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Communist Party, U.S.A.

April 27, 1960

Report Outline
U.S. Communists and Communism, 1960
Legal Weapons Against Communists
Special Problems in Communist Control

U.S. Communists and Communism, 1960

Possible Entry of Red in Presidential Race

American communists may add an almost forgotten touch to the 1960 political campaign by running a candidate of their own for President, The so-called Progressives of 1948 and 1952 were given a strong Red tinge by the support of Communists, but the American branch of international communism has not entered the presidential lists independently since Earl Browder contended for votes with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie in 1940.

Passing of the McCarthy era, coupled with the country's tolerant reception of Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev last year, may have convinced Communist party leaders that American attitudes toward their kind have changed enough to make it worth their while to resume direct political activity. Gus Hall, Communist general secretary, disclosed on April 17 that the possibility of putting up a presidential candidate had been discussed at a meeting in Chicago, March 26–27, of the party's national committee. Final decision was delayed pending inquiry into the difficulties of complying with the requirements of state election laws.

The general public will not be greatly disturbed if a Communist candidate for President emerges in the coming months. Third-party candidates, least of all those on the extreme left, rarely make much impression on the American electorate. But if there is nothing to fear from operations of Communists in the political arena, their activities elsewhere on the domestic scene may be a cause of justified apprehension. Director J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned early this year, following a shake-up of the American Communist party organization, that the country could “look forward to a period of renewed party agitation in all fields.”

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BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
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