I apologize for the length of this blog but it’s important to see the parallels between Trump and McCarthy. Journalist Peter Beinart, who wrote in The Atlantic: “McCarthy built his political career on demagoguery, intimidation, and a cult of personality – not tangible achievements or coherent ideas.” Is much like the show of Trump.
McCarthy rose to fame and popularity by exploiting Americans’ fear of communism. He smeared his political opponents with accusations that they were communists. As the news media later did with Trump, they helped create the spectacle of “McCarthyism” by providing McCarthy the means to make baseless charges against political opponents.
McCarthy exploited a key weakness in the model of so-called “objective” journalism: The practice of journalists to report what politicians says, without questioning whether what they’re saying is factual.
McCarthy “lied with such boldness that he distracted a nation and shot it full of distrust,” one writer said. In 1954, the senator’s excesses were exposed. The U.S. Army accused McCarthy of seeking preferential treatment for one of his aides. During the televised Senate hearings, he charged that one of Army attorney Joseph Welch’s associates had ties to a communist organization.
An emotional Welch then responded by saying, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” Welch went on to famously scold McCarthy: “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Peter Beinart wrote: It was that moment from 1954 that I thought of as the news broadcasts cut away from President Trump. “We have to interrupt here, because the president made a number of false statements, including the notion that there has been fraudulent voting,” said Lester Holt, the anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” as his broadcast cut away from the president’s speech. He added, “There has been no evidence of that.” David Muir, anchor of “ABC World News Tonight,” was even more direct: “We’re not witnessing any voter fraud today or anyway. ”CNN and Fox News continued to broadcast the news conference but later reported that Trump had no basis for his claims of vote fraud. But continues to start lawsuits for recounts that have proved to clean, fair and non-fraudulent.
Some of Trump’s loyal defenders, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, criticized the president for his baseless charges. After Welch’s rebuke of McCarthy’s baseless claims, millions of viewers watching the hearings finally had enough of the senator.
McCarthy’s immense national popularity disappeared. He was censured by Senate colleagues, ostracized by the GOP and – finally – ignored by the press. He died three years later, an alcoholic and a broken man, at age 48. It is too soon, of course, to know whether Trump meets the same fate as McCarthy.
Margret Chase Smith Senator from Maine in 1954 addressed what she saw as McCarthy’s dangerous accusations and the partisan bickering She stated: “Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism,” Smith said, in another thinly veiled jab at McCarthy’s tactics. Importantly, she was also quick to point out the Truman administration had failed to do enough to prevent the spread of communism at home and abroad. But her conclusion called on all politicians, regardless of party affiliation, to stand for the defense of civil liberties.
“It is high time that we all stopped being tools and victims of totalitarian techniques—techniques that, if continued here unchecked, will surely end what we have come to cherish as the American way of life,” said Smith.
It was a remarkable moment, not only because Smith was a woman, or the first person to speak out against McCarthy, but also because she was willing to speak out against her fellow Republicans. Again and again over the 32 years she spent in Congress, Smith defended her values, even when it meant opposing the GOP—and even when it cost her personally.
I see Trumpism is not going away, the cult King Trump leaves behind a legacy of racism, white supremacy and thousands of lies about democrats to his Lizard Brain followers. It’s amazing to believe 70 million American think King Trump has the country interests and their first and his second. Just look at the deaths from Covid-19 250,000 Americans. These lizard brain people without college educations have found a racist leader who speaks their language – not tangible achievements or coherent ideas but built on racism, demagoguery and hate of our immigrant population, who achieve more than the non educated Trump rednecks. This divide will not go away, because the white race has lost it’s majority for the electoral process and hence lost it’s power to exploit the white power struggle. America has been and will continue to be a melting pot of different people from all over the world. It’s what give us strength and vitality and i look forward to Biden’s term to starting and healing America as he builds it back better.