May I add a word to the discussion begun in the last DISSENT on the political climate in America?
Essentially, the 1958 vote continued a trend that began after the Korean War in the summer of 1953. The Polish and Hungarian events destroyed the image of the Kremlin’s domain as a cohesive totalitarian empire. The Stalinist menace has become more that of a national political and economic rival (the Middle East) and a technological contestant (rockets and space exploration) rather than of an organizer of world-wide subversion. Conspiracy explanations of international affairs have become less feasible and the “politics of revenge” against the Democrats—a basic ingredient of what used to be called “McCarthyism”—less pertinent.
As a consequence, large numbers of those voters who had shifted to the Republicans because they blamed the Democrats for the spread of Stalinism and the resulting Korean War, have now returned to the Democratic column. Voting alignments based on domestic issues again prevail, further accentuated by the recession. (The South is a separate problem.) Last November’s returns were similar to those of the 1948 election, even though the campaigns were quite diffe...
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