Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Noted Communist Shirley Temple Dies – Undermined American Value in the 1930’s by Dancing with An African American

A Different Take on the News

Whenever one is tempted to regard Conservatism as a serious and realistic political philosophy one should be reminded of this story about the late Shirley Temple Black.

1. The U.S. government thought she might be a communist. When she was 10.

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Most people in FDR's administration thought accusations that Shirley Temple was a Communist leader in Hollywood an opportunity for jokes more than worry. As an article in the Milwaukee Journal in December 1938 states, under the subhed "The Shirley Temple Communist Episode,"
Then came the Shirley Temple episode, wherein Witness J.B. Matthews, former national chairman of the American League for Peace and Democracy, testified communistic organs were using famous people as decoys. Among these, he said, was Shirley Temple.
"They've found dangerous Communists in Hollywood, led by little Shirley Temple," guffawed Secretary Ickes.
"Perhaps it was fortunate that Shirley Temple was born an American," tee-heed Mme. Secretary Perkins.
"They're trying to hamstring and discredit the investigation," yelled Dies. But there does seem to be general agreement now that the committee's early work was pretty shoddy.
Four years earlier, the people who pulled the strings in Hollywood got Temple -- 5 years old --  to endorse a candidate running against well-known socialist Upton Sinclair, making the accusations of communism even odder. As recounted in the Australian Financial Review:
Hollywood entered the electoral process in earnest during the 1934 California gubernatorial race in which avowed socialist Upton Sinclair was running for the Democratic Party under the slogan "End Poverty In California". His commitment to wealth redistribution terrified Hollywood moguls who mobilised their studios and actors to defeat him. America's darling, Shirley Temple, sat on the knee of Republican Governor Frank Merriam and said that if she had a vote she would be "sticking with the boss".
Greg Mitchell, who wrote a book about the Sinclair campaign, adds, "And so a lifetime as a key Republican was set by, or for, Shirley Temple. When she ran for Congress in 1967, her campaign managers, the legendary team of Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter, were the same pair who helped thwart Upton Sinclair in 1934."

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