The Other Half of History Columns

The Party and the Kremlin

In 1949 federal prosecutors indicted twelve leaders of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA). Eleven of these men would stand trial for violations of the Smith Act, which makes it a crime to advocate violent overthrow of the federal government. (Retired party secretary William Foster escaped prosecution because of his poor health.) The eleven party officers who did stand trial were convicted and sent to prison.

The CPUSA was an agency under direct Soviet control, formed and operated to help the Soviet Union weaken and conquer the United States. But leftist college professors typically forget to mention that part of the story while teaching America’s next generation about the Smith Act trials of the party’s leaders.

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“The Great Witch Hunt”

During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s conservatives in Congress, and in the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, conducted hearings and investigations aimed at rooting out Soviet agents in the federal government. This campaign was widely supported by the general public at the time. Today college professors and other leftists refer to the hunt for Communist spies as “McCarthyism,” and the public support for it as “anticommunist hysteria.”

The part of this story that you won’t learn in college is that there actually were many Soviet spies in the government before and during the “McCarthy Era,” and that “McCarthyism” forced many of these enemy agents out of the government.

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The “Reagan Deficits”

During the 1980’s Congress, under pressure from President Reagan, passed a series of tax rate cuts. Tendentious professors of history typically refer to the Reagan era tax acts as “tax cuts,” rather than “tax rate cuts,” implying that they caused a loss of government revenue. The half of history that you won’t learn in college is that the rate cuts of this era did not reduce government revenues at all. A spreadsheet of revenues and spending is available from the Congressional Budget Office, and the objective truth is that government revenues went up, not down, during Reagan’s presidency.

A typical university textbook describes the rate cuts this way: “By 1986 a series of tax cuts had benefited the wealthy by reducing top personal income tax rates to 28 percent and lowering capital gains, inheritance, and gift taxes. To compensate for the lost revenue, Reagan proposed massive spending cuts.”

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Obama, Jefferson, and the “Holy” Koran

In his much-ballyhooed speech of June 4, President Obama spoke in soothing terms of all the areas where Islam and the rest of the world could find common ground.  His speech was praised by many in the media and the political class, but criticized by some students of the history of the United States and the Islamic world.  Most shocking to students of American history is the way the President implied that Thomas Jefferson had been on comfortable terms with Islam.

In his speech President Obama said “when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Qur’an that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”  (The congressman the President is referring to is Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who first took the oath of office in January of 2007.)

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