Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Book Review: Just finished reading the inexpensive, paperback edition of Mona Charen's "Useful Idiots." The book is well written and would serve as a balance to much of the revisionism that seems to go on nowadays when it comes to opinions regarding communism. You can still find devoted communists and sympathizers nowadays -- just go to any anti-war rally -- but you'd think that those types were always on the political fringe. Thanks to the numerous quotes that Charen digs up, you'll find that many communist sympathizers weren't just at these anti-war rallies (Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, etc.), you could find them in Congress too. Many of them are still there -- and names you hear often: Kennedy, Dodd, Levin. During the '70s and '80s many liberal Democrats were incredibly wrong when it came to the evil of communism, whether it was the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Cuba or anywhere else. They expressed more fear of Ronald Reagan than they did of Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov.
Liberals' assessments of the communist Vietnamese government and their early efforts to "understand" Pol Pot's plan to free Cambodians from the evils of technology were tragically wrong. Despite the millions murdered and the utter and willful ignorance of many liberals to the evils of communism, many of these liberal pundits, scholars, politicians and journalists still command too much respect.
Maybe the logic is that they've been so wrong, maybe this time they'll be right.
If the '70s and '80s seem like a dim memory, either because you're old and have forgotten them or are young and never really remembered them, this book is an excellent resource. If you're watching the news and see Democrat Senator Carl Levin saying something stupid, you'll realize that some things never change.