Lionel (né Michael Wm. Lebron) is an Emmy® Award winning trial lawyer, published author, proud husband, legal analyst and news decoder, essayist, bluegrass guitarist, (out)spoken word performer and raconteur, vegan, talk radio veteran, pioneer podcaster, political atheist with a black belt in realpolitik and “[a]n intellectual known for his irreverent political and social humor” (Newsweek), “[who] wears the mantle of Lenny Bruce, with Lenny’s own tropisms: The Oblique, The Irreverent, The Tangential, The Concupiscent, The Polymorphous Perverse, The Arcane, The Numinous” (Jerry Wexler).
Younger people in the US are unwittingly using the same Cold War, Russophobic, Kremlin-baiting phrases that maybe their parents used in the 50s, says media and legal analyst Lionel, adding that the replication of McCarthyism scares him.
In the 1950s, McCarthyism was a popular notion. Then the “go back to Russia” rhetoric almost turned into a joke. However, it seems this term is now making a comeback with such words like ‘fifth column,’ ‘Russian agent,’ ‘Un-American’ being heard more often.
The US has accused Russia of being involved in hacking the 2016 presidential election.
The lack of evidence being presented to support these claims doesn’t seem to concern many people in the US.
RT asked experts why the US is still using this rhetoric and why there has been such a resurgence of Cold War-style ideology.
Media and legal analyst Lionel suggested the reason is “because of an attempt to make all things Russian bad.”
“It goes back initially in an attempt to show the elections were somehow invalid. That Donald Trump didn’t actually win. That Hillary Clinton didn’t actually lose. Because of this mysterious involvement of Russia in somehow, in some way and through some means which we have yet to understand,” he said. “It has been this repeated trope and meme that we keep hearing and that nobody is questioning. Nobody is asking exactly how, why, explain how – Russia, the Russian government, anybody actually affected the election. It is just this continuous loop of the same accusations over and over again,” Lionel added.
I feel like Democrats are out of fresh conspiracy ideas like Hollywood is out of fresh ideas, so they are bringing back the old ‘Russia has done everything wrong.’ This has been the same lie that has been running since the campaign when Hillary Clinton started to lose. They used Russia as the scapegoat rather than themselves. – Tim Young, political satirist, and comedian.
Lionel said the intention behind it is “to disqualify and to make illegitimate” President Trump.
“What we are seeing right now…is a new McCarthyism. We are seeing the same old Cold War, Russophobic, Kremlin-baiting, redbaiting phrases and ideologies that haven’t been used since the 1960s,” he explained.
“And people are using them, especially younger people who are perhaps unwittingly using the same phrases that maybe their parents used. And they don’t know why. So, what we are seeing is the same idea, the same threat, the same propaganda that is repeated and if you repeat something long enough from every source possible, people will repeat it and believe it.”
Asked whether most people believe the rhetoric is true or it actually has the opposite of the intended effect, Lionel said there are people who believe it – those “who hate Donald Trump.”
“This country has two political parties, not Democrats and Republicans, but pro-Trump and hate-Trump…And people who hate Trump, namely the mainstream media, the alt-left, anti-Trump mainstream media, they will repeat anything that makes Trump look bad. And if it’s Russians, it is Russians,” Lionel said.
“They are repeating the same espionage tale, the same nefarious mentioning of the fifth column and spies, ambassador,” he added.
“We had a very terrible time during this country’s history, that’s during the McCarthy period. And I am afraid that we are seeing not the vestiges of McCarthyism but a replication of it. We are seeing it all over again, and that scares me deeply.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.