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How the Left was not thoroughly discredited by the consequences of FDR's proverbial love affair with Stalin and the debacle at Yalta can only modestly be described as a "lost opportunity." It is not entirely inexplicable given the disarray of the Right after the Left had twelve years to increase and concentrate its power-base (ala New Deal bureaucracies, expropriations, and extortion).

But Senator Joseph McCarthy must have seemed like a godsend to the Left. Whatever may be said of the merits[1] of his investigation, his antics gave the Left the diversionary weapon they needed. McCarthy became a convenient way to distract from FDR's debacle and failed, nay horrific, legacy of death and destruction[2].

The Left (especially FDR and his "Brain Trusters[3]") loved "dear old Uncle Joe" Stalin. They fawned over him and heaped praise upon his head. In that context, it is not difficult to understand how or why FDR agreed to allow Stalin to remain in the dozen or so countries that Russia had occupied during its offensive against Hitler. The trust and hope in Stalin was high. But, of course, we now know that Stalin had other plans for Eastern Europe.

But FDR and other Stalinphiles are not going to get off easy by claiming "we now know" or by using a bogeyman such as McCarthy to evade the facts. Much was known about Stalin in the 1930s, at least as "credible reports." The Right erred on the side of caution with its tragic view of human nature. It distrusted Stalin and chose to consider the possibility that the reported purging of millions of Ukrainian peasants was accurate.

The Left chose instead to be optimistic and to hold out hope that such "reports" would prove to be false. Of course, the Left didn't investigate the reports nor did it hesitate to reject them with confidence. It verbally attacked those that chose to consider the reports as possibly true. For doing so, the Right was castigated and demonized[4] as: "fascist," "pro-Hitler," "pro-Nazi," "warmongers," "paranoid," "delusional," "propagandist," etc.

The Right's reservations about Stalin (especially as expressed by Churchill to FDR) were rejected out-of-hand by the Left as "reactionary." FDR, himself, took great pride in demeaning and patronizing the Right over its concerns with Stalin and Russia. Mockery and derision would not be too strong words to describe FDR's demeanor towards those that expressed skepticism about Stalin and Russia.

But those concerns were very real and FDR (and his apologists) cannot be absolved of culpability by pleading ignorance. At the very least, FDR is guilty of not hearing out the Right's concerns. And by taking the complete opposite approach - 100% trust and confidence in Stalin - FDR committed the very worst of sins[2].

To this day, FDR's errors in judgement and tragic decisions would remain clouded in:

History revisionism
Strawmen / Bogeymen
Distractions / Diversions
Mystery / Secrecy
Demonizing dissent

But the veil of the myth is slowly being torn asunder. And the Information Revolution, especially the Internet, is expediting the process. Even great, enduring myths will not be left standing once it is in full swing.

Some will say we need our myths - that we should leave well enough alone. However, the Roosevelt Myth is special because it is used to perpetuate a worldview. It is used as a tool of propaganda to indoctrinate people into the Liberal Faith. FDR's manufactured legacy is a very serious part of that propaganda effort. As such, it cannot be ignored as just your average, "harmless" myth.

NOTES

  1. There is quite a lot to be said about the merits of Senator McCarthy's investigation. Post-Cold War Soviet Archives reveal that McCarthy's "fishing expedition" was most certainly not conducted on an empty pond. (Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator by Arthur Herman)

  2. Pre-Yalta, Russia had a population of 193,000,000. After Yalta, Russia added some 725,000,000 people to its empire!

    Estonia 1,134,000
    Latvia 1,994,000
    Lithuania 2,879,000
    East Germany 17,313,000
    Czechoslovakia 12,340,000
    N.E. Austria 1,700,000
    Albania 1,175,000
    Yugoslavia 17,004,000
    Bulgaria 7,160,000
    Hungary 9,600,000
    Rumania 15,873,000
    Poland 26,500,000
    North Korea 9,000,000
    Outer Mongolia
    Manchuria
    China
    601,912,000
    TOTAL 725,584,000


  1. Many of FDR's cabinet and advisors were named "Brain Trusters," due to their levels of education. The presumption, of course, was that more education meant more humane and rational policy. Most of the "Brain Trusters' considered themselves Progressive. A good many were ecstatic over the prospect of the planned economy (at their control, naturally). Consequently, the "Brain Trusters" introduced entirely foreign notions of governing, specifically increasing the extent to which government intervenes in the affairs of men. The New Deal, compliments of FDR and the "Brain Trusters," would uproot the notion of limited government and place America on the path towards Socialism.

  2. "Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit and degrade our critics … when obstructionists become too irritating, label them as fascist or Nazi or anti-Semitic … Constantly associate those who oppose us with those names that already have a bad smell. The association will, after enough repetition, become 'fact' in the public mind." (Central Committee of the Communist Party, 1943)

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