Rep. Allen West (R-FL) overstated the case when he recently declared “I believe there is about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.” He clarified his assertion by stating that he was actually referring to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus which, he contended, were Marxist in their orientation. At least on that point he was absolutely right.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus which, as Rep. Allen West claimed, includes about 78 members of Congress, maintains a direct affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) which is the American branch of Socialist International. This international group, Socialist International, traces its origin to the First International which was established in London, September 28, 1864. The First International included Karl Marx as a member of its provisional General Council. The DSA, the American branch of Socialist International, has a euphemistic and nuanced mission statement posted on the website which says, among other things, that “To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government must be transformed through greater economic and social democracy.”
A cursory investigation of the DSA indicates that they stand for principles that are antithetical to the American system of government and the American way of life. While the congressmen who are members of the Progressive Caucus, which is affiliated with the DSA, have done nothing illegal by holding membership in such an organization, the ethics of their membership ought to be called into question. Upon entering their office these congressmen took an oath to uphold the US Constitution yet they are members of a political organization that is headquartered in a foreign country and that calls for a re-ordering of the American system. Each of them ought to be asked which part of the US Constitution they would like to “transform.”
PBS commentator Bill Moyers offered a melodramatic presentation on his TV program “Bill Moyers Journal” entitled “Allen West and the ghost of McCarthy.” Like Rep. Allen West, Bill Moyers overstated the case. Ironically Moyers worked as a media consultant in the Johnson Administration where one of his duties was to dig up dirt on President Lyndon Johnson’s opponents. Senator McCarthy actually was charged with investigating genuine communists and communist sympathizers who were embedded within various agencies of the US Government. Unlike the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who are proud and open members of a group that is affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America, the government employees that Sen. McCarthy investigated kept their association with Stalin secret.
Unlike the congressmen who are presently members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is affiliated with a group that holds legal but contrary opinions regarding the American form of government, the agents that Joe McCarthy investigated were secretly aiding and abetting the Soviet Union, an avowed enemy of their country. Indeed, many of the Stalinist agents investigated by McCarthy were also spies that worked for both Stalin and Hitler during the 1939-1941 Hitler-Stalin Pact years. The pro-Soviet subversives of the post-war period were condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike, by both Liberals and by Conservatives. As an example, liberal Democratic Senator Hubert H. Humphrey filed a bill in Congress in 1950 that would’ve outlawed the Communist Party, a bill that was opposed by Senator McCarthy who felt it went too far.
While there is no reasonable comparison between the activities of the Congressional Progressive Caucus today and that of the communist KGB spies of the post-war period, it should be noted that unlike the attitude back then, many of today’s liberals and Democrats have no problem with the political stance taken by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and their allies. Rep. Allen West should be congratulated for having the courage to call them out.