Spot the Error

by Fred Schwarz

On NPR this morning, Ari Shapiro, discussing the Ukrainian process of “lustration” (the investigation and exposure of citizens’ past involvement with the Soviet regime), mentioned a purported parallel in American history:

Sen. Joe McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee is a prime example of lustration gone bad.

This mistake is comical, but it also reflects the tendency to collapse all American opposition to Communism, which was long-lived, bipartisan, and mostly uncontroversial, to the brief period of prominence of one convenient villain.