How Did James F. O Neil Fight Against Communism

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By the end of the Second World War, Earth was left with only two powerful nations that were mostly unharmed by the nearly-global conflict and were in the position to influence the other countries of the world: the United States of America and the United Soviet Socialists Republic. The two countries, each with their own diametrically opposed beliefs, capitalism in the U.S.A. and communism in the U.S.S.R., were intrinsically predisposed to view the other’s ideology as alien and to distrust it, even without fully understanding the other’s beliefs. At the dawn of the Cold War, communism in the United States, although a single belief, was perceived in multiple ways across socioeconomic and occupational divisions within America, leading to conflict…show more content…
James F. O’Neil, a member and commander of the American Legion, was strongly against communism, viewing it as a corruptive influence that needed to be found and routed out of public institutions. O’Neil viewed communists as inherently deceitful, armed with “artful doges and ingenious dissimulations” that were employed on gullible and unsuspecting American citizens. As a way to combat these manipulations, O’Neil recommended that American citizens remain constantly alert for those in their surroundings who might be spies, and to alert the proper authorities as to any possible communists. As a man who had fought in war in service for his country, O’Neil still felt the need to protect his country, even after having been discharged from military service, by stifling any communist presence in America. O’Neil viewed communism as a corrosive force to American ideals that he had fought so hard to…show more content…
Federal judges, especially Judge Irving Kaufman, were generally harsh when ruling against Communists, viewing their crimes as “aggression against free men everywhere” and “worse than murder.” The mixed attitudes towards the threat of communism stretched all the way up to the highest court in the land. In the case of Dennis et al. v. United States, the head of the court at the time, Chief Justice Fred Vinson maintained that in the case of the dangers of communism, it would be extremely foolish for anyone not to “convict unless they found that petitioners intended to overthrow the Government ‘as speedily as circumstances would permit.’” The Chief Justice severely narrowed the interpretation of the Clear and Present Danger Test to point of almost nonexistence in regards to Communists, stating that no attempt to overthrow the government did not mean “that there [wasn’t] a group that was ready to make the attempt.” He expresses the need for the Government to preemptively act against any possible communist attack that could occur. In the same case however, Justice Hugo Black took a very different approach to interpreting the law surrounding the case. Justice Black in his written dissent outlined the crimes that were and were not being committed, and plainly explained that the charges were unconstitutional under the rights given to all American presidents in the First

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