The Jewish Threat: Anti-Semitic Politics of the American Army

By Joseph W. Bendersky | Go to book overview

Epilogue

IT WAS AN UNUSUALLY COLD NOVEMBER 1976 when Frank Mason made plans for Wedemeyer to drive him from Leesburg, Virginia, to the Army and Navy Club in Washington. The two men were really looking forward to this luncheon of the Military Order of the World Wars. Over the past twenty years, the aging coterie of "true Americans" to which they belonged had relished every opportunity to socialize with each other and confer on the country's problems.

Historical recollections and contemporary events fueled many fiery discussions at such gatherings. The America they watched evolve over these decades would have been unimaginable when Mason had joined the Army and Navy Club in the 1920s. Then, America had been a society run by the descendants of those Anglo-Saxons who had created the country and its system of government. Passage of the 1924 Immigration Act had been a watershed victory through which officers thought the country's future had been secured against alien subversion and racial degeneracy. 1

But by the time America celebrated its bicentennial, the social and political preeminence these officers had known in their prime had long been lost. Ever since the New Deal, they had felt themselves increasingly on the defensive, struggling to hold back the powerful tide of socialism and insidious minority influence in America. The current volatile global and domestic situation (a "Frankenstein monster") they attributed to the "jaded mind and sinister soul of FDR and his henchmen." This old guard, in stark contrast, perceived of themselves as in the "selfless traditions of the early Americans." In their old age, they were as convinced of the righteousness of their cause as they had been a half century before. It was still necessary to man the ramparts to defend America's great heritage as a "Christian nation" against the "powerful," secret "forces" undermining it. 2

Inevitably, the drastic changes the country had been experiencing in their final years of life caused these men much consternation. Particularly during the upheavals of the 1960s, they envisaged a Spenglerian scenario

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