A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson reads, “Why stop believing in something simply because it ceases to be true, when to believe it again will make it so?” Based on this premise, those people who believe that Obama is a communist can continue to hold onto that view.
That quote was brought to mind by the movie, “Trumbo,” about the Hollywood screenwriter who went to jail when his testimony before the House UnAmerican Committee did not satisfy the beliefs of the committee about the threat of communism. Trumbo and nine other screenwriters went to jail for exercising their rights under the first amendment. Holding onto their principles they suffered for it with jail terms and the onus of the blacklist in Hollywood.
In 1950, I, on the other hand, caved into the pressure of the “commie” scare and signed the statement required of state employees saying that I ,“Was not nor ever had been a member of the communist party.” Unlike the philosophy professor who walked into the SIU college bookstore where I was a janitor and informed everyone that he was refusing to sign the document and was going to the University of Arizona, I, unseasoned at the age of 19, signed.
At that stage of my life, a part-time 50 cents an hour job was more important than principles.
Never miss a local story.
Ray Hollmann, Fairview Heights.