Wisconsin Politics is the Heart of America: A Response to John Nichols

Thank you, John Nichols, for reminding us once again how central Wisconsin is to understanding the paradox of U.S. history.  As the birthplace of both Progressivism and McCarthyism (Joseph – not Kevin), your home state is a microcosm of both the best and worst in national politics.

In this festival of absurdity that has brought Marjorie Taylor Green to the center stage of our politics, the Wisconsin Democratic congressional delegation was among the few unwilling to fall for the McCarthyite tactic of voting to condemn the entire legacy of socialism in world history. 

The vote to condemn socialism “in all its forms” took place against the backdrop of a Judiciary Committee resolution requiring that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited not just at the beginning of every House session, but also at the beginning of every committee meeting.

The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist.  About the time he was writing the Pledge, his Boston Baptist congregation kicked him out of his pulpit because of his vociferous condemnations of the evils of capitalism.  He then moved to Florida, where he soon decided to leave the church altogether, purportedly because of the racism he witnessed in the congregations there.  Plus ça change!

Technically, then, the only people who rightfully should be allowed to salute the flag are those who voted against the resolution to condemn socialism in all its forms.  You can’t make this stuff up!

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