Alexander's Column

Whittaker Chambers' little sling

Mark Alexander · Jul. 13, 2001

President Bush honored the 40th anniversary of the death of freedom devotee and former Communist Whittaker Chambers, with a ceremony 13 years after President Ronald Reagan presented Chambers posthumously with the Medal of Freedom. In testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee over 40 years ago, Chambers revealed not only his own prior espionage activities but also those of his Communist colleagues including such high-ranking government officials as the State Department’s Alger Hiss. Chambers turned away from dedication to Communism by conversion to Christianity, and he later noted that political struggle was in truth part of a larger contest between faith in God and belief in man and government.

One of The Federalist’s favorite quotes from the 1952 Chambers book “Witness” explains why even today’s Leftists still vilify his memory: “The simple fact is that when I took up my little sling and aimed at Communism, I also hit something else. What I hit was the forces of that great socialist revolution, which, in the name of liberalism, spasmodically, incompletely, somewhat formlessly, always in the same direction, has been inching its ice cap over the nation for two decades. …[T]hough I knew it existed, I still had no adequate idea of its extent, the depth of its penetration or the fierce vindictiveness of its revolutionary temper, which is a reflex of it struggle to keep and advance its political power.”

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