(Joe McCarthy - Crown Prince of Making It Up As He Went Along)
I've been hearing the name Joe McCarthy being bandied around in recent days - mostly misquoted and misrepresented by people living in a fact-free environment.
Joe McCarthy probably represented one of the darker periods in American history - one based on fear and hysteria and paranoia. A period where innuendo carried weight and facts were so hazy and misquoted that shreds of truth were difficult, if not impossible to find - and it was McCarthy who held court during this reign of terror - one which destroyed and mutilated countless innocent lives. And all because the new-found power was intoxicating and McCarthy luxuriated in it.
Portraying himself as the selfless crusader for Justice in America, he took advantage of the susceptible, the easily led, the malleable - much the same as the Teabag movement is doing now. Make up facts if they don't subscribe to a certain ideology and repeat them over and over until they become true. McCarthy was master at it.
Here he is at an Irish Fellowship meeting on the occasion of St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, speaking to a group of 1500 on March 17, 1954.
Joe McCarthy: “There’s only one Communist Party. The Communist Party that puts out this pamphlet. Setting the line for the Communist Party in the United States, is the same Communist Party that tells 5th Amendment Communists how they should testify. It’s the same Communist Party , if you please, that ordered American boys, have their hands wired behind their backs, and their brains blown out with Communist machine guns. It’s one and the same party, my good friends. Now there are those who say ‘well, it’s all right to dig them out, but oh we don’t like your method. Well, my good friends, up to this date, to this very moment, none of those who said they don’t like the methods have told us any other method they could use that would be effective. And when you hear them crying that they don’t like the methods I suggest that you ask them when and where they ever exposed a Communist by their methods? They say, when they say ‘you don’t treat them like gentlemen’, I’d like to ask them, take the twenty, the twenty whom I’ve named to you. If they don’t give us general statements my good friends, say pick out one of those cases, and tell us where we ever mistreated any of those innocent Communists? You know, it’s easy to make those general comments. And when they say we don’t treat them like gentlemen, while we do I might say that if we did not, I would not cry for them. Traitors are not gentlemen, my good friends. They don’t understand being treated like gentlemen!"
As ever - some things just never change. Only the names and the faces.