Can someone reassure me that the McCarthy witch hunts could not happen again in America? I'd like to think they couldn't, but that doesn't mean some Republicans aren't trying to foment the same kind of fear and rage that was stirred up back in those days. Like, the heinous and despicable Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota):
Basically, what I think she's trying to do is conflate "liberal" with "anti-American," and Chris Matthews sort of goads her out into saying something truly extreme. Does she really think that members of Congress should be "investigated" to determine whether they are or are not anti-American? Well, I've seen this lady in action on Larry King a couple of times, and I think she's crazy, so I'm not going to put it past her.
I think that the vast majority of Americans do not agree with her, and that this miserable tactic of hers is going to fail, and fail big time. In fact, she just may have screwed her own chances for reelection. Since the Hardball show, her opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg has seen an awe-inspiring influx of $620,000 in campaign contributions!!! In just a few days! I don't know so much about fund-raising, but I'm fairly sure that that is a HUGE take for a few days in the life of a congressional challenger.
I hope this response serves as a message to Republicans that Americans do not want accusations of anti-Americanism right now, but a positive commitment to change. Check out this powerful response from someone investigated during McCarthy's crusade:
This might be William Mandel; not sure, but WELL SAID.
Read the below quotes and ask yourself, did Thomas Jefferson hate America? James Madison? Huh. Who'd have thought the founding fathers were so anti-American!
Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible. ~ Sinclair Lewis 1935
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. - James Madison
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.– Thomas Jefferson
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. – Herman Goering (Scary, Michelle Bachmann, you sound like you've been reading from the Nazi playbook.)
What luck for rulers that men do not think. - Hitler
Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. – Voltaire
When the government fears the people it is a democracy....when the people fear their government it is tyranny... - Thomas Jefferson
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. - Samuel Johnson
During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism. - Howard Thurman
Patriotism is the veneration of real estate over principle. - George Jean Nathan
If there be one principle more deeply written than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. - Thomas Jefferson
The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. – William Ellery Channing
BEWARE THE LEADER WHO BANGS THE DRUMS of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know ? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar. - Anonymous
If you like Katharine Hepburn, here is a 10-minute speech that she gave back in the McCarthy era: