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Those Were the Days
August 17, 2005 12:25 PM   Subscribe

"Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America. It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others." Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, and the first woman to run for president on a major party ticket. On June 1, 1950, she gave her Declaration of Conscience speech against McCarthyism on the floor of the Senate, and much of it is relevant today.
It is high time that we stopped thinking politically as Republicans and Democrats about elections and started thinking patriotically as Americans about national security based on individual freedom. It is high time that we all stopped being tools and victims of totalitarian techniques--techniques that, if continued here unchecked, will surely end what we have come to cherish as the American way of life.
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posted by kirkaracha (24 comments total)

 
"Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all to frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism --

The right to criticize
;

The right to hold unpopular beliefs;

The right to protest
;

The right of independent thought
.
"
posted by angrybeaver at 1:48 PM on August 17, 2005


The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn't? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.

The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as "Communists" or "Fascists" by their opponents. Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America. It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.

The American people are sick and tired of seeing innocent people smeared and guilty people whitewashed.
...
Surely it is clear that this nation will continue to suffer as long as it is governed by the present ineffective Democratic Administration.

Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny--Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.

I doubt if the Republican Party could--simply because I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans aren't that desperate for victory.

I don't want to see the Republican Party win that way. While it might be a fleeting victory for the Republican Party, it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people. Surely it would ultimately be suicide for the Republican Party and the two-party system that has protected our American liberties from the dictatorship of a one party system.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:51 PM on August 17, 2005


I don't mean this to be anti-Republican--I wish all American politicians were Americans first and partisans second, but those days are gone.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:53 PM on August 17, 2005


I don't mean this to be anti-Republican...

I think that you feel the need to clarify this is the best illustration of how much we have lost in such a short time.

And I do mean that to be anti-Republican.
posted by cedar at 2:04 PM on August 17, 2005


Wow..... Actual elected officials useta make reasoned, responsible speeches? What country was that, again?
posted by maryh at 2:07 PM on August 17, 2005


Suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself. -Mark Twain
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:13 PM on August 17, 2005


I find it amusing (because it's ultimately ridiculous) that something said 55 years ago could resonate so well, in my mind, with the present.
posted by bitpart at 2:24 PM on August 17, 2005


The tumor has been growing a long time bitpart.
posted by Grimgrin at 2:35 PM on August 17, 2005


Margaret Chase Smith gave a lot of lip service to liberty and humanitarianism, but then again, she supported dropping atomic bombs on China to end the Korean War.

Now Ed Muskie-- there's an icon for any Maine kids thinking of getting into politics.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:07 PM on August 17, 2005


"I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny—Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear."

Mr. Rove? Your patrons are outside.
posted by mephron at 3:29 PM on August 17, 2005


What color is the horse of Ignorance?
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:01 PM on August 17, 2005


Nobody knows.

:-)
posted by Asparagirl at 4:10 PM on August 17, 2005


I think that you feel the need to clarify this is the best illustration of how much we have lost in such a short time.

Yeah, something like that. Even during Watergate, Nixon held on until Republican senators told him he'd gone too far and he didn't gave the votes to survive impeachment. (But then, a young ratfucker named Karl Rove was just getting into politics.)

A couple of years ago I watched a movie (I think it was Fail-Safe, but I could be wrong), and a US Senator was portrayed as driving his own ordinary sedan to Congress. I was struck by the contrast between that and how much of a contrast there was between that and the limousines and entourages of today.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:12 PM on August 17, 2005


makes me wish Cuomo stayed around.
posted by amberglow at 4:16 PM on August 17, 2005


"makes me wish Cuomo stayed around."

Mario or his kid with the shifty eyes?
posted by cedar at 4:54 PM on August 17, 2005


It is a sad state of affairs when the most patriotic and moving speech as of late in the US was given by the British Prime Minister.
posted by caddis at 6:03 PM on August 17, 2005


I think that you feel the need to clarify this is the best illustration of how much we have lost in such a short time.

Oh, you're talking about balanced budgets, smaller, more local government, a ready army to protect the homeland, minimal but protectionist interstate commerce rules, and a general feeling that we are the beacon of enlightenment for the world?

The beacon looses it's alure when it becomes a spotlight shining intrusively onto everybodies dirty laundry.
posted by Balisong at 8:50 PM on August 17, 2005


And people wonder why I want to move to Maine...

Just this morning I responded to an email my family in Maine sent me about the Ohio "Coingate" scandal / Governor Taft getting busted... my question to them was, how is it Ohio and Maine both have Republican governors and senators, but Maine somehow manages to have a conscience?

I mean, for heaven's sake -- Maine's governor is installing solar power at the Statehouse while ours is getting busted for investing public monies in Beanie Babies / accepting lots of free golf outings. How much bigger could the dichotomy get?

Hurray for MCSmith! Still relevant today...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:26 AM on August 18, 2005


Maine's governor is a Democrat.
posted by JanetLand at 7:23 AM on August 18, 2005


It is a sad state of affairs when the most patriotic and moving speech as of late in the US was given by the British Prime Minister.

Tony Blair is a douche.
posted by delmoi at 7:36 AM on August 18, 2005


Thanks, Janet -- my aunt just pointed that out. Don't know what I was on for thinking that. Maybe too much caffeine? ;)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:45 AM on August 18, 2005


Patriotic and moving speeches, by definition, are given by crooks.

Patriotism is a cunning method of encouraging hatred for those outside a given boundary, by pretending to encourage love for those within.

Every time you hear the words "Your Country," ask yourself, "Which country do I own?"

Is it better to love America, or to love humanity?
posted by cleardawn at 9:06 AM on August 18, 2005


Two quotes from the same speech:

The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as "Communists" or "Fascists" by their opponents.

The Democratic Administration has greatly lost the confidence of the American people by its complacency to the threat of communism here at home and the leak of vital secrets to Russia through key officials of the Democratic Administration.


Complain about mudslinging, then sling a little mud. Things weren't all that different 50 years ago.
posted by Jatayu das at 1:49 PM on August 18, 2005


Is it better to love America, or to love humanity?
Do I have to choose?
posted by caddis at 6:15 PM on August 18, 2005


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