I read Freerepublic.com almost everyday. Its a right wing web site that provides fascinating insight into how neocons and their other extremely conservative bretheren see the world. Everything is a mainstream media conspiracy and anyone to the left of Tom Delay is a commie pinko bent on the destruction of the US.
Everything and anyone that does not fit into their VERY limited worldview is considered an enemy of "freedom" "deomocracy" "decency" and American world domination.
Anyone to the left of Ronald Reagen is part of the elitist, intellectual class of commies, hippies, atheists and homos that hate America and wish for its downfall (like say the 50% of Americans who are democrats).
Lest you think this is a phenomenon of recent times, I bring you this.
I just finished reading Walter Issascson's fascinating and profound new Biography of Albert Einstein. The BEST non-fiction book I have read since Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 book on Lincoln. I now understand the physics, the thought processes, the man, the politics and his importance to the world in a way I never have before.
Later in life Einstein became an active and outspoken participant in debates about social justice, pacifism, war, government, the Zionist cause and about world politics in general. Einstein was careful about never associating himself with any groups with ties to Russia or communism (although sometimes these groups used him unknown to him) and hated dictatorships of the left and right with equal zeal. He was a believer in deomcracy and capitalism (with a softer European socilaist tinge).
When in 1932 he made the decision to move to America to take up residence at Princeton's new Intitute for Advanced Studies, he was met with opposition by a group called: "The Woman Patriot Corporation." "Guardians against socialists, pacifists, communists, feminists and undesirable aliens." They figured Einstein fit into all of those categories.
The leader of the group (with a name one figures Dickens would have made up) was a Mrs. Randolph Frothingham. She wrote a memo to the State Department that stated "not even Stalin himself is affiliated with so many anarcho-communist international groups to promote this 'preliminary condition' of world revolution and ultimate anarchy as Albert Einstein. He was also labled as a Godless atheist, which he was not.
The memo was sent to the FBI and for the last 23 years of his life in America Einstein had an FBI file that was full of lies, inaacuracies and blatent stupidity.
Then as now, those intersted in social justice, progressive thought, new approaches to old problems and freedom of thought are labled and libled at will by those with parochial and small points of view on the world, those who desperately cling to a fading way of life they revere, one that really never was.
This is the way it has always been in America. Freedom of speech and thought is usually okay, as long as you are not dumb enough to actually try it, and think you will not escape the wrath of Freerepublic.comers, Bill O'reilly and Mrs. Frothigham.