William F. Buckley was about the only defender of Senator Joe McCarthy. I miss William F. Buckley, the founder of the National Review and really the Conservative movement. He died at work at his desk in 2008. President Regan said of him, "You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism,” Mr. Reagan said.
“And then, as if that weren’t enough,” the president continued, “you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.” I really miss him during great political contests like the one we are embroiled in right now. It is this contest that has me interested to go back and read some of Buckley's thoughts.
It was Buckley's firm belief that socialism and communism were the great enemy of our country and I agree with that more every day. In this book, Buckley talks about McCarthy's investigations into people and organizations that were determined to be loyalty security risks. Loyalty security is still something that is tested in our country. Long questionnaires, interviews and investigations are required to participate in government work at a security level. We would not want someone who is having a secret affair, a closeted gay, someone deep in debt to serve in a position where they could be blackmailed. In addition to that, it mattered to McCarthy and a great number of Americans as they learned the truth about Stalin and his communist regime that America also be protected against communist ideologies.
Sadly, McCarthy had his own problems. Addicted to drink and with an Iago whispering horrid advice in his ear, he fell from a high place besmirching his own name and all the work he had done.
Today, communism in our country doesn't often go by that name, but it exists in the highest offices in the land. You still can't get a security clearance and be deep in debt or ironically an alcoholic... but you can hold any office while supporting policies that are responsible for enslaving millions.
In many ways this film was really well done. Just watching Anne Hathaway's changing hair and costumes kept my interest since it takes place during my own coming of age decades. But, though I'm also old enough to be a little more of a realist than a romantic. In high school and college.. this would have been a five hanky movie... no more.
With age and wisdom, this film is more of a cautionary tale. Love is a choice. Choose wisely. Instead of a love story, I saw a woman who wasted her life on a Heathcliff. Do you read Wuthering Heights as a cautionary tale? When my daughter reads Wuthering Heights, I might show her this film. Well, apparently, that's all I have to say about that.