In the period between 1945 and 1950, Russia under Stalin took control of half of Europe. Also in the late 1940s, Communists seized control of China, which contained an additional fifth of the world's population.

And Communists were not just winning OUTSIDE the United States in the 1940s. In that same period Stalin's spies stole the secrets of the atomic bomb for the USSR.

Another bombshell hit in the late 1940s: the case of Alger Hiss. Alger Hiss was a mainstay of America's ruling Yankee elite. He was head of the Carnegie Foundation and one of the American founders of the United Nations.

Hiss was caught spying for Stalin and went to prison. There was panic about American security. It turns out that it was fully justified. Recently released KGB files show that that Communist agents had penetrated every level of the American Government back then.

Finally, in 1950, America began actual combat against the Communists in Korea.

Right after all these disasters, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin took over the search for Communists in the early 1950s.

Exactly like today's conservatives, Senator McCarthy took a genuine concern, a winning issue, and totally fouled it up. He made charges he couldn't back up. As so often happens, the Dumb Rightist saved the leftists.

So now all a Communist has to do to avoid being called a Communist is to shout "McCarthyism!" To be respectable today you aren't allowed to call anybody a Communist. That includes people who ARE open supporters of Castro, Red China, or North Vietnam.

In fact, "McCarthyism" is applied especially to people who call ACTUAL Communists "Communist."

Today's Politically Correct attitude was expressed in Woody Allen's movie "The Front." Allen played a writer in the early 1950s who was helping out all those accused by McCarthy of being Communists. One of the writers he was helping made it very clear that he WAS a Communist, a solid Stalinist. Woody Allen's character supported him against exposure just as he did the non-Communists.