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better dead than red

  1. (politics) It is preferable to be deceased than to be a Communist or ruled by Communists.
    • 1961 Aug. 14, "Canon Causes Stir At Church Election," The Age (Australia), p. 11 (retrieved 30 Oct 2013):
      Canon Collins urged the electors to reject the candidate nominated by the Crown, Dr. R. W. Stopford, Bishop of Peterborough, who, he claimed, had said "it would be better to have nuclear war than to permit Communist domination over Britain." Canon Collins said: "I cannot believe it is proper for a bishop of the church to encourage the idea which is popularly expressed In the formula ‘better dead than red.’"
    • 1982 July 30, Mary McGrory, "Reagan View: El Salvador's slaughter better than communism," Spokane Chronicle, p. 6 (retrieved 30 Oct 2013):
      The recertification of El Salvador's progress on human rights is nothing but a basic restatement of the Reagan foreign policy, which is "better dead than Red."
    • 2007 Dec. 20, Karen Fish, "Watch Hillary Clinton Vehemently Vow to Raise Taxes and Vote for War," San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (retrieved 30 Oct 2013):
      In a country whose motto not long ago was “Better dead than Red”, it is ironic that today Time Magazine awarded Vladimir Putin the “Man of the Year Award”.

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