McCarthyism is on the march again from within the leadership of the Republican Party. Oh no, you say, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is from the Tea Party, not a Republican leader. Tell that to Sarah Palin and others who argue that Cruz is the new leader of the Republicans.
They point out how Cruz took the Senate floor for 21 hours, arguing that he had to stop Obamacare funding by shutting down the government. They are proud that he said that, unlike the world that refused to stop the Nazis in 1940, he would be the hero of America and stop Obamacare funding. (He is equating Obamacare to Hitler killing 6 million Jews and Christians.)
Is this man a fraud, as he was called by Republican U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York? I don’t think so. I have no doubt that he believes what he says and ultimately will resort to name-calling and characterizing those who oppose him as unpatriotic.
Like Joe McCarthy, he uses scare tactics to bully his way to the television news screens, despite all logic that these tactics are not only abusive but full of falsehoods. Like McCarthy in the 1950s, he is a dangerous zealot who will capture the ugliest right-wingers to his side, to the detriment of America. Why else would he argue to keep millions from Obamacare, including children younger than 26 of parents with health care, and those with chronic diseases who now are dropped from care? He as a senator has the best of health care, but will lie and spread propaganda to prevent Americans from having the same.
Fortunately, Republicans such as John McCain and most Democratic senators have figured him out. They know he doesn’t care if the government shuts down because it would satisfy his right-wing buddies who will, in their hatred for Obama and Obamacare, sacrifice the fiscal responsibilities of our government and destroy its integrity.
This time around, Cruz will be stopped. But hold on to your horses – he is just beginning his march on Obamacare, Social Security, food stamps, labor, immigration and the other programs that make this country the strongest there is.
We went through the McCarthy era, and we learned what a demagogue in power can do.
We also know that we have to beware of Cruz and his policies. This includes the Republicans, who have much at stake in coming elections and need to regain control of their party or again lose favor with the voters.
(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)