Decency

Reading time – 1:46; Viewing time – 3:20  .  .  .

Joseph Welch, Chief Counsel to the U.S. Army,
June 9, 1954

June 9, 1954 was a remarkable day in American history.

Alcoholic, lying Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) had taken center stage in 1950 when he spoke for five hours on the floor of the Senate, making wild accusations of communists in the State Department and denigrating homosexuals. He used his position as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to make yet more wild, unsubstantiated claims that eventually ruined the lives of countless innocent Americans.

On that June date, though, Joseph Welch, chief counsel to the U.S. Army, which was under investigation by McCarthy’s sub-committee for supposed communist ties, called out McCarthy with words that instantly became memorable for their truth-to-power courage. “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Watch it here on YouTube at roughly 1:12 of the clip.

McCarthy’s lying, his false innuendos, sweeping, accusatory generalizations and his intentional dividing of Americans from one another, all solely to promote himself, had finally caught up with him. From the official Senate record of that disgraceful man,

Overnight, McCarthy’s immense national popularity evaporated. Censured by his Senate colleagues, ostracized by his party, and ignored by the press, McCarthy died three years later, 48 years old and a broken man.

We’re living now with another tyrant who uses the same tactics. He has already hurt many people and is in the process of hurting many more. The blue collar Americans he promised to help are and will be ignored by the billionaire buddies in his cabinet. The laws and regulations we’ve put in place over the years to protect us from the harm caused by bullying, shortsightedness, excessive greed and impropriety are already being swept away. He is attempting to crush the Constitution under his gold plated heel and put our future at risk, so that we will once again be subject to the failings of the past.

Had I the opportunity, I would ask President Trump, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” but I already know the answer. So do you.

So, here’s a question to ponder: Why does Donald Trump hate America and Americans?

Taken one step further, why does Donald Trump hate babies and people who are suffering? Why is he so ready to hate anyone? Whatever the answers, they impact you. Have a look at Keith Olbermann’s 3-minute piece on that.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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6 Responses to Decency
  1. Allan Shuman Reply

    Jack….

    An observation (read that “opinion”)….. Trump doesn’t hate America, Americans, Babies or People in Trouble. He’s completely indifferent to all of them, because they do not exist to him as real…. they are all part of the “stuff” that come across his agenda and that agenda (self-promotion, the grand delusion) determines their meaning. It would be better for us if he did hate, because the vitriol would spill out and maybe, just maybe engender revulsion among the “normal” Republicans who still hang on to him…… the Alt-Righters would be further emboldened, which might move the “normals” back to actual normalcy. As it is, his indifference is a non-threat to the “normals'” constituencies.

    Think of America, Americans, Babies, People in Trouble as pieces on Trump’s game board. They are there to carry out his strategy. Emotionally, there is no connection— only the purpose which they serve for him.

    What he does hate, and I’m guessing he fears, are the providers of information and analysis that he refers to as “The Media,” and which particularly include several major national newspapers and newsmagazines, and broadcast and cable television news outlets (usually excepting Fox News)….. organizations that he doesn’t intimidate. These are his enemies, the traitors to his destiny, whom he increasingly rails against (note, e.g., the bizarre 77 minute press conference he held on Thursday), and appears to become increasingly unfocused and distracted. Could THEY be his undoing, the instruments that will cause “normal’ Republicans, who have fallen in line behind his every move in the brief (but oh, so long) four weeks since his inauguration to finally stand up and say, “Enough?”

    One can hope;

  2. Dan Wallace Reply

    Take a little heart, Jack. It’s been less than a month and we’re 2 down (Flynn and Carl Jr.) with about 30 to go. And the first indication of a potentially impeachable offense – yes, the Russians are involved – has already appeared. I figured that would take a year or so. I’m actually encouraged by the amount of visible public outrage, by the courts (Judge Robarts, who is not “so-called” at all, and I went to the same tiny college!), and by the fact that the press is finally covering President Nut-Job accurately. If only they had done so a year ago. Keep it up, but don’t expend all of your outrage. You’re going to need some of it for President Pence.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      I have plenty in the tank for Mr. Pence. Try this: Did President Delusional send Flynn to talk with the Russians, giving him specific instructions about what he wanted Flynn to say, what he wanted Flynn to accomplish, or do you think Flynn was just winging it and making up his own foreign policy? If you think Flynn was directed by the then-president elect, then do you believe that Pence was kept in the dark? If he wasn’t, if he knew what Flynn was doing and allowed it to happen and if he then waited weeks for consequences to come about, then Pence is as much a co-conspirator as Trump. Isn’t that the very definition of treason? If not, perhaps the Logan Act fits. Either way, this could lead to a President Ryan. I don’t like his ideas, but at least he isn’t crazy. Yes, I know that not crazy too much to ask for.

  3. Jim Altschuler Reply

    In the early 50’s, as a pre-pubescent boy, I didn’t understand all the stuff that the Wisconsin senator was saying. I didn’t know many of the words he was using and couldn’t comprehend their vitriol. But I sure could understand his facial expressions, his tone and his attitude! Even as a boy from 2nd grade on, I knew that the tirades and what we now call hate-speak were mean-spirited and hateful. And I knew that he sounded a lot like the newsreels I had heard replayed from 10 years before; the sounds of Adolf Hitler. I never understood his words either, because, of course, they were in German but I sure as Hell understood that tone and attitude. And now I thought I was hearing it again.

    Fast forward 60+ years. Today we hear the same kind of sugary ooze slide out of Herr Trumpf’s mouth like slime. Denigrating, humiliating hate-speak. Fascist rhetoric coated on the face to hide its true identity, hoping that whole hosts of Americans can still be blinded by the coating and not see the truth.

    TRUTH! There’s a term that is fast losing its meaning. What passes for “truth” today is less and less similarity to reality and the AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE LETTING THE AMERICAN FUHRER GET AWAY WITH IT IN LESS THAN A MONTH! How downtrodden will our people need to be before they emulate “Network” and stand up loudly to tell this so-called President “We’re mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”!

    This … individual … and his hand-picked group of incredibly wealthy cronies have only been in power for 4 weeks; not even a full month. Look at the damage that they have already done and the damages that their policies will do in the immediate as well as distant future. These people in the government, including the Congress, are a DISEASE. We desperately need a penicillin or something like it to eradicate them.

    Agnew and Nixon took themselves out of the picture before America could properly skewer them on spits and slow roast them. Reagan was a sick, demented man yet America let him continue, maybe because he was a “nice guy”. Clinton had the morals of a goat but otherwise was a good President so, though we talked about impeaching him, we left him in office for 8 years; turned out to overall be a good decision. Bush II made sweeping, foolish, wasteful statements and decisions that ultimately killed many of our sons/brothers/fathers for NOTHING! His whole premise was self-serving to make a name and a place in history for himself. And now we have Herr Trumpf. Will we allow him to continue as he has started? The is, after all, a nation “…of the People, by the People and for the People”. I believe we, the People, must stand up voluminously and in great masses and tell this son-of-a-bitch to SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN, and do what WE want him and the Congress to do. I apologize for the tirade but this guy and his people SCARE THE HELL OUT OF ME!

  4. Sharon Sanders Reply

    Thank god for people like Keith Oberman, and, of course, you. We need to get at the root of the disease. Trump is a symptom. The Koch Brothers, ALEC, Americans for Prosperity, and all their shadow hate groups, determined to destroy our Constitution and federal government, regulations, taxes on the rich, and all social programs and safety nets are the problem.

  5. dominickpalella Reply

    The broader question to ask is why we support a political system that elected over 200 more like him in Congress. Moreover, thousands of those like him in our state and local governments who carry out hateful deeds, or decisions to benefit their wealthy donors and themselves. Why these sociopaths do what they do is already known. They are elected because they are skilled at gaining the trust of gullible voters, just like other con artists. They use promises appealing to what they think voters want, but have little or no intention to fulfill them.

    Those who want to elect people with personal integrity and accountability to them, instead of promise-making con artists, must first understand what accountability means. After years of political propaganda indoctrination, this is very difficult for even smart and educated people to understand. If you continue to accept a definition of accountability made by politicians, you’ll keep electing con artists. For those who have managed to free yourselves from a political Stockholm syndrome, visit my site. http://TrueDemocracyNow.org