..and had witnessed the devastating toll that The Great Depression took and had personally witnessed how so many millions were suddenly without a pot to piss in, you would have probably felt some degree of sympathy and support for the ideas behind Communism and the party’s general anti-capitalist theology.
Hence a lot of people attended meetings, flirted with supporting the party (at least nominally), and in some cases confirmed their support with a signature on this or that form. Like Lucille Ball did in 1936. And Elia Kazan and many other left-leaning Hollywood types did. Even my mother, who became a mildly conservative moderate after marrying and raising a family, was a kind of “red” in her college years.
The same type of impressionable teens and 20somethings who believed during the ’30s that Communism was a more humane system than capitalism were cut from the same cloth as ’60s street radicals (i.e., Students for a Democratic Society, Yippies, Chicago 7 supporters) as well as today’s wokester terrorists. But of course, younger people gradually grow out of that shit.
Classic line “If you’re not a communist at the age of 20, you haven’t a heart. If you’re still a communist at the age of 30, you haven’t a brain.”