What do the above three people have in common? It is more than one might think. The two deceased members are being invoked about the living one’s actions. There is ample reason for that, but there is even more commonality.
Senator Joe McCarthy ran roughshod over America playing on people’s fears during the Communist witch hunts. It took the efforts of Joseph Welch, the legal counsel to the Army, who uttered this plea under oath to the Senator, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” It also took the considerable reporting from an honorable man Edward R. Murrow, who highlighted McCarthy’s fearmongering.
President Richard Nixon resigned as President before he was impeached and convicted. In essence, he ran a burglary ring from the White House and went to great lengths to cover it up. What did Nixon in was his paranoia. He wanted the dirt the Democrats had on him for the 1972 election, so he authorized a burglary of the headquarters at the Watergate hotel and office complex. Plus, he paranoidly taped every conversation in the oval office, which was his Waterloo.
The current President is being investigated for any links to colluding with Russian agents to win the election. Yet, like Nixon, he is condemning the actions as a witch hunt and may be guilty of obstruction of justice, which was item 1 on the Nixon impeachment paperwork in Congress. It should be noted that Michael Cohen’s eight guilty pleas and Paul Manafort’s eight guilty verdicts bring the total Mueller convictions to seven people – that does not seem like a witch hunt to me.
Yet, there is even more in common than misuse of power, fear-mongering and paranoia. A key advisor to Donald Trump early in his career was an attorney named Roy Cohn. Cohn told Trump two key pieces of advice – never admit a mistake and sue everyone – which Trump follows to this day. But, Cohn also served as an advisor to none other than Senator Joe McCarthy during the Communist witch hunts. What other advice did Cohn share with Trump?
But, it does not end there. As a Congressman, Nixon also participated on the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was heavily influenced by Senator McCarthy. So, Nixon adds his name to another one of America’s biggest black eyes.
My point is should Trump be found guilty of obstruction of justice and collusion with the Russians, these three men would join together, with a link of Roy Cohn, to three of the worst misuses of power in American history. And, all three are associated with “enemies lists.” Talk about fear-mongering.
Ironically, a key characteristic of a narcissist is to echo back criticism he is getting, so Trump is calling Mueller’s investigation akin to McCarthyism and has referenced White House Counsel John Dean who testified against Nixon as a “rat.” Dean actually found his conscience and is viewed as somewhat of a hero. As Trump has done before, he is trying to paint others with his own justifiable criticism. To me, the fact all three men kept enemies list is telling by itself.
So, the names of McCarthy, Nixon and Trump will live on infamy. And, they should.