Monday, September 14, 2009

What Would Margaret Chase Smith Think These Days?

In 1950, the first person to speak out against Sen. Joe McCarthy (D-WI) and his witch hunts of the era was congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME). On June 1st of that year, she delivered a stirring speech that included the following:

"...I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny -- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear... I doubt if the Republican Party could -- simply because I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest."

As it turns out, she was wrong then, and she would be wrong now,
in so far as Republicans pandering to the lower stratas of discourse.
But she was a courageous lady at a time when--especially for someone of her gender--it was politically convenient to look the other way. I wonder what she'd say about the loony hooligans who have hijacked her party...

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