At a time when our nation is under attack and forces are determined to destroy it, it might serve us well to examine the mindset that many believe has been historically slow to recognize threats against this nation and even slower to act on them.
Instead of just reading the critical reviews of Ann Coulter's "Treason," read the book itself. Put aside her metaphorical indictment of liberals as treasonous. But do read the historical accounts she relates.
Read the book, then ask yourself how the deplorable actions of certain communist enablers can be justified, no matter what you think about Senator Joseph McCarthy. Ask yourself how anyone can call himself a patriot and still defend some of this despicable behavior.
But before you read it, remind yourself that since roughly the late Sixties, the counterculture (which has now ascended to the popular culture) has contemptuously lampooned any suggestion that Communism was an international menace -- a threat to world peace and freedom.
Liberals used to sneer sarcastically that conservatives could find a communist "behind every rock." For the longest time many clung to the fantasy that Soviet Communism was a benign force. They scoffed at the notion that Soviet and Chinese communists were behind the North Vietnamese incursion into South Vietnam. They belly-laughed at the "paranoid" Cold Warriors who took the Communists at their word that they sought world domination. They viewed the United States as the aggressors in the nuclear arms race and advocated that we implement a suicidal nuclear freeze based on the good intentions of the Soviets. These were people who saw America, not the Soviets, as imperialistic.
Again, no matter what you've heard about McCarthy, irrefutable evidence exists that he was correct that there were many Soviet spies in American government. And you certainly can't dismiss this as no big deal under that eternal principle "no harm, no foul," because there was harm. The Rosenbergs alone, as Coulter says, "spied on their own country and turned over atomic secrets to a grisly totalitarian regime that would threaten American citizens with annihilation for the next 50 years." Yet many liberals defended them to the end.
Indeed, many of those who most vigorously opposed Communism in this country were reviled and demonized more than the Communists themselves. Irrespective of whether you believe certain Communist "hunters" committed excesses, should you excuse the actual traitors themselves (here I'm referring to Soviet Spies in the bowels of our government)? What would motivate people to defend the indefensible? Indeed, the greatest irony of the McCarthy chapter of American history is that it has been rewritten to protect those who protected America's enemies.
And please don't say that liberal sympathy for the bad guys was motivated solely by their instinct to protect innocent individuals from "McCarthyite" tactics. The Alger Hiss affair preceded McCarthyism's seminal event: McCarthy's "notorious" Wheeling, West Virginia, speech, in which he claimed that 57 Communists were in the State Department.
The Alger Hiss affair began when ex-Communist spy Whittaker Chambers accused his former friend, Alger Hiss, of being a Soviet spy. Read and lament how the liberal establishment circled the wagons in defense of this Communist and maliciously assassinated Chambers' character for exposing one of their darlings. Read how after Chambers produced his smoking gun, the Pumpkin Papers, liberals persisted in defending Hiss.
Read how even "On the day of Hiss's conviction (of perjury for lying about being a Soviet spy), Jan. 25, 1950, (President Truman's secretary of state) Dean Acheson announced at a press conference, "I do not intend to turn my back on Alger Hiss." Read Coulter's delicious revelation that both the Washington Post and the New York Times, as late as 1992, and again in 1994 in the Times' case, were still running stories defending Hiss.
To the everlasting shame of these two newspapers, in 1995, the results of the Venona Project (the decoding of Soviet cables during the Cold War) were made public, indisputably proving, among other things, that Hiss was a Soviet spy. There's so much more in Coulter's book. Read it.
Liberals have been quick to castigate others for their alleged excesses. In "Treason," Coulter has exposed them for their own excesses -- in naturally jumping to the defense of those who sought to harm our nation. If they had any legitimate defense for their behavior, perhaps they would quit bashing Coulter and present it. Don't hold your breath.