Now we learn that the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover's warped leadership, once claimed that the Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life" was communist propaganda.
That reactionary argument, which sounds eerily similar to arguments from the right today, was that the movie made the bad guy, Mr. Potter, into the evil banker, which is anti-capitalist. Set aside that if Mr. Potter were with us today, he would probably be a Republican funding a right-wing super-PAC.
On the other hand, progressives worldwide were lifted and inspired by Pope Francis, the pope who champions the poor and harshly condemns the rightist economic theology of trickle-down economics.Of course, the right-wing descendants of those who called "It's A Wonderful Life" communist propaganda now call Francis a Marxist. Meanwhile, the right was thrown further on the defensive when one Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, said Santa Claus was white. And another Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly, wrote that the New Testament got some things wrong, and his latest book, which at least he did not title the Third Testament, corrected them.
Not to be outdone, the latest cause of the right is AMC reality TV show "Duck Dynasty," whose patriarch said that blacks were happy under segregation and that gays are sinners. Is this the case that modern conservatives take to the nation during Christmas week?
Don't get me wrong. I do not agree with taking "Duck Dynasty," or its patriarch, off the air. The comments in question were not said during the show, and I tend to be a libertarian about freedom of speech. So because the comments were not said on air, I say let the show go on and those who want to watch should watch.
My point, though, is conservatives don't help themselves with voters by raising heck in defense of the idiot proposition that blacks were happy with institutionalized racism or that gays are sinners.
Watching one possible Republican presidential candidate after another rush to the right, then further to the right, in a race to the political bottom only demonstrates the problems facing the GOP.
Meanwhile, one of the big stories of the year is the resurgence of the populist liberals, and the greatness of a pope who champions the poor and champions what can be called a faith-based populist economics. Liberals are on the ascendance on faith-based issues, and as a long-time advocate of these views, I think it's great.
This trend will continue throughout 2014 and through the elections in 2016. Tonight I am going to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" yet again, which is not about communism but the goodness and greatness of America at her best.
If anyone on the right does not like this, look at it this way: They will always have "Duck Dynasty."