August 24 – The Communist Control Act
On August 24, 1954, President Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act.
Common Sense Government
The Communist Control Act of 1954 declared that, “The Communist Party of the United States, though purportedly a political party, is in fact an instrumentality of a conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United States.” While the Act did not actually ban the Communist Party USA (It still exists and fields candidates in elections across the country), it was both a symptom and cause of the fear of communism in the United States.
Some countries ban certain political movements. Germany, for instance, bans the National Socialist party, and there are limits on freedom of speech in the U.K. Today, in the United States, people are increasingly limited in expressing “harmful” or “triggering” speech.
What are the arguments for limiting free speech? Do you find them persuasive? Should some political movements be restricted or banned? How would that change the basic framework of American democracy?