Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruse Historian. Author/editor of White Flight; The New Suburban History; Spaces of the Modern City; Fog of War; One Nation Under God; Fault Lines. Feb. 20, 2019 1 min read

Sure, why not.

Again, @LarryGlickman has covered this extensively, so dive into this thread for a nice detailed take on it all. (And follow Larry, if you're not already!)

Because he's covered the finer points well, I'll just do a quick tour of a few popular things that were denounced by the right as "socialist" when they were proposed.

(This was common in the New Deal and before - here's Al Smith in 1928 - so I'll focus on the 1950s and 1960s.)

THE POLIO VACCINE

In 1955, Eisenhower's HEW Secretary, millionaire publisher Oveta Culp Hobby, denounced a proposed free polio vaccine as "socialized medicine by the back door."

THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM

Meanwhile, Eisenhower's administration was accused of promoting socialism by the far right. Here's conservative radio host Clarence Manion denouncing the interstate highway system, among other things, as "creeping socialism."

MEDICARE

In 1961, Ronald Reagan warned that if the proposals for "socialized medicine" passed, "you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free."

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bejdhs3jGyw 

THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

In 1963, when the Civil Rights Act was still stuck in Congress, conservative opponents denounced it as "the Socialists' Omnibus Bill of 1963."

AID TO EDUCATION & SOCIAL SECURITY

In 1965, conservative journalist Walter Trohan denounced all of the Great Society -- Medicare as passed, plus federal aid to education and expansions of Social Security -- as steps to socialism.

We could go on and on here -- and again @LarryGlickman's threads carry this theme across the 20th century, so check them out -- but the pattern is pretty clear.


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