The Rise of neo-McCarthyism.

by Pitt Griffin on March 19, 2018 · 0 comments

in Really?, Trump presidency

Sebastian Gorka, the British-born, Hungarian Nazi — who rode his racist bona fides from dubious academic distinction in Hungary to the xenophobia of Trump’s ‘America First’ administration — has channeled one of America’s most shameless politicians to underpin his political philosophy.

This oleaginous smarm gave a big clue to the roots of his thinking when he celebrated the firing of Rex Tillerson on Lars Larson’s radio show. Why was he glad to see Rex booted? Here’s his reasoning:

The State Department has turned into a hive of liberal activism, most often with individuals representing the interests of other countries, not the United States, and he didn’t clean house. 

Does this condemnation of the State department ring some bells? Consider this offering from Joe McCarthy at the Lincoln Day speech to the Republican Women’s Club of Wheeling, West Virginia in 1950

“The State Department is infested with communists. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.”

This unsubstantiated nonsense propelled McCarthy to the stratosphere of xenophobia in the fearful fifties — a time when ‘reds’ were suspected of hiding under every bed.

We shouldn’t be surprised at this paranoia redux. Right wing rabble-rouser Ann Coulter started the red scare revisionism with her absolution of McCarthy in her 2003 book: ‘Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism’. Now Neo-McCarthyism, which had been sloshing around the fringes, is mainstream philosophy in the Trump White House.

Which raises the question: What other ‘Tail-Gunner Joe’ thoughts have been echoed by contemporary paranoids? Let’s look at this:

“The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have had all the benefits this the wealthiest nation on earth has to offer – the finest homes, the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in Government we can give.”

It’s a two for one. Not only Does McCarthy get his licks in on the elitist academia, he also gets the boot in on the ‘Deep State’. The ‘enemy within’ is a favorite meme of the right-wing. If it isn’t the liberal elite attacking from the outside, then it is the unAmerican forces at the heart of our government that totter the state.

McCarthy also enlisted God in the struggle. A tactic well-beloved of conservatives today.

“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic ateism and Christianity”

And Joe McCarthy’s manner is reminiscent of Trump’s style.

He was not short of self-congratulation:

“McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled.”

Or hyperbole:

“This must be a product of a great conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.”


“This is the era of the Armageddon—that final all-out battle between light and darkness foretold in the Bible.”

McCarthy also anticipated today’s conservative antipathy to big cities:

“American cities are a perpetual assault on the senses and the nerves.” 

But if neo-McCarthyism is the preferred philosophy of the rightwing we can take solace in the most famous quote of the era – one that was not uttered by McCarthy, but rather the lawyer representing the Army during the McCarthy hearing — Joseph Welch:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Overnight McCarthy became a pariah — and within three years he was dead.

Previous post:

Next post: