Here is an odd word that only seems to be applied by Democrats to Republicans. Wikipedia defines it this way.
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term refers to U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting from the late 1940s through the 1950s. It was characterized by heightened political repression and a campaign spreading fear of communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents. (continued here)
My favorite online dictionary has a broader definition.
Definition of McCarthyism
: a mid-20th century political attitude characterized chiefly by opposition to elements held to be subversive and by the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges
broadly : defamation of character or reputation through such tactics
Still, I was kind of amazed when I saw this.
In unusually forceful, angry, and personal terms, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday countered what he called “baseless smears” from left-wing media and vowed not to be “intimidated,” in the wake of a Washington Post op-ed that declared McConnell a “Russian asset.”
That op-ed was written by columnist Dana Milbank, whom McConnell bluntly suggested was one of several “hyperventilating hacks” who conveniently had ignored former President Obama’s “feckless” Russia policies. (from here)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell? Firing back with guns blazing? The turtle? WOW!
But what does that have to do with McCarthyism? Consider what McConnell said.
“I don’t normally take the time to respond to critics in the media when they have no clue what they’re talking about,” McConnell said. ” But, this modern-day McCarthyism is toxic, and damaging, because of the way it warps our entire public discourse.
“Facts matter,” McConnell said sternly. “Details matter. History matters, and if our nation is losing our ability to debate public policy without screaming about treason, that really matters. In the middle of the 20th century, the original McCarthyism hurt America’s strength and diminished our standing in the Cold War by dividing us against ourselves.” (from here)
Because they have reached the point where they will level baseless, defamatory accusations at almost anyone just for disagreeing with them, fewer and fewer people take accusations from Liberal Democrats and their allies in news media very seriously anymore.
Who do we have to thank for this new found and increasing courage? Well, stop and think about it. There have been people out there rebutting remorseless assaults on their character from the news media for decades. Because they set the pretext for what followed, we owe these people a great debt of gratitude. Nevertheless, our current president, Donald Trump, is just about the first to counterattack and successfully charge major news organizations with the proliferation of fake news.
Trump has endured what very few of us could, all the standard assaults by the news media on his character.
- Treasonous behavior. That is essentially what the charge of Russian collusion was about.
- Sexual harassment. The most famous example of that was that ten-year old tape that came out as an October surprise.
- Lying. The news media constantly takes whatever Trump says out of context and presents it as lying.
- Racism. This is an old standby for the Democrats. Originally, Democrats charged their opponents with not being white supremacists. Now they charge their opponents with being white supremacists. Meanwhile, Democrats still cannot figure out how to judge people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.
Anyway, at this point we cannot take it for granted that the news media tells us the truth. We have to sort through their biases. We even have to be wary of our neighbors’ biases.
You want to know the truth about something important? Then get use to digging for it.
- You want to know the truth about our leaders? Then consider different news sources. Make sure you really know what they have said and done.
- You want to know how our government is supposed to work? Then read what the framers of the Constitution wrote.
- You want to know what the Bible says? Read the Bible for yourself.
It is a fact of life. Because very few of us love our neighbors, we should not trust each other any more than we must.