Posts Tagged ‘Government Reform’

Similarities between Trumpism & McCarthyism

April 25, 2016

edward r murrow

Edward R Murrow

Joseph McCarth

Sen. Joseph McCarthy


donald trump

Donald Trump


In the  1950s Sen. McCarthy’s Committee on Unamerican Activities goal was to expose and destroy communist activities in the U.S. [the RED SCARE]. Communism was feared in the way right wing Republican party members now fear “Islamic terrorism” and conflate it with the Islamic religion.

I ask how Trumpism is different from McCarthyism?

McCarthyism [the following four paragraphs are from Wikipedia’s post on McCarthyism] is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.”[1] The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightenedpolitical repression against communists, as well as a campaign spreading fear of their influence on American institutions and of espionage bySoviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, “McCarthyism” soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,[2] laws that were later declared unconstitutional,[3]dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[4] or actionable,[5] or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.

The most notable examples of McCarthyism include the speeches, investigations, and hearings of Senator McCarthy himself; the Hollywood blacklist, associated with hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the various anti-communist activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under Director J. Edgar Hoover. McCarthyism was a widespread social and cultural phenomenon that affected all levels of society and was the source of a great deal of debate and conflict in the United States. [ Many in Hollywood went underground and were forced to use pseudonyms to get their plays staged and their movies filmed and produced – due to defamation of their character as the dreaded communist, perhaps for something as minor as being a member of a communist club in college]

There were also more subtle forces encouraging the rise of McCarthyism. It had long been a practice of more conservative politicians to refer to progressive reforms such as child labor laws and women’s suffrage as “Communist” or “Red plots.”[7] This tendency increased in the 1930s in reaction to the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Many conservatives equated the New Deal with socialism or Communism, and saw its policies as evidence that the government had been heavily influenced by Communist policy-makers in the Roosevelt administration.[8] In general, the vaguely defined danger of “Communist influence” was a more common theme in the rhetoric of anti-Communist politicians than was espionage or any other specific activity.

No doubt that McCarthy would have considered social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, voting rights, and many other social programs as communists plots.

The great CBS reporter and commentator, Edward R. Murrowbroke the back of McCarthy’s era of terror and injustice with the following public statement that I believe applies today to Trumpism in his witch hunt against Muslims and immigrants as well as it applied to McCarthyism’s witch hunting communism, acknowledging the role of media in perpetrating this dark part of our collective history in America:

by Edward R. Murrow, modified by Linda Lorincz Shelton for today’s Trumpism – 

Earlier, the Senator [McCarthy] asked, “Upon what meat does this, our Caesar, feed?” Had he looked three lines earlier in Shakespeare’s Caesar, he would have found this line, which is not altogether inappropriate: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful.

It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin [Trump and the Benghazi Committee] ha[ve] stepped over it repeatedly.

His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism [terrorism].

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.

We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

We will not walk in fear, one of another.

We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s  [Trump’s] methods to keep silent, or for those who approve.

We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.

There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities.

As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age.

We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. [We cannot desert religious freedom, the 1st Amendment by condemning all Muslims as terrorists no more than we can condemn Southern White Protestants as KKK lynchers and murderers.]

The actions [speeches] of the junior Senator from Wisconsin [Trump] have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. [They’re even being used by Al Quida for recruitment videos –  to show how much the infidels hate Muslims.]

And whose fault is that? Not really his. [Trump] didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Good night, and good luck.

[and don’t forget how the media (mainstream and social) have exploited fear and disseminated mis-information about Islam, Muslims, terrorism, and foreign relations.]
[extracts from – transcribed 7/20/06 by G. Handman from DVD, The McCarthy Years(Edward R. Murrow Collection)]

Our Answers to Our Problems – You Tell Me!

January 11, 2009

 What we can do is only limited by our will and our imagination. We must think out-of-the-box. We must work together and resolve our differences. We use a very small portion of our intellectual potential. Anything is possible when there is respect, cooperation, long-term vision, and love for our fellow man – no matter his condition or position in our lives. Nothing is set in concrete. The fundamental beauty of man is our adaptability and creativity. It is a pity that it is usually wasted in petty materialism, bias, totalitarian restrictions, and hatred built by centuries of defamation. Man does not evolve in small steps, but there are significant leaps. I believe strongly, we are about to make one. Join in our national discussion – send me your suggestions for solutions to problems of our times. For a discussion of health care problems see:

Proposed New Cabinet Position – Secretary of Communications

December 23, 2008

Communications is the new frontier. Newspapers are being converted from print to internet. Huge amounts of money are wasted through lack of standardization, redundancy, and difficulty in querying and finding data. We need to standardize not just electronic medical records, to prevent duplicating services and errors, but also utility bills, credit card bills, contracts, court records, prison and jail records, government forms and records, and any communications which are fundamental, frequent, and subject to privacy and security concerns.

Elderly and disabled persons often have difficulty in the area of communications. Changing the format of utility bills causes a problem. Difficult to read credit card bills causes chaos. Incomprehensible contracts are a disaster. Difficult to read and fill-out forms deny access.

National security is highly dependent on communications – on the battle front, for homeland security, to prevent terrorist attacks, to prevent crime. However the privacy concerns are huge. Intelligence may sometimes compromise privacy. How do we balance these?

Information technology is poorly understood by most Americans. We need increased education in this area.

Mediation, debate, giving and following instructions, about almost anything are necessary skills in society. How can we increase our skills as a nation in this area?

            I feel a cabinet level position is warranted to help us move from the paper age to the digital age, just as we have moving from the agricultural age to the industrial age, and have entered the computer/internet age. Laws must be reviewed and new laws implemented regarding this new frontier. Careful thought must be given to implementing incentives that enhance are goals and principles. Communications in this new age cannot be without strings attached, just as one cannot shout “fire” in a movie theatre.


Please give your thoughts on this proposal through the comment feature of this blog.


Re-Integrating >600,000 Ex-Cons per Year and Growing – Give your Suggestions!

December 21, 2008

Please consider a jobs program for organizations to design and implement programs to re-integrate, provide mental health care, provide drug abuse treatment, provide family therapy, and supervise ex-cons and to train and employ ex-cons. > 600,000 convicts are released every year and this is growing due to the failed policy of the last 30 years to be “tough on crime.” What good does it do to squash prisoners like a bug, destroy their families, destroy their health, destroy their future career potential, and fail to provide even an iota of rehabilitation?

Part of our economic problem is that we are destroying and wasting so much human potential. If we employed these people and the prisons guards and employees, as well as reduce the number of prisoners in half with alternative sentencing for non-violent criminals, drug abuse treatment, and mental health care – our workforce that pays taxes and contributes to society will grow at an astonishing rate (including ex-cons, ex – prison employees, and the ex-cons’ families who were living on the dole) and our productivity will increase.

 Please give your creative suggestions about how to achieve this.  Think outside the box! Be innovative!

Jesse Ventura Reveals CIA Spies on State Governments in Violation of their Mission

December 17, 2008

It is imperative to bring honesty, integrity, and transparency back to our government that the new President Obama provide greater oversight to agencies such as the CIA and FBI and stop their constitutional violations and abuses as explained in the following video of interview with former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Constant nibbles at our freedoms and rights does as much harm to America and is as treasonous as a direct attack on our Constitutional rights.

A Message To Secretary-Designee Daschle – How to Reform Health Care

December 11, 2008

Health Care reform needs creative thinking. Policies and procedures of the past just won’t do. We can’t just copy Canadian health care systems. Nor should we just leave everything to the “free” market. Free market theory ASSUMES one is ABLE TO make a choice for the most competitive service provider.

First we should analyze what is the meaning of health care. In America we have fire and police departments, public road maintenance, and other public services  where the employees provide services to the captive public for a salary. How well they do their work or how much work they do is not tied to their salary. When a burglar confronts you with a gun, or there is a fire at your house, there is no ability for the person in this “captive” market to shop around. I believe that Americans think that fire and police protection, garbage collection, etc are a right. 

These are not areas where there are super exorbitant  profits for those that supply the fire engines, police cars, and garbage trucks or who man the fire engines, garbage trucks, etc. Competition for services and supplies is somewhat limited. Therefore, the principles of the free market capitalist system just doesn’t work well.  

The questions is do Americans now believe that health care is a right and not a privilege as I do?  I don’t believe that exotic and futile health care however, is a right. Half our health care dollars (my estimate which may not be completely correct) are spent on futile health care at the end of life or the beginning of life.  We need clear guidelines as to when a  person at public expense will be placed under hospice care and taken out of the ICU and guidelines for other such end of life decisions. We cannot give every possible treatment to stretch out misery and suffering to the very last moment, nor keep brain dead people “alive” on ventilators at public expense instead of using that money to help those that can be saved!

If one believes it is a right then WHY do we allow pharmaceutical companies, high-tech health equipment and supplies manufacterors and suppliers the right to set exorbitant high fees without competition in a captive market? Executives of health insurance companies and HMOs, executives of “not-for-profit” hospitals, physicians who perform more procedures than others (heart surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, opthalmologists, etc.) bill exotic fees and make hugely outrageous incomes in the millions to tens of millions of dollars (in comparison to the President of the United States – $400,000, the average family practitioner or pediatrician $150,000, or the executive of other non-profit agencies) when the patients are a captive market who have only limited abilites to shop around. How can a person shop around when they are being taken to a hospital by ambulance for a heart attack and need bypass surgery?  A captive market is NOT a free market. The Milton Friedman model does NOT work with a captive market where people obtain life-saving and essential services. When only one company makes a PET scanner, how can a hospital shop around for competitive bids?

Pharmaceutical companies spend an estimated 50% of their expenditures on advertising. They convince doctors to prescribe marginally “better” drugs at great cost when the doctors could prescribe cheaper and just as effective medications. Yet we allow Medicaid and prisons medical facilities (who provide a LOT of health care in the US) to limit drugs in a ridiculously strict fashion that amounts to medical neglect. The disparities are astonishing in terms of availability of appropriate drugs and the use of unnecessary drugs.

We have 200 times (my estimate) the number of employees as countries with national health plans in the health care/industrial complex just to push around invoices for medical care and collect money from patients who can’t pay.  Hospitals charge 3 Xs reasonable fees to make up for the lack of payment from those who cannot afford to pay and are brought to their hospitals in dire straights unable to choose a cheaper facility.

Employers are expected to pay for medical care and our economy is driven into the ground by this when companies cannot compete due to this “benefit” package.

Lets be reasonable. We need the following and we need creative ways of obtaining it and a national dialogue about how much medical care is a right and how much profit should be allowed to be taken out by greedy people (executives, a minority of doctors, high tech product suppliers and manufacterers, pharmaceutical company executives and stockholders).

1 – remove health care from ties with employers so when you lose your job you dont’ lose your health insurance and to prevent employers from pushing out employees with chronic health conditions that make the companies insurance too costly,

2 – consider excess gradated taxes on advertising of drugs and high tech products to discourage inappropriate use of new expensive drugs, while increasing grants to pharmaceutical companies and research scientists to develop new drugs,

3 – consider either putting doctors and health care executives on a salary, a partial salary, or imposing a steeply progressive excess income tax (say 50% tax on portions of income over $400,000) or some creative variation of this, coupled with free education for physicians and nurses, which would be similar to free education for firemen – this will produce huge savings – why should the CEO of an HMO going out of business get $40 million in a golden parachute as the company goes under – these dollars should be used for health care and NOT TO ENRICH EXECUTIVES OF PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES AND HIGH-TECH MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COMPANIES, AND DOCTORS,

4 – regional health care plans instead of employer based plans, which would have to compete against each other,

5 – subsidies or tax benefits for companies that are very small and employ a lot of low paid workers, for the disabled, and the poor to help them pay any premiums,

6 – reduce paper and standardize electronic medical records so there is inexpensive access to information, so that disasters don’t wipe out records, so that services are not duplicated when results are lost, and so that erros are reduced – this will produce huge cost savings that can be used to fund the system instead of increasing taxes,

7 – a VA like health care system that people can choose instead of the private insurance companies,

8- don’t leave the decisions only to the legislators, the AMA, the powerful, and the elite, let those of us on the front line have a say – by being in every working group and on every board concerning any aspect of health care.

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