Political Knowledge Exam: Fill in the Blank

  1. Indirect support ….came from the Gallup poll released in mid-January. It showed that ___1___’s overall popularity had soared, [A]…. whopping 62 percent of Republicans approved of his performance, 19 percent disapproved, and 19 percent had no opinion.
  2. ___2___…. was “doing his best to shatter the Republican Party, by intention or through ignorance.” ___2____ belonged, [the Republican senators] said, “to his own one-man party…”
  3. In a letter to the New York Times, [the former Cabinet member] praised [the Secretary of State] and, without naming ______3_____, went on to say, “The man who seeks to gain political advantage from personal attacks on a secretary of state is a man who seeks political advantage from damage to his country.”
  4. [the nationally-known columnist concluded]  “This is the totalitarianism of the man:  [ _____4_______’s] cold, calculated, sustained and ruthless effort to make himself feared. That is why he has been staging a series of [statements and attacks], each designed to show that he respects nobody, no office, and no institution in the land, and that everyone at whom he growls …[should] run away.”
  5. “The fact is,” ___5____ said in one speech, “that those who wear the label ‘Democrat’ wear it with the stain of historic betrayal; wear it with the corrosion of unprecedented corruption; wear it with the blood of dying men who crawled up the hills of….”
  6. ….concluded his Senate speech by saying, “____6____ has recalled to the minds of millions the most abhorrent tyrannies which our whole system of ordered liberty and balanced power was intended to abolish.”
  7. Afterward, [the President] made a remark to associates that was widely quoted in Washington and beyond. “It’s no longer ___7____ism,” the president said. “It’s ___7___wasm.”

ANSWER TO QUESTIONS 1-7:  TRUMP, OOPS!  SORRY, MCCARTHY

While some, with good reason, have been calling Trump fascistic.  I agree, but within the American context, I suspect our best analogy is Joe McCarthy and his reckless abandonment of reason, rationality, and constitutional values.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a set of McCarthy-Army Hearing, or Senate investigations, to expose Trump for what he is.  What seems, though, to be the common thread between the early 1950s and the Red Scare and today is the sense of uncertainty that plagues a considerable segment of the Republican party.  The world is changing, and they seem to be seeking some “strong man” who will allay their fears and promise them the certainty they crave–a wall, a “huge” change, etc.  Something is needed to burst the inflated balloon that is Trump and his bravado; unfortunately, I and others have not yet found the proper tool.

 

All quotations from The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy by James Cross

  1. Indirect support for his investigations came from the Gallup poll released in mid-January. It showed that Joe’s overall popularity had soared a remarkable 16 percent since August, probably due to the publicity his Fort Monmouth and General Electric investigations had received. A whopping 62 percent of Republicans approved of his performance, 19 percent disapproved, and 19 percent had no opinion. Democrats were almost equally divided—39 percent approved of what Joe was doing, 38 percent disapproved, and 23 percent had no opinion
  2. McCarthy, [Senator] Flanders charged, was “doing his best to shatter the Republican Party, by intention or through ignorance.” Joe belonged, Flanders said, to “his own one-man party, and its name is ‘McCarthyism,’ a name which he has proudly accepted.”
  3. “In a letter to the New York Times, Stimson praised Acheson and, without naming McCarthy, went on to say, “The man who seeks to gain political advantage from personal attacks on a secretary of state is a man who seeks political advantage from damage to his country.””
  4. [Lippman] went on to spell out the danger he felt McCarthy posed to his party and the entire nation. “This is the totalitarianism of the man: his cold, calculated, sustained and ruthless effort to make himself feared. That is why he has been staging a series of demonstrations, each designed to show that he respects nobody, no office, and no institution in the land, and that everyone at whom he growls will run away.” Lippman wrote with such urgency because he believed McCarthy’s assault on the Army was part of a determined effort to intimidate President Eisenhower.
  5. “The fact is,” he said in one speech, “that those who wear the label ‘Democrat’ wear it with the stain of historic betrayal; wear it with the corrosion of unprecedented corruption; wear it with the blood of dying men who crawled up the hills of Korea.”
  6. Fulbright concluded his Senate speech by saying, “His [Joe’s] abuses have recalled to the minds of millions the most abhorrent tyrannies which our whole system of ordered liberty and balanced power was intended to abolish.”
  7. Afterward, Eisenhower made a remark to associates that was widely quoted in Washington and beyond. “It’s no longer McCarthyism,” the president said. “It’s McCarthywasm.”

 

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