Fw: [PEN-L:4493] forwarded note on WWII and progressives

J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. rosserjb at jmu.edu
Wed Mar 24 09:44:24 PST 1999

-----Original Message----- From: June Zaccone <ecojmz at hofstra.edu> To: pen-l at galaxy.csuchico.edu <pen-l at galaxy.csuchico.edu> Date: Tuesday, March 23, 1999 10:17 PM Subject: [PEN-L:4493] forwarded note on WWII and progressives

>I am forwarding a reply by a old friend of Lynn Turgeon's
>and mine to a comment of Bill Lear's in response to Lynn's
>obituary. June Zaccone
>I am pleased to see Lynn explained and defended but I think
>there is need for a better grasp of history by all
>concerned. The second WW was a popular war and from the
>perspective of the generation in the U.S. who entered it a
>step out of the great depression in to a whole new world.
>The military we created in the U.S. during WW II was a
>people's military headed by cadres of professionals but even
>they were largely depression era people, (on both sides, of
>When the war ended the rush out of the military by the
>citizen military was supported by liberal policies which
>were intended to keep the problem of unemployment and
>economic crisis at bay, the 52/20 club, the
>GI Bill, housing, etc., which opened the way for truly a
>great transformation in social and economic access to higher
>social and economic status for many former GI's.
>The red scare was organized by the right wing to prevent
>those ideas and the identification with the Roosevelt era
>from becoming a guide to the future. They wanted something
>very simple, to wrest control of the
>country from the liberal progressive forces which had
>dominated the country all during the war(1941-45). The
>earliest attacks were launched at progressive veterans
>groups who were calling for country wide policies to extend
>the benefits and programs offered to GI's to everyone in the
>society, housing, medical care, access to education, a
>progessive foreign policy designed to support socially
>oriented democratic governments and oppose colonialism. The
>American Veterans Committee was an early victim of that red
> For those of us who entered college or sought other
>educational benefits after the war social programs and
>liberal democratic voting
>in the tradition of FDR were almost synonymous. To break
>that 15 year
>tradition the right wing chose military spending, aggressive
>foreign policy, red baiting, witch hunts, and guilt by
>association. From 1947 and Harry Truman's compromises with
>the right wing witch hunts all hell broke loose and it was
>all aimed at acheiving what they did in fact acheive, right
>wing control of the government and economic and social
>policies designed by the conservative wings of both
>political parties. As Ronald Reagan said 40 years later, "We
>They did, but not so completely that those same ideas of
>social and economic justice will not rise from the ashes.
>They have in the past
>and they will again whenever the situations creating
>economic disasters
>come again. Maybe they won't come in the same way or in the
>same garbs as in the past but they are coming and in many
>ways they never left and are still here. / Marvin

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