
Let me reiterate, Trump and his enablers will be held responsible for all the bad things they have done to this country ….. this is applicable to the people at the other side of the aisle, why is this so difficult to grasp? Some idiots have short fuse these days!
— Lekan Akinsete (@Lekan2011) November 6, 2020
All she’s saying is she wants to hold people accountable for the things they say. I think that shows a lot of maturity.
— Gregory Laperche 🌹 (@GregoryLaperche) November 7, 2020
This is just about holding people accountable. It’s maturity! In fact, this was Ocasio-Cortez’s take on this when the tweet started getting blowback:
Lol at the “party of personal responsibility” being upset at the idea of being responsible for their behavior over last four years
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 6, 2020
And what could be wrong with that — aside from not defining what being held “responsible for their behavior over the last four years” entails or who’ll be held responsible for what.
Perhaps it’s also important to note the voices that will demanding this accountability:
Twitter screenshots will be ending careers & sealing prison sentences on the right.
— 9fm (@aJellyElectric) November 6, 2020
i love seeing TRUMP supporters CRY, it’s my daily medicine, my weekly energy, my monthly inspiration and my yearly motivation. Their loss is the only reason i’m still alive, i was born to love and enjoy the failure that they have achieved
— Fern (@shadeofblue20) November 7, 2020
So an interesting question to ask as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris overuse the words “unity” and “healing” as if they’re being expurgated from the English language in December and they need to get their lifetime quota in now:
Is there a democrat anywhere that has disavowed this tweet?
— Marty Nalitz (@MartyNalitz) November 7, 2020
Want unity? Disavow this. It’s that simple. Disavowing blacklists shouldn’t be hard. We’ve been doing it for 70 years — and supporters of communism were of a far more mephitic nature than supporters of President Trump.
Democrats who proclaim their beliefs in freedom of thought need to live up to their own words.
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