Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How Far the Mighty

Joseph McCarthy preached the perils of Communism's insidious reach into American's institutions to garner immense political power and control during the 1950s. His name has since become a synonym for fear mongering and the worst kind of political abuse. After riding high for several years, McCarthy finally stumbled.

In 1954 McCarthy and his attorney Roy Cohn were accused of bringing undue influence to bear on the Army in regard to its treatment of one of McCarthy's former aides. While McCarthy was found to be innocent of the charges, his reputation was badly damaged by the media coverage and never recovered. He became a liability to his party, and on December 2, 1954, he was officially censured by the Senate. He died three years later.

One of the Senators who helped precipitate McCarthy's downfall was Senator Ralph Flanders from Vermont. In a note to Harold Rugg dated December 31, 1954, he makes a somewhat casual, almost offhand, remark about the censure proceedings which he had instigated.
We didn't get to Scotland. I concluded that I had to come home to play my part in the censure proceedings.
Flanders then wraps up the letter with another reference to McCarthy.
I am having sent from the Washington office the speeches on the subject of the junior Senator from Wisconsin, which I assume are the speeches to which you refer.
Its ironic that one of the most feared and notorious men in American politics would be so quickly demoted in stature such that he isn't even mentioned by name.

Ask for Mss 954681 to see the letter from Flanders to Rugg.

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