McCarthyism Comes Full Circle at Eratosphere

Back in the fifties, Joe McCarthy found communists under every tree, in every bush he shook. He ruined careers and worse of high profile celebrities and icons. He made careers too. Some of those folks were exactly what he said they were: Communists. Socialists. Over time, what the Senator said, has proven true. Communism flourishes under the guise of Progressivism. You will find them in numbers nearly everywhere. Some of them are only unsuspecting useful tools, young college–age adults influenced by their professors who came straight out of the Hippie years, radicals who couldn’t stand authority or any type of conservatism or morals. Today, the alt-left rise of McCarthyism is a direct threat to the survival of the United States as we have always known it.

I want to focus on a small but especially destructive sect of these alt-left McCarthyites: The Academic Left poetry sites and some of their activities.

I joined a poetry workshop website over five years ago. I’d been writing free verse poetry for nearly eleven years and wanted to dedicate my time to formal poetics. I dove right in and found that I had much to learn so I began to post my work for critique and discussion. It was an eye-opening experience. At first, the critique was withering. I nearly quit on several occasions but I studied and I listened to what my contemporaries talked about. Slowly, I picked up what my shortcomings were and began to whittle on them. My work improved and then I began to get published in some small journals. As my skills advanced, I got in a few other larger print journals next to the people who were critiquing my work. So far, so good. And then a very strange thing happened. I began to express my views on the “Conversation, General Talk, Opinion” threads provided by the site. I didn’t realize that many of my contemporaries were Progressive or further left of center until I began to answer what I believed. I soon found that my views effected the critique of my work. My poetry became “misogynistic”, “homophobic”, “racist”, and other demeaning terms to the degree that several members of the site quit helping me at all. It didn’t matter that none of those things and other degrading terms and epithets thrown at me were completely untrue. A campaign began to erase me from the site. I wasn’t the first one that this had happened to. There were a good many others over the years, both before I arrived there, and after as well. Several of them are well-known poets around the world who are published in the finest journals.

I fought back. There was much gnashing of teeth from certain members who were unabashedly Communists. They didn’t really like being called communists, but didn’t shy away from it either. When people like Dr. Joe Salemi and his Trinacria journal were disparaged, I went after those who attacked him. He has published poets who would never agree with his politics or religion, and has only sought to publish, like he says, “The best damn poetry he can find. ” He has maintained that stance for as long as the journal has existed. Those attacks on him have taken a toll with writers who feared a backlash if they submitted work to him. People’s careers have been threatened. Much of this has happened under the radar. It has happened to me personally. Some of these Leftists edit journals. Once my “politics” came out, I was blackballed by some of them, in one or two cases, I was cut completely off, in other cases, journals who are influenced by these leftist creeps refuse to even consider my work. Unless your name is really big in the poetry world, you will suffer for being center-right or right of center with your politics or your faith. Many academics are agnostic or atheist in their belief systems. They espouse: “It takes a village” which makes them all touchy feely. There is no deference given for those of us who are either Judeo-Christian centric whatsoever. These radicals are influenced by Muslim apparatchiks and other soup of the day flavors including illegal immigrants, hard-left radical homosexuals and lesbians whose agenda is to do away with anything approaching morality. Some of these folks are apologists for Black reparations because of the sins of whites of a hundred years past. In other words, they are stridently anti-American. Never mind over half a million men died, mostly white, in a war to free all men who live in this country. It doesn’t matter. This is the Communist way to divide and disrupt, violently, if necessary, but subtly, if possible. Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, are just some of the tactical ways the Communists move around, decrying freedom and justice. The Soros, Sanger, Alinsky crowd is real, a clear and present danger to the freedoms that we cherish. These folks have been promoted into the mainstream of American culture. They promote one another, are promoted by what used to be mainstream media journalists, and many of them hold lifelong tenure teaching your children filth while you are paying them to do it.

The poetry/critique/website I joined boasts nearly 8,000 members, yet on any given day there are only 120 or so active members. Of that number, perhaps a couple of dozen are dedicated to the site each and every day. The moderators are all Leftists so the conversation page is heavily tilted in favor of the most radical Leftist Progressive members. Good luck trying to argue a conservative view of any kind. I was banned by one of the Leftist moderators for a satire I wrote about the knife-wielding truck-terrorist in London running down innocent pedestrians. The moderator just couldn’t take it and the owner of the site backed her up. Make no mistake, the owner is a Leftist as well, but disguises it with layers of imps who do his bidding. He further separates himself from the Leftist agenda by running a quasi-legitimate ezine which is very popular with the academic community. He runs contests which promise publication, money and exposure for poets and writers. He has a lot of friends and editors on Facebook and other social media. It’s an ongoing enterprise of twenty years. Yet, he and others routinely ask for donations to keep the workshop side of the site functioning. Yeah, folks, it’s about the money, not the art. It’s about the power, agenda, scope and implementation of the Progressive takeover. Don’t take my word for it, take a look and you will see a small cog in a bigger machine to destroy the country.

When will freedom-loving free speech advocates rise up and hit these bullies in the mouth for their perversions? When will publishers of poetry journals and newspapers say enough of this? Make no mistake, this religion of Communism and Socialism which has become embedded in our country must be answered.

If you dare.





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Charles (Charlie) Southerland lives on his farm in North-Central Arkansas where he bales hay, mills lumber, hunts and fishes. When he has time, he writes poetry on just about every subject. He is published in Trinacria, The Rotary Dial, First Things, The Road Not Taken and other journals. He has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and is a finalist in the 2015 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Contest. He likes to write sonnets, villanelles and sapphics.