Q: Has America had any enemy or antagonist since W0rld War II which the Democratic Party has NOT made common cause with?
To make “Common cause” generally means “to unite one’s interest with another’s” and since the 1970s the term has been associated with a liberal leaning political group by the same name, who first came into being to urge the United States out of its war in Vietnam….but only after a safe distance (four years) could be established between the Vietnam War and the Democratic Party administrations, (Kennedy and Johnson), who started it.
(The Vietnam War was once called by National Review and William F Buckley the “last Liberal war”, per John Roche, friend of WFB, and one of LBJ’s architects of that war.)
An apt name, Comm0n Cause, for although the Democratic Party of Franklin D Roosevelt did not make common cause with the Soviet Union of Josef Stalin, the American Left did, and they made common cause with the Democratic Party. It was a tawdry romance that had existed since Wilson, but rings and vows would not be exchanged sealing their marriage until 1976 when the Left formally took over the Party. But if the Democrats had a state department, the Left had been it since the formation of the League of Nations in 1919.
But the proof was always there for people inside the loop. The “people” who were not in the loop where those whose only access to information was the national press corps.
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In the 1930s, with the rise of Hitler in Germany, almost all of America joined to hate the Nazis. And Hollywood produced films about them, mostly B-action movies about G-men and derring-do. But no one in America knew that genocide was taking place inside the Soviet Union, especially the Ukrainian famine in 1932-1933, killing 7-10 million.
No one in America knew this had happened largely because the New York Times, who covered it, never reported it…even though they knew. In fact, their reporter there, Walter Duranty, earned a Pulitzer Prize for not reporting it, while instead sending back glowing reports of the Brave New World Stalin had chiseled out for Soviet citizens (who had not died or been sent off to the Gulag).
Then suddenly, for two years, anti-Nazi news and propaganda seemed to dry up. No one knows who in the US knew why, but in 1939, just a week before Hitler invaded Poland, Stalin and Hitler signed a secret non-aggression pact (look it up). World War II was on, only no one in Hollywood or media was eager to tell the story of the brave Poles, or later, the rest of western Europe, because Hitler and Stalin were pals. Their megaphones had grown silent. They had all been told to “cool it” with the anti-Hitler hyperbole—at least until Hitler turned and attacked the USSR in June 1941.
So it would not be until America would become allies with the Soviet Union, after Pearl Harbor and war was declared, when the American Left could make common cause with the rest of America to defeat a common enemy.
Then, for almost four years, the Soviet fifth column in America were treated like first cousins, stealing us blind in technologies…the Soviets didn’t know how to make anything, and had invented nothing…including the secrets to the A-bomb. At this time the American Left could make common cause with the legal defense of the Rosenbergs, who stole them, and later Alger Hiss, pioneering a brand new path for leftism in America, when being a communist was still illegal, namely protecting or protesting, making common cause, with those victimized by the government’s legal system.
Fighting back against this, and not his drinking problem, is why the American Left hated Sen Joe McCarthy.
There was much to be done for the Left, for it was a Democrat who dropped The Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was still a “Love America First” wing in the Democratic Party in those days, who saw the expansion of the Soviet union-style of government to a threat to world order.
First, Korea justified a discreet common cause, where a Moscow-puppet regime under Kim il-Sung took over the northern half of the Korean peninsula, and who then proceeded to attack the southern half in 1949, to unify the Korean peninsula under one ring. But the internationalists in the Democrat Party led the new United Nations to push North Korea back. Unlike World War II, Hollywood produced very few films during the Korean War, none patriotic. A war-tired America was not very interested, I suppose, but neither was Hollywood inspired to make gung-ho films about American boys killing communists.
Then there was Castro and Cuba, where the American Left made common cause with the communist regime, even deifying Castro’s principal killer (Che Guevara), only once again, an America-loving Democrat, John Kennedy, would have to threaten a nuclear showdown to keep Soviet influence out of the western hemisphere.
Then came Vietnam, and the last attempt by the liberals (as distinguished from the leftists) to use military force to curtail Soviet expansion. For one, they were horrible at it. American fighting men, largely draftees, fought and won some of the greatest battles in American military history, only there was no one there to tell their story. Hollywood made only one film about the war during the war, and that was John Wayne’s ‘The Green Berets” (1968). There were plenty, even critically-acclaimed “coming home” films about Vietnam, (“Deer Hunter”), afterwards, but none extolling the bravery of American men and women or the evil of Soviet Marxism and its surrogates. Only a leftwing “we wuz right” sobriety about their victimhood bathed the screen.
But with Vietnam the American Left and Hollywood made open and notorious common cause with our enemies by going to Vietnam, giving them encouragement and comfort as they attempted to kill our soldiers and pilots—Jane Fonda the poster girl for this entire period.
The Democrat Party also made common cause with the socialist Salvador Allende on Chile, who was democratically elected in 1970, then, (not unlike Barack Obama) took extra-legal and unconstitutional authority, whereby the nation’s military rose up to oust him. The man who overthrew him, Gen Pinochet, thanks in large part to American media and the Carter Administration, became an international pariah.
In 1979, the cupidity of the Carter Administration allowed the downfall of the Shah of Iran, in favor of the Ayatollah Khomeini. The Democrats didn’t so much as make common cause with the new theocracy in Iran as make common cause against the Shah, who they considered a “right wing” dictator. That 52 American embassy staff would be taken hostage and held while the feckless Carter did nothing except botch a helicopter rescue, would, almost by default, cede the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, the American people once again overwhelmingly denying the Democrats their agenda. The hostages were released on the same day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated in January 1981.
Democrats once again made common cause with their friends in Cuba when Ronald Reagan launched an assault in 1983 to overturn the government of Grenada, a small Caribbean island, that had turned violently Marxist. A contingent of Cuban troops helped secure the island. Taking only a few weeks, rescuing some American medical students studying there. Free elections and democracy were restored to the people, as it remains today, a grateful friend. But the Democrats made common cause with the United Nations, which almost unanimously condemned the invasion, as lawless, including Canada, then under the management of current Canadian prime minister’s Justin Trudeau’s dad, Pierre.
It was in this period that the Democrat Party first made direct common cause with the Soviet Union, although it would not be until after the fall of the USSR in 1992 that we would know of it. That was when Sen Ted Kennedy openly offered Moscow assistance in interfering with the Reagan re-election campaign. The Federalist and Sean David lay out a good outline here, from 2015. A laundry list, in fact.
This is the only hard evidence we have of Democrat collusion with the Soviets, but the Yeltsin government was only too happy to provide it during the early days of the new Russian Republic, although I suspect the Clinton Administration probably asked them to cool it once they figured the Democrat Party could be exposed.
In this period the Democrats in Congress also made common cause with Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, a communist who had seized control of that government, with back and forth travel and a series of “Dear Comandante” letters (making Rep Stephen Solarz of New York into something of a star), advising Ortega how best to behave so as not to expose too much of his totalitarian tendencies. Ortega didn’t take much of that advice to heart, and a resistance arose to his rule under the name of the “Contras”, which key figures in the Reagan Administration attempted to help, via private contracts selling US weapons (TOW Missiles) through third parties to help then-anti-Ayatollah factions in Iran, and then using that money to fund the Contras.
What happened next was called the Iran-Contra Hearings, called by the Democrat Party congressional majority with a view to linking President Reagan to the deal, and through that, establish that he had violated federal law (a series of acts called the Boland Amendment(s), prohibiting the government from providing aid to Contras.) In short, the purpose of the hearings was to secure Reagan’s impeachment. Which failed.
The Boland Amendments were likely unconstitutional, but were never challenged in court, i.e., Congress attempting to take away the president’s power to carry on foreign policy. Only minor charges and convictions came out of the hearings, nothing to compare to the hero status that some of the principals, Adm John Poindexter, National Security Advisor, Oliver North, and Gen John Secord, who managed the transfers, had gained. Nothing ever came of it except the Left uses still it as shibboleth to beat over the heads of future generations of up-and-coming know-nothings as if it represented some great evil.
As with all thing leftist, the term “Iran-Contra” carries with it a powerful image of evil even as it as is, in history, wrapped in total failure to what the Left hoped to achieve.
The Soviet Union fell in December 1991, although no one actually knew it until January, 1992. I was there. And suddenly the principal situs of all the Left’s “common causerie” was gone.
I don’t want to make this overly long (I get complaints as it is).
The history has not yet been written as to how the Democratic Party went from the best friends the Soviets could have in the Free World to the worst enemies of the successors of the USSR, the oligarchs, led by the ex-KGB apparatchik, and Super-oligarch in Chief, Vladimir Putin.
I suspect the current relations are a façade, and defined entirely by the fact that the Democrats are now out of power. There are many things they share in common with Putin’s view of history and government, and they never disapproved of Russian’s trying to effect our elections, (they even offered help), and going back to the Stalin era. there was never a brick in the arsenal of democracy they weren’t willing to help any enemy of America extract, like so many bad teeth.
What the Clintons brought to the Democratic Party was a level of corruption, self-aggrandizing personal wealth, privilege and entitlement, that few Democrats from earlier eras ever really considered. A Cause-plus-Benefits. The same has occurred in the New Russia under the oligarchs, where power has taken on a different aspect than under the Communists, where the accoutrements of power had to be hidden from view.(I wrote about his in ’92. American chose exactly the wrong man to lead the Russians toward the light, where, I knew they wanted to go.)
The American Left is thus, harder to figure out, for one no longer can tell where ideology leaves off, and power-for-the-sake of-power, and money-for-the-sake-of-money takes over.
That up until at least 2012, when Hillary Clinton stepped down as US Secretary of State, and Barack Obama whispered on an open mic that he and “Vlad” could keep on dealing after the election, tells us that it is the Russian’s heads that are spinning the most in this international romance.
They still have much common ground with which to make common cause. I cannot see the Democrats making lifelong enemies of the world’s number Two (or Three) superpower, while the United States remains Number One.
The common thread through it all is that the Democratic Party will find common ground, and make common cause with whoever is the avowed enemy of the United States under the type of government that was formed in 1787 and expressly designed to empower the citizenry to forge their own destinies.
This we call all take to the bank.
Publications: Famous Common People I Have Known and Other Essays
Donald Trump, the Common Man and the American Theology of Liberty
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