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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 10 years ago on April 10, 2012, 4:04 a.m. EST by Odin (583)
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?"



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[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

Odin, she died in 1973.

Now, if you said something like, "Wanna know who rocks? Nikki Haley!" or "Wanna know whom I most admire and should run? Phyllis Schlafly."

Then, I might just have to see you in a different light.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

Yes i knew that she had passed on, but since my writing ability is not as good as it should be, i can see where you would get the impression that I thought she was still alive. I am somewhat of a history buff, and believe that while you can learn from history, the solutions to the problems we face today are not necessarily there. I will check both of those women out as I am not familiar with them.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

But, I didn't think that at all. :D

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

The Republican Party once held people like Ms. Smith and Ike who was a Republican President for 8 years, when was the last time you heard a republican mention Ike? Maybe that’s because when the country needed it he raised taxes. Grover Norquest and his pledge of the 12 year olds has ran all reasonable and patriotic people from the Republican party. Anyone who signs a pledge to anyone other than the American people is not fit to hold office, I am always looking for republicans that could help us fix this problem, people willing to do the hard work, people like Dole and Baker but they have been ran out of the Republican Party, the party pushed out all reason years ago, why should we not push them out now just as they did Baker and Ike?

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 10 years ago

" Maybe that’s because when the country needed it he raised taxes." Or maybe it's also because he's the military leader who defeated fascism.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

both within and without, good point, thank you

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

I think the other reason Eisenhower isn't held in high esteem by republicans today is because of his warning of the military 'industrial complex.' He actually coined that phrase, and he warned of it just three months into his Presidency, and then again in his last speech before leaving office. He was criticized for not taking McCarthy on, and was said to have told an aide that he did not want to get in the gutter with him. He redeemed himself though by helping to organize a behind the scenes campaign to have those live television Senate hearings, which if they weren't the first, they were one of the first of the kind. Eisenhower thought that if McCarthy was given enough rope, that he would hang himself....and in front of a live television audience. He was right, with the help of Joe Welch's eloquent appeal to McCarthy's humanity which was rejected by him...... Americans could finally see what a vile man that McCarthy was, and how they had been victims of a demagogue.

The amusing (to me) quandry that the republicans have is that in order to win the primaries...they have to pass the litmus test on how far 'right' they are. The trouble is when they go into the general election, that same test is not a winning formula to win the Presidency, as most of the general population is center, and to the left on the political spectrum. The down-side though is, it is indicative of how polarized our country has become.

Susan Collins is the only moderate republican Senator that I know of. Ironically she holds Margaret Chase Smith's Senate seat. I think I heard that she was resigning, and part of the reason was because congress had become so screwed up. Not sure about all that though.Where's a googler when you need him/her?

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

don't tell anybody, but

I Like Ike

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

I just hope for your sake that GirlFriday does not see that comment! You know that old saying, "hell hath no fury like a..........." ;-) I do kind of suspect that she would forgive you though.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

and she knows a lot, would kick my ass for sure, but the bumpper sticker is sooo good, and the button too

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

Yes GF is very bright...damn glad she is on our side. She's our "troll controller." "Bumper sticker....button?" ...must have missed those.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

I just mean "I Like Ike" is damn good.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

Oooh ok, I remember seeing those, but I'm not sure whether it was from when I was a young kid and he was running for his second term, or if it was in a memorabilia store. Although both my parents were democrats, I know my Mom at least (not sure of my Dad) said given the choice between voting for someone that had been to war, and someone that hadn't......she would vote for the former. Her rationale was that someone who had been to war, knew the horrors of it, and was less likely to get us in another one if possible. So she voted for Ike, since he had been the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. That fact alone places more credence on his warning of the MID, and his denuciation of the threat that it posed was very eloquent, and heart-felt. You should read it if you have time.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

I do like that he understood real dangers facing democracy, as well as the slogan.

I write more than read these days, but I’m at an age where I guess that’s about right. I’ve studied a number of things in my life but I have no illusions (as best i can) so I try to keep things simple. On the big picture he supported high taxes when that was what was needed and built the freeway system, which may had as much to, as today’s highway in regards to success. (thank you Al Gore)

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

Having worked on the 'boats' most of my adult life, I know that you forgot the St. Lawrence Seaway which was built during the Eisenhower years. It opened the Great Lakes to major ocean going ship traffic.

We all come here from different backgrounds to add to the discussion. Me, I have no formal education, I simply come here with life experiences which includes having traveled, raising three worldly, and well educated daughters...and still having strong family ties to three other continents. Add to that a life-long yearning to understand what makes the world tick. Fom this background, I think I can add a perspective to the conversation, but I clearly know when to duck out, and just listen. I have learned so much on this forum, and beyond in the last six months thanks to you and many of the other contributors here.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

thank you, I mean that it means a lot to me

I was aware of the Seaway, but had not considered the timing, thank you again, and then we followed that by going to the moon, I mean man we could do stuff back then!

Really what came out of the war, was a feeling we were in this together and we focused on buliding stuff for the country, made sense then makes sense now, the moon thing might get me in trouble, but I hope most people think we got a lot from that too in the end.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

You are very welcome. It was from the heart. It is fairly easy to lose that can-do attitude when so many of our manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas. For every shiny new city in China, you could find a city here, especially in the mid-west that looks like it has been bombed, repeatedly in some cases. No worries though, as we have a new industry for all those people now living in despair, although the bad news is, it is the prison industry.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 10 years ago

We lead the world in prison guards, I would guess anyway.

I know it’s been “discredited” but I listened to Mr. Daisy goes to the Apple factory while looking at China on Google maps, the size of the factories is incredible, and to me there sound like there was a lot of truth in his story, as an artist he would say there are two types of truth, but he wouldn’t say that, he contends that it is true, but what I got from it is that sometimes a story like “The Grapes of Wraith” can tell more truth than a hundred news stories. Anyway it is a chilling tale.

I tried to get the link, but they've taken it down.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

"Prison guards", not a very good thing to lead the world in, is it? I have written down and will look into that other stuff when I have time.It is a beautiful day here now, and I want to take advantage of it. Thanks

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 10 years ago

"that if McCarthy were giving enough rope, that he would hang himself"

That's exactly what needs to happen today to the current batch of pro-Aristocrats, pro-greed politicians. Time and time again I have used arguments on these boards to lay bare the racism and xenophobia that exists just beneath the surface of all of the "entitlement" and "religious freedom" language that the conservatives use. Some of them are merely misguided, but there are a lot that are straight-up racists or bigots and are trying to ram their hate into legislature that hurts people they don't like.

Why not use the same types of arguments that we see here to expose the hatred in a mainstream platform?

My main criticism with liberals is that they aren't aggressive with their argumentation. They are getting drowned out by all of these ridiculous conservative pundits because they don't want to go no the offensive. Stop that! Be offensive! Offend people! Attack the lies and call out the conservatives on ALL of their BS!

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

I agree that some of the republican rheotoric and proposed legislation that follows is thinly veiled bigotry, which appeals to the worst of human nature. They don't seem to realize it, but they are backing themselves more and more into being a permanent minority party as the demographics in terms of our being a multi-cultural society are not moving in their direction. So in essence, they too are "hanging" themselves. Yoohoo

You have to be careful trying to expose that bigotry though because it is easy for them to make it back-fire on you. I am always dismayed by reading all the vitriolic right wing letters in the newspaper that go unanswered. As you know, i have been putting some time on this forum, but I am thinking of putting more time in answering those letters...and if they pertain to what this movement is about, and most of them do in some way, I would then put that same letter that I sent into the letters to the editor section of my local paper up here as a post. The objective of course would be, to reach a wider audience....with the added benefit of giving more time to enjoy the warmer weather.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 10 years ago

I just reread your comment here again, and wanted to reassure you that many other people share your concerns. I was in in Central Park, NYC yesterday for the big meeting of all the GAs in the metro NY area. It was obvious that these people had not slept their winter away. The networking, organizing, and their determination was amazing to me. I was very heartened to see one group who were there for their Islamic neighbors, knowing that they are reluctant to be there themselves for fear of being targeted by HS. All these mostly young people were there to make this a better world, and that was really, really so cool to see.

One of the reasons that we have got to this sorry point in history has been because of the way we have been successfully manipulated by the media, and by the elite's constant pounding away using simple terms and phrases, especially in the health-care debate. Somewhere I think on a Moyer's show I had seen these little catch phrases come up time and again, and they originatedin a lobbying firm whose clients did not of course want single pay health-care.That kind of tactic is something, I believe we should emulate, ie. media should always be preceeded by 'corporate owned', and capitalism by 'crony', and those that espouse thinly veiled hate as 'bigots.' It is a start anyway, and hopefully it will lead them to seek the truth.