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Communists in the U.S. Congress?

Updated on July 19, 2012

Congressional Progressive Caucus

I watched Bill Moyers the other night. He had a piece about congressman Allen West who is a Republican Representative from the state of Florida. He is a highly decorated veteran and I thank him for his service to our country. But when he was questioned by a local group about the number of communist in congress, his answer was he believed there were 78 to 81 democrats that are communist. He said they call themselves the "Congressional Progressive Caucus."

Allen West in Action

Joseph McCarthy, Republican Representitive, Wisconsin, 1944 - 1957
Joseph McCarthy, Republican Representitive, Wisconsin, 1944 - 1957 | Source

Witch Hunts

Bill Moyers said the remarks by Allen West reminded him of ghost from the past. The ghost's was Joseph McCarthy who was known for the "Witch Hunts" of the 1950's. McCarthy was a congressman for 10 years and supposedly had a list of people in government who were accused of being communist. The list also led to people outside of government who were in the entertainment industry and other fields. After making life miserable for many of the accusers, McCarthy was proven wrong by congressional investigations and was censured by congress for what he had done.

Made in America?

I find that it is very interesting that congressmen who call others communist are the same people who support large corporations outsourcing jobs to...wait for it...Communist China. That's right I said Communist China.

We don't think of China as being a Communist country because we do business with them and we owe them a whole lot of money. In addition, we have lost a whole lot of jobs because of the outsourcing to China. Maybe if labels said "Made in Communist China" instead of "Made in China", people would think differently.

Is it Communism or Capitalism?

China is a mixed bag. It's governance and politics are pure communism. While it's economics and trading model are a form of capitalism. The United States currently owes China 1.16 trillion dollars.

According to a study released on September 20, 2011 by the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S.-China trade deficit has eliminated or displaced nearly 2.8 million U.S. jobs, of which 1.9 million or 70 percent were in manufacturing.


The use of Words

Congressman Allen West should be careful as to who he calls a Communists unless he can prove that they really are in the true sense of the word. And if he supports corporations that outsource to China, then isn't he consorting with the Communist? Here is the exact quote from Allen West defending his use of the word Communist:

The quote is from the Huffington Post, 4/25/12

"Specific 'party' affiliation is not the point of the discussion -- it is rather affiliation with a set of ideals," West writes. "Conservatives adhere to the ideals of individual responsibility and freedom, limited government, a free market and a strong defense.

Those on the liberal left adhere to a collective ideal, directed and controlled by a centralized government to guarantee and enforce social and economic justice."

Editors Note:Here is the preamble to the Constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Promote the General Welfare

So does that mean the framers of the constitution were communist, because they wanted to promote the general welfare? Does that mean that Social Security, Medicare, Health Care Reform, food stamps, Unemployment insurance, interstate highways, FDA, EPA, USDA, DOT etc. are all communist plots by democrats because they want to Promote the General Welfare?

Sometimes people including congressman use words that are very powerful but are not intended to serve the true spirit of the word or phrase but rather are used as propaganda. (See my hub page on how to recognize propaganda.)

Thanks for stopping by.


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    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Hi Jaye: It's pathetic how they equate democrats with communism. The right wing propaganda machine wants them stuck back in the 60' so they can use the Soviet Union and communism as a fear factor. It goes something like this: If you are a democrat, then you are a liberal; if you are a liberal, then you are a socialist; if you are a socialist, then you are a communist; if you are communist, you must be evil.

      Thank you so much for reading so many of my hubs. I read your profile and I feel deeply honored to have you drop by and make such comprehensive and thoughtful comments on not only my hubs but on the forum as well. Take care and good luck on the fritatta.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      When I read the first paragraph, before I scrolled down to the photograph, I thought, "Senator Joe McCarthy!" Allen West's accusations are so evocative of the Communist Witch Hunt era McCarthy and his underling steered.

      While West is guaranteed an audience for his rantings because he's a politician, he's far from being the only American who (mistakenly) equates "progressive", "democrat" and "liberal" with Communism. The husband of one of my local friends persists in calling ME a communist because I don't vote Republican or watch Fox News Channel!

      Voted Up++


    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      suzettenaples: I think a lot of it is political theater. It seems they always apologize after the damage is done. But by then, it's too late. The word is already out impressing those who buy into their BS. Thanks for the comments.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Excellent article very well thought out and written. Some of these politicians are scary in their name calling, The slander that goes on during campaigning is awful. You present a very logical and well-thought out argument. Well Done

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      zettl: Thanks for the comments in my fan mail. I'm reading a book on intuition and reasoning and it sounds like you intuitively know that there could be communist in our government, but you can't put your finger on it. Thanks for dropping by.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

      I have pondered on this topic as well and I'm glad you wrote on it. I dislike labels to being with because I am extremely disappointed by politicians to begin with. I wish they'd stop the silly games and do their jobs.

      I think the label "communist" is a little extreme so its a hard pill for people to swollow, but I do believe there are communist- type people in congress who wear sheep's call themselves something different.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      pagesvoice: After reading some of your articles, I think you and I are pretty much on the same page. I think Allen West wants to be the next Joseph McCarthy. Thanks for stopping by and for the votes.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up and useful. You hit the proverbial nail on the head with this Hub. People spew out slanderous and callous remarks as casually as if they were pouring a glass of water. Shock value, without merit seems to be the mantra of today's politics and it is disgusting, to say the least. People use "hot button" words without knowing their meaning and whether or not it fits the person or ideology. They are reactionary words and phrases meant to stir the pot of mistrust and even hate.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      rjbatty: Wow! Excellent analysis. You should make a hub out of this. I'm still hopeful that there are still enough critcial thinkers that can see through the propaganda and win the day. I use the internet to drill down to the root cause of these issues. However, one can find whatever they need to support their argument whether it is factual or not is another story. Thank you so much for this very comprehensive comment.

    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 5 years ago from Irvine

      Words are powerful artifacts of thought. Naturally, one would hope that officials in high appointments or elected offices would use words with the utmost care. Unfortunately, they do not. There are probably several dozen words (when heard spoken) that make our ears perk up. These key words are used to psychologically represent a state of an individual mind or even the state of a nation. This kind of reductionism is extremely dangerous, yet we see it being used on a daily basis throughout the media. Human beings have a natural need to categorize and compartmentalize our environment. As the world becomes more and more complex, we rely more and more on breaking down our flood of information into quickly identifiable code. Our survival depends on intellects that can read the necessary complexity into the code. This is why fascist states always round up the intelligentsia for quick imprisonment or elimination. Knowledge is indeed power. Subtract knowledge from the equation and the "state" merely has to mesmerize the lowest common denominator with slogans and transparent propaganda. We are truly living in dangerous times because the flow of information is beyond the capacity for any individual to consume. The deluge of data is so overwhelming that many individuals simply choose to dial into a single "channel" allowing this frequency to become a surrogate intellectual analysis. As the channels become more finely tuned, less brain work is required of the individual and polarization can reach a galvanized critical mass -- to the point where entropy wins the day. People who are incapable of sober contemplation are not comfortable with shades of gray. They want/need to exist in a black and white world. And where there is a niche, some mechanism will cater to it. It's frightening to think that where the lay person in this country once looked upon intellect as a blessing, it is now often regarded as a form of antagonism -- as if there weren't enough rifts.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      Cprice75: Yes they are really great at generalizing numbers! Thanks for dropping by.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      LetitiaFT: Here is the radical right wing line of reasoning. If you are a democrat, you are a liberal. If you are liberal, you are a socialist. If you are socialists, you are a communist. If you are a communist, then you are an enemy of this country! Thanks for dropping by.

    • cprice75 profile image

      cprice75 6 years ago from USA

      The variance in the numbers seems very familiar...

      Oh where have I heard this before?

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 6 years ago from Paris via California

      78 to 81 huh? Why, that's more than you'll find in all of Russia's government today!

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      UnnamedHarald: Well said. I'll have to remember that. Thanks for stopping by.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      If you disagree with the Republican far right, you are a Democrat. If you are a Democrat, you are a liberal. If you are a liberal, you are a socialist. If you are a socialist, you are a communist. If you are a communist, you are an enemy of the American people. It's all very simple. Voted up and interesting.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      cprice75: You are absolutely right. I think some of these people are stuck back in the days of the Soviet Union. When they hear of any form of socialism, they want to associate it to communism. But don't take away their social security or medicare!

    • cprice75 profile image

      cprice75 6 years ago from USA

      I seriously doubt that there are any communists in the US Congress. People don't get the nuances of socialist ideologies that are out there. Communists want to do away with all private property. I have heard no one say that they want to do this. Evening the playing field so everyone has an equal opportunity is not communism. Universal health care is not communism. A communist system would have everything owned by everybody in common (or the state in the USSR or PRC sense). I just have to laugh when I hear people call Obama a communist. He's done pretty good as a capitalist selling his books.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      Curiad: I agree with you completely. The purpose of the media is to create enough drama to get you to hang in there for the commercials..."We will be right back folks, after this message. Don't go away."

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Not only do these politicians say things like this but the media being in their pocket, spreads this type of garbage to the public.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      junko: I agree with you about people voting against their own self-interests. Unfortunetly that is the way propaganda is supposed to work. It is designed to manipulate the masses, so they don't have to labor with critical thinking.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      veritorougue: I'm not sure I agree with you about our economic system providing the highest standard of living. Capitalism in theory is great, but it does not take into account greed and corruption. I believe it was unfettered capitalism that brought our financial system down. Because without regulations, the system was allowed to run out of control. But that's fodder for another hub.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      Thank you HSchneider.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Allen West is a publicity hound. I hope his district votes this bombastic person out of office so we no longer haveto hear his nonsense. Great Hub.

    • junko profile image

      junko 6 years ago

      Peoplepower, I've heard Republicans on tv,radio, and here on hubpages parrot the identical definition of the conservative idealogy and directions. On the surface these idealogies and directions seem plain and simple. Every body should take personal responsibility, freedom, limited government, and a strong defense, now who can disagree with that? I call it Hogwash. I believe your question to puter_dr was, how could they agree with that vague idealogy. I believe that if people are lead believe that policies and laws will only negatively affect people other than themselves they take things as surfacely presented and vote against themselves unknowly. I hope most Americans stop, look, listen, then vote. Personal responsibility: (That's what the slaves got suddenly). Freedom: (freedom to follow the rules and laws, just like everybody else, or else) limit Government: (Let the capitalist rule and only the strong survive.) Strong Defense: ( Never cut the military industrial complex for control of the world and all it's citizens, including American).

    • veritorogue profile image

      veritorogue 6 years ago from Arizona

      Yes. There are communists in the government but they do not want the stigma of oppression and totalitarianism that is the critical component every society based on this soul killing economic system. Communism cannot coexist with freedom so the communist in our government and those who want to influence our society must disguise their true intentions with rhetoric about "social justice" intended to convince Americans that they are victims of capitalism rather than benefactors of a system based on economic liberty that has provided the highest standard of living and more opportunity for every motivated person than any system to ever exist. Communism, Nazism, Fascism...different versions of the same ideas about controlling society and the economy through centralized bureaucracies. It can't work. Liberty trumps everything.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      maxoxam41: I'm not sure I undersatand what you mean. Do you mean the more factions we have, the more it promotes democracy?

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 6 years ago from USA

      It is about time, it means plurality therefore a resemblance of a democracy!

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      puter_dr: I agree with you. It's all political theater. I understand that and I'm sure you do to. But what concerns me are the people who actually buy into this drama and pass it on to others. Thanks for your comment.

    • puter_dr profile image

      Mike Bouska 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      When Allen West discovered politics, he discovered that the more outrageous things he said, the more attention he got, and now he is in the spotlight, so to keep the level of attention he must come up with nuttier and nuttier things.


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