Not me. (I hope.) This guy. Who writes:
. . . On February 9, 1950, an obscure first-term Senator who’d lied about his military service to get elected, Joe McCarthy, gave the first speech of a 5-city tour before a Republican women’s group in Wheeling, West Virginia. Apparently wanting to stir up some buzz, he pulled a random piece of paper from his pocket, waved it theatrically, and claimed it was a list of “205 known communists” who worked at the State Department.
Americans were worried about communists then, with some justification. The “communist miracle” was widely acknowledged under Stalin as just another form of brutal anti-democratic tyranny. Stalin had starved four million Ukrainians to death in what was known as the Holdomor, while he was imprisoning his own citizens in brutal gulags. The Soviet Union had exploded their first nuclear weapon just six months earlier, and that June North Korea, with help from the USSR, would invade South Korea.
By the end of McCarthy’s tour that month, reaching Salt Lake City, he’d reduced his claim to 57 communists in the State Department; in other cities he’d claimed the number was 81. It’s entirely possible he simply couldn’t keep track of his own lies.
In any case, no such list existed. Right up to the day he drank himself to death, May 9, 1957, McCarthy never was able to name a single communist in the State Department. But his demagogic claim got him on the front pages of newspapers across America.
McCarthy and his right-hand man Roy Cohn (later Donald Trump’s mentor) terrorized people working in the US government.
And now, with Joe McCarthy long gone, there’s Kevin.
True, this McCarthy has no discernible core beliefs. If denouncing Trump instead of embracing him, or embracing an insulin price cap instead of opposing it, would have won him the speakership, he’d likely have done both. But the extremists he’s put in power seem every bit as zealously vicious as the prior McCarthy.
What a contrast with the man whose quiet dignity, deep patriotism, and commitment to non-violence we celebrate today.
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