by Conor Friedersdorf
Says Mr. Kurtz in National Review:
There’s no doubt that Radical-in-Chief’s cover art draws the reader’s eye with a spectacular symbol of classic Marxist socialism. It would have been tough to put a picture of the Midwest Academy on the book, since no-one’s ever heard of it, and since the Midwest Academy keeps its socialism secret in any case. I get at the stealthy, pragmatic, and incremental Midwest Academy-style socialism the reader will learn about inside through the book’s subtitle.
But the fact is that a lot of Radical-in-Chief is about good old fashioned Marxism. There’s the story of Reverend Wright’s adventures in Cuba, for example, which drew Obama to Wright’s church, I claim. And Obama himself was a revolutionary Marxist at Occidental College.
Similarly, there's no doubt that readers of this post will find their eyes drawn to the large picture of Senator McCarthy I've put at the top. It might have been more fair and intellectually defensible to lead with a photograph of Kurtz, but it would've been "tough" because no one knows what he looks like. And in the body of this post, I get at my actual point, which is that red-baiting is more effective when it's plausible.
For example, a Marxist revolution never happened at Occidental College. And rather than overthrow the capitalist order at the end of his two years there, Barack Obama transfered to Columbia University. So I have a hard time putting him in a category with Trostsky, Lenin, Castro, Mao and Gueverra.