Forum Post: Don't Tell GF, But One of My Heros is A Republican-And She Is a Woman To Boot! Not Literally of Course!
Posted 2 years ago on April 10, 2012, 4:04 a.m. EST by Odin
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Despite not being as near as good a writer as many of the people on this forum, I have written quite a few letters to the editor over the years. I have answered some of the most venomous, unfactual, and hate spewing letters from some of the real wing-nuts out there. I have always tried to make my replies calmly, using facts and reason, but maybe a little sarcasm once in a while. Taking this approach, I always thought that my message would resonate better, and I still do beleve that.
My letters to the editor have ranged in topics from racism...the military, and prison industrial complex...the abuse of child welfare agencies....McCarthyism...Islamaphobia....xenophobia, and campaign finance reform. My letters have appeared in several newspapers in Vermont where I lived for more than twenty years, and then again here in NJ where I live now. While I question the impact that these letters had, I still write them from time to time, my last one being in defense of all you courageous people here at OWS.
By far though and away though, the best letter I wrote...in my mind.. was in response to a nasty little man who I had exchanged three letters with. It was early in President Obama's term, and he said some really horrible things about him that were provably untrue. I came to Obama's defense, and on my second letter, while I don't remember the context, I mentioned the ugliness of McCarthyism in that letter. Then, he replied back in a letter that McCarthy was a hero to many people. I took that as his defense of a vile man.
That was it! I could smell blood...I knew I had him....I was going in for the kill!....My mild-mannered disposition disappeared. I did my research to bone up a little more to what I already knew about McCarthy, and to learn more. Luckily these letters were in a paper with no known maximum word count, so I took that opportunity to give this small-minded man a history lesson.
So here is the shortened version, from memory mostly:
Democrats could ill afford to criticize Senator McCarthy or else they would be "red-baited, so it was four republicans that I deem most responsible for having done the right thing in bringing down McCarthy's reign of terror. Imagine that, a republican following his conscience, acting honorably! Would we all be here now if they were like that today? I wonder.
By far and away, Senator Margaret Chase Smith R Maine was the most courageous for her part in having brought down this ugly peirod of American history called McCarthyism. In June of 1950, only four months after McCarthy' infamous Wheeling West Virginia speech, she got up in front of the Senate and said, "I do not want to see the Republican Party ride to victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny - Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear. Six other moderate/liberal Republicans (what an oxymoron that is today, eh?) signed on and supported that speech. In that speech, she also stated, "The basic principles of Americanism were:
*The right to criticize;
*The right to hold unpopular beliefs;
*The right to protest;
*The right of independent thought.
Isn't she wonderful?
The person that I believe put one of the last nails in McCarthyism's coffin was an Army lawyer named Joseph Welch. He was said to be a republican. While being grilled by McCarthy in one of the first live televised Senate hearings, McCarthy started to berate Mr. Welch's young colleague, Fred Fisher for his ties to the NLG which Hoover was trying to designate as a communist front oganization. After repeatedly trying to get McCarthy to drop it, Welch interupted him and said, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never guaged your cruelty or your recklessness.....If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentle man but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me." McCarthy continued...he was relentless. Finally Mr. Welch uttered those unforgettable words that have went down in history when he said, "Let us not assasinate this lad further, Senator....You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" With those few simple words...McCarthyism died. He suffered one of the worst fates any narcissistic politician could suffer...he became irrelevant.
So I would like to borrow those indelible words...those almost identicle repetitive questions. I would like to ask our leaders in Washington this:
For having put big-monied interests ahead of the people's interests, and for having turned Wahington into a sewer, I ask,
"Have you no sense of decency, sir(s)?"
"At long last have you left no sense of decency?"