Whenever people on the right make an argument about “the new McCarthyism” or the “real McCarthyites” today, they buy into the liberal narrative about the old McCarthyism. I don’t go nearly as far as the recently departed M. Stanton Evans (Rest in Peace, Happy Warrior) in defending McCarthy. I think there was much to criticize about the man and his tactics. But McCarthy was on the right side of a very big and important argument. The premise of The Crucible is that anti-Communism was analogous to phobias about imaginary witches. The analogy doesn’t hold. There may have been no real witches in Salem, but there most definitely were Stalinists in our government and elsewhere in American life who were loyal to a foreign power and eager to undermine our country. Maybe the threat was exaggerated. But you can’t exaggerate a lie. It was a simple, real, and palpable truth — unlike the premise of The Crucible, a mediocre play that remains popular because it turns an inconvenient truth into a lie and casts the truth-tellers as deranged and paranoid liars.