Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Opinion

Voice of the People 02/01/18

History repeats itself

I’m reading “A Conspiracy So Immense” by David Oshinsky (1983), which is about Sen. Joe McCarthy.

His first successful run for office was for circuit judge, against a respected, very long-term incumbent. McCarthy decided to make the man’s age and tenure a liability. He found a couple old references that gave conflicting dates of birth for the judge. While studiously avoiding such issues as, say, a birth certificate, he proceeded to make vague, periodic statements, such as, “Two of the three claims as to his age must be wrong. ... Certainly I cannot know which if any of them is correct.”

A biographer of McCarthy later wrote, “It was a matter of record that Judge Werner was not seventy-three, but sixty-six. The ordinary, unliberated liar would not have attempted anything so bold, if for no other reason than he would have feared being trapped in untruth. After all, Judge Werner’s age was verifiable — a matter of public record.”

It seems that McCarthy was not ordinary, but extraordinary. And, as liars go, he was a liberated liar. So if you, like me, are wondering how such a man as Donald Trump could actually have pulled this whole thing off, it seems obvious to me now. He’s an extraordinarily liberated liar.

DAN AND MARY FISHER

Eau Claire


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