In 1950 the Republicans were the minority party in Congress, as they are today. On June 1 of that year Sen. Margaret Chase Smith made her “Declaration of Conscience” speech. She said, “The Democratic Party should be replaced. Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity and intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny: Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.” Her remarks were directed at Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a loose cannon and a demagogue who was accusing almost everyone of being a Communist or Communist sympathizer and said that the Democrats were guilty of harboring Communists in many government offices. Few people were spared his unsubstantiated and slanderous claims. Although many people objected to his phony super-patriotic zealotry, he had a following of believers.
We seem to have come full circle since 1950. Today, the talk jocks are filling the atmosphere with their kind of hate mongering. Appealing to the emotions and prejudices of their followers: the birthers, death panellers, racists, gun-toters and tea partiers. In 1950, attorney Joseph Welch said it best in his admonition to Sen. McCarthy when he asked, “have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” Questions that could be asked of the talk jocks and some of their followers today.