Post 1,006


There is much craziness parading through our society and our politics today and it causes great harm. Examples happening today:

Do you think Governor DeSantis should be guarding the door to your OB-GYN to keep you out?

Do you think some self-important bully or self-appointed guardian of everything should make decisions about what your children can read?

Surely, your answer to both questions is NO, but we are awash in this power grabbing, rights killing insanity anyway. There is a predicate to this.

For several months in 1954 Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunt and career destruction committee, commonly called the Army-McCarthy Hearings, inflicted great harm on many quite innocent people wholly undeserving of his cruelty. McCarthy falsely stated that he had a list of names of people working in the State Department who were communists and he presented himself as the hero who would root them out. His fraudulent accusations knew no bounds and were the “alternative facts” of that era, as he attacked blameless people like a hungry hyena.

Finally, on June 9 McCarthy violated an agreement and branded as a communist a young lawyer working in the office of Joseph Welch, Chief Counsel for the United States Army. Welch could contain himself no longer and said,

Little did I dream that you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you.

Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Substitute for Sen. McCarthy our Republicans in congress today. They do and say horrific things. They vilify innocent people and sacrifice our national values to gin up “the base,” the fearful, angry mob of Americans seeking retribution for whatever ills they can conjure.

These legislators today do their cruelty for the very same reason McCarthy did his: to garner power for themselves. They are as heedless of the harm they do to others as was McCarthy. They haven’t a care at all for the harm they do to our country,

Joseph Welch’s compassionate protection of his young associate proved to be the beginning of the end of McCarthy’s reign of terror. McCarthy was censured by the Senate and not long after that died of complications from alcoholism.

We are in a moment not unlike that of those dreadful, predatory 1954 hearings, now with fraudulent claims about elections, slippery insinuations and false accusations that groundlessly demonize our fellow citizens. We suffer the division and malice of the extremists and the barely masked calls to violence. How will we get out of this?

Who today will issue the message calling for decency that will shock our nation to its senses? Who has the moral standing and the moral sense that Joseph Welch had on that June day in 1954? Who will deliver the message we all know we so critically, even desperately need to hear? Who will challenge those with self-serving hatred and greed, the extremists with their disdain for the values our patriots fought and died to protect? We dearly need a Joseph Welch right now.

Indeed, at long last, have we a sense of decency?

Quote of Mid-Week

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from old ones” (updated/corrected 11/1/23, 12:20PM with great thanks to Mardy Grothe)

                  – John Maynard Keynes, English Economist 1883-1946

We need a great many of our fellow citizens to abandon old, destructive ideas.

The Good Question Department

From pal MZ:

How come they are counting the dead bodies in Gaza but not in Ukraine? Russia is bombing Ukraine every day.

Today is a good day to be the light


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.


    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

What do you think?

Your name and e-mail address are required, but your e-mail will not be disclosed.

Keep the conversation going by both adding your comments and by passing this along to three friends.
That´s how things get better.

2 Responses to Decency
  1. Kirk Landers Reply

    I wish there was a rational reason to take issue with something you wrote here, Jack, but, alas, you are completely accurate. Today’s Republican party is a hate group, and on the long list of things they hate are decency, morality, empathy, and humanity…along with the standard bigotries. While many of the rank and file MAGAs are poorly educated and dim witted, or intellectually bankrupt like Trump, they are “led” by opportunists like DeSantis and Ted Cruz who see an easy path to power by saying whatever the mob wants to hear an intelligent, educated man say.

    I admire your ability to revisit this nightmare and inspire the rest of us to continue the struggle for a decent society. I confess, the whole scenario makes me ill, including the constant murders of Americans by gun-wielding lunatics empowered by the NRA and the GOP in the interest of money. All the more reason to support sanity in our politics and daily life.

    Thanks for your wisdom and energy.

  2. Jim Altschuler Reply

    I have no idea who will step up to say what needs to be said, what the people of this country need to hear, what the world expects from the nation that has been the leader of the free world for decades.

    We don’t have Welch any more nor President Kennedy. We don’t have Dr. Martin Luther King or John Lewis. In fact, I’m sad to ask who the people or their representatives will listen to and respond positively. Who garners that much respect? Whose voice commands the attention of all those in ear shot, not just here but around the world?

    I don’t have answers to those questions, do you? Does anyone? It’s very scary.