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American politician Joseph McCarthy (1908 ? 1957), Republican senator from Wisconsin, testifies against the US Army during the Army-McCarthy hearings, Washington, DC, June 9, 1954. McCarthy stands before a map which charts Communist activity in the United States. (Photo by Getty Images)
American politician Joseph McCarthy (1908 ? 1957), Republican senator from Wisconsin, testifies against the US Army during the Army-McCarthy hearings, Washington, DC, June 9, 1954. McCarthy stands before a map which charts Communist activity in the…

McCarthy is alive and well in South Florida

Echoes from 1950?

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On February 1st I landed in Homestead, about 30 minutes from the city of Miami, to begin a new stage in my life at 79 years of age.

 After living in New York what I think were 39 intense, fruitful and productive years, the contrast immediately struck me.

I am not referring to the fact that New York is the country’s biggest city while Homestead is a small city –70,000 people live here -- where it is still impossible to find, for example, a branch of one of the largest banks in the nation.

What I am talking about is the atmosphere of collective hysteria about communism and especially about Cuba that pervades the entire Miami-Dade County and is as impossible to avoid as the humidity and the heat that characterize the area.

The most recent example, and perhaps the best known outside the Miami area, is the ridiculous barrage of criticism to Bernie Sanders’s recognition of Cuba’s literacy campaign during an interview with Anderson Cooper.

"We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders told Cooper. “You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

Of course, it isn’t, but Sanders’ words have been twisted and taken out of context by Republicans afraid of his political strength and even by cowardly Democrats who would rather have four more years of aberrant behavior in the White House than seeing Sanders as president, whom they fear would rock the boat too much politically, socially and economically in favor of workers, immigrants and the poor. They are, after all, invested in protecting their privileges and the status quo as much as any Republican.

Not to mention the lies and stupid comments uttered by borderline deranged Cuban Americans in Miami. Amazingly, Joe McCarthy seems to be alive and well in South Florida.

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