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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Somewhere, Joe McCarthy and Clyde R. Hoey are laughing: there's no smear like a seven-decades-old smear.

It's time to update this little history lesson from first of the week, when I considered the Republican scare-and-smear campaigns of the early 1950s:

Marching hand-in-hand with opponents of Americanism in the creepy shadowlands, and under beds across the continent after World War II, "both homosexuals and communist party members were seen as subversive elements in American society who all shared the same ideals of antitheism, rejection of bourgeois culture and middle-class morality, lack of conformity; they were scheming and manipulative and, most importantly, would put their own agendas above others in the eyes of the general population.
"[Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI)] McCarthy also associated homosexuality and communism as "threats to the 'American way of life'." Homosexuality was directly linked to security concerns, and more government employees were dismissed because of their homosexual sexual orientation than because they were left-leaning or communist. [Historian] George Chauncey noted that, "The specter of the invisible homosexual, like that of the invisible communist, haunted Cold War America," and homosexuality (and by implication homosexuals themselves) were constantly referred to not only as a disease, but also as an invasion, like the perceived danger of communism and subversives.'

Senator Kenneth Wherry (R-NE) similarly attempted to invoke a connection between homosexuality and anti-nationalism. He said in an interview with Max Lerner that "You can't hardly separate homosexuals from subversives." Later in that same interview, he drew the line between patriotic Americans and gay men: "But look Lerner, we're both Americans, aren't we? I say, let's get these fellows [closeted gay men in government positions] out of the government.”

In 1950, as McCarthy waved his lists of Communists, Wherry claimed there were 3,000 homosexuals working in the Department of State alone.

Such homophobia affected the U.S. State Department more than other federal agencies. Ivy-League-educated, "East Coast Establishment" diplomats would prove an easy target for hyperpatriotic, masculinist critics as well as for anti-Communists. Often derided as "overcivilized," weak, and effeminate, foreign service officers earned occasional epithets such as "sissy," "pussy-foot," and "stuffed shirt." Junior officers-often single men without families-were particularly suspect because they often lived abroad, because of the mystery surrounding their
missions, and because of their openmindedness toward foreigners and "alien" forms of government. Single men in general became suspect as failed heterosexuals and candidates for perversion. A prominent Navy Department psychiatrist warned that America's boys were turning into cowards, draft dodgers, homosexuals, and communists...[Congressman Richard Nixon, who made his name in the Red Scare, drew from his experience a] lifelong mistrust of the State Department, evident even a quarter of a century later, when, as president, he told his staff that foreign policy could never be left to "the striped-pants faggots in Foggy Bottom."  

My article continued,

McCarthy’s most remembered, and succinct, contribution to Red Scare talk was his remark to some reporters, “If you want to be against McCarthy, boys, you've got to be either a communist or a cocksucker."

His trial balloon was first inflated by Senator Clyde R. Hoey D-NC), who from 1949-1952 investigated "the employment of homosexuals in the Federal workforce” and concluded that “all of the government's intelligence agencies are in complete agreement that sex perverts in Government constitute security risks."  

The Hoey investigation- chaired by a native still revered in Shelby, North Carolina, where I grew up- was a useful, if short-lived cudgel for the newly-elected McCarthy, but who dropped the gay angle after rumors he was himself what Senator Everett Dirksen called one of “the lavender lads” surfaced in 1952. He hastily married an office assistant the next year, at forty-five), leaving it to others happy to carry on the fight in the smarmier depths of the gutter.

Among the panic’s effects was the dismissal of over five thousand federal employees, contractors, and military service members, and the suicide of a US Senator being blackmailed by several Republican colleagues to retire, hoping to swing Senate control to the GOP (his son had been arrested for solicitation; among the blackmailers was South Dakota’s Karl Mundt, who said of one of President Nixon’s Supreme Court nominations, “Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they?”)."

Although a 1957 government report found the Hoey Committee report's conclusions nothing but, well, hooey, it insisted on retention of stringent anti-homosexual policies because "homosexuality is wrong, it is evil, and it is to be branded as such." The Crittenden Report remained secret until 1976, but somehow, word got out.

It took until I was eighteen years old- in 1973- for the American medical establishment to determine homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and until 2003 to stop being defined as a felony (despite Supreme Court rulings voiding them, thirteen state’s criminal laws on the subject remain on the books: North and South Carolina’s among them).

The executive order banning government service was repealed in 1995 and replaced by Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which, in turn, was finally repealed in 2011 after another 13,650 discharges. It remains a commitment of the Republican Party to restore the ban...

Now, 66 years since McCarthy, Wherry, Hoey and their compatriots launched the first gay purge campaign at the State Department, Tony Perkins- head of the hate group Family Research Council, co-author of the antigay parts of the 2016 GOP platform, and advisor to Mr Trump, is calling for a new purge:

Perkins (far right) with friends, summer 2016.

...[Hillary] Clinton made her intentions known early in her tenure that the administration would not only promote special rights based upon sexual behavior within the State Department but would use the State Department to export the LGBTQ agenda globally. These behavior based rights have consistently been a major emphasis of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

The Obama administration has not only sent openly gay ambassadors into countries that are culturally opposed to homosexuality, they’ve used foreign aid to force nations opposed to homosexuality to change their laws to provide special protections for such behavior. And even flown the rainbow flag at U.S. embassies around the world! Equally, the Obama State Department under Hillary Clinton also promoted abortion, declaring reproductive healthcare a basic human right.

Foreign officials have complained about the strong arming by the State Department to forcing them to accept its liberal view on social issues. I’ve personally heard the concerns from foreign ambassadors and frequently hear from Members of Congress who have received complaints for foreign officials over how the administration has linked foreign aid to the adoption of the State Department’s LGBTQ and pro-abortion agendas.

To carry out this extreme agenda, the Obama administration has systematically filled the ranks of State with LGBTQ and abortion activists. Unless the next secretary of state is willing to resist and remove this embedded agenda, the promotion and protection of true human rights, like religious liberty, will continue to languish.

It’s for this reason that I have raised concerns about the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state. I certainly don’t see Tillerson cut from the same cloth as Clinton or Kerry, but he doesn’t have to be for these anti-life, liberal social policies to continue. He must have the courage to stop the promotion of this anti-family, anti-life agenda, which is very much a question mark given that he capitulated to activists pushing to liberalize the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuality when he was at the helm of the organization.

The incoming administration needs to make clear that these liberal policies will be reversed and the “activists” within the State Department promoting them will be ferreted out and will be replaced by conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty which is under unprecedented assault.

My friends in Shelby continue to say these things are not happening.

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