President Donald Trump’s recent behavior is very reminiscent of the behavior of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Both have made reckless and unsubstantiated accusations. Both made public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.
In the 1950s Sen. McCarthy accused or threatened to accuse people of illegal behavior without proof. Famous among quotes of McCarthy’s was, “The State Department is infested with communists. I have in my hand a list of 205 — a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members the Communist Party.”
This list was a threat, never shown, and the number of persons on the list was not consistent.
Unsubstantiated claims were McCarthy’s specialty. His actions confused and divided the American people. This was the 1950s. There are so many parallels to 2017.
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Accusations made frequently enough will eventually become truth to many people. But even if they don’t, false accusations create enough doubt to confuse everyone.
David J. Busse, Maryville