LETTER: Redbaiting in Clallam

Redbaiting in Clallam

Redbaiting has reared its ugly head in Clallam County including Mcarthyite attacks on me by an unnamed woman during a Zoom hearing of the Clallam County Board of Health when I thanked Dr. Allison Berry.

Now candidates in November’s election are targeted in Facebook posts with false charges that they are “communists” or “socialists.”

They are honest, decent women and men who stand for accountability, medical science and democracy.

In the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy ranted, “I have a list.”

Communists were hiding under every bed.

On June 1, 1950, Maine’s Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith delivered her “Declaration of Conscience” speech that McCarthy and his minions had turned the Senate into a “forum of hate and character assassination.”

McCarthy sneered that Sen. Smith and her six Republican co-signers are “Snow White and the Six Dwarfs.”

Four years later during the Army-McCarthy hearings, McCarthy spewed crazed charges that Communists had infiltrated the Army.

Sitting beside McCarthy was his chief of staff, Roy M. Cohn, who later became Donald Trump’s chief mentor.

On Dec. 2, 1954, the U.S. Senate voted 67 to 22 to censure McCarthy. His infamous career collapsed.

But what a cost we paid: A Cold War witch hunt that cost many thousands their jobs.

Bloody anti-communist wars that killed millions.

A climate of fear that silenced people in violation of the Bill of Rights.

We must not repeat that terrible past.

Please mail in your ballots by Nov. 2.

Vote for democracy not fear.

Tim Wheeler