BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | MAY 17, 2021
“As a republican, I say to my colleagues on this side of the aisle that the Republican party faces a challenge today that is not unlike the challenge which it faced back in Lincoln’s day. The Republican party so successfully met that challenge that it emerged from the Civil War as the champion of a united nation—in addition to being a party which unrelentingly fought loose spending and loose programs.”
Those were the words of Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith June 1, 1950, in the wake of what became the maniacal campaign of fellow Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy to purge Communist sympathizers from the Federal Government and the movie industry.
McCarthy encouraged bad behavior and perpetrated severe threats to our freedoms. He was the grandfather of cancel culture.
In her famous “Declaration of Conscience’ speech Smith dared challenge the intimidating McCarthy, warning against a Republican regime “embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty (that) would prove …disastrous to the nation.” Smith said “I do not want to see the Republican Party win that way. While it might be a fleeting victory…it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people…”
Democrats produced their own version of a popular despot. Just a short two decades earlier they had to face down Huey Long, a corrupt, mean-spirited and flamboyant Governor of Louisiana and US Senator. When once challenged on acting contrary to the Louisiana constitution, Long declared “I’m the Constitution around here now.” He caused a near riot in the State Capitol, and later was the target of an armed insurrectionist movement in response to his attempt to stay in office illegally. Lt. Gov. Paul Cyre, who earlier supported Long’s impeachment, took control of the state when Long was out of town. Long was assassinated in 1935.
The similarities between then and now are striking. It is a shame we do not learn from the events in our history that give us perspective and map for us the road ahead. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | JAN 8, 2021
When President Trump invited his hard-core supporters to Washington to protest the congressional certification of the electoral college vote declaring Joe Biden the President-Elect, he surely knew what he was doing. He has been toying with and exploiting the emotions of his supporters for years and when they got to Washington, he incited them to head for the US Capitol for a “wild” protest.
The Capitol was desecrated by violence. It hurt. I saw rooms in which I once worked, in hallways and rooms once revered. But the President did not condemn the insurrection; he told the rebellious horde that he loved them.
Only on Thursday, Jan 7, after a category five storm of anger and repudiation did he step before a camera and read from a script that the invasion of the Capitol was wrong.
He should resign the Presidency immediately. Hopefully, everyone around him including his family will encourage him to do so. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | DEC 22, 2020
“Our mess of an election has finally, officially, irrefutably been resolved. We owe this to the brilliance of our Founders, but we deserve credit too for our continued fidelity to their vision.”
Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal 12/17/20
Hallelujah, Sister Peggy. Can we have an amen?
It is indeed over. The Electoral College voted 306-232 on December 14, ratifying the November results and completing a critical formal step in the American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power from one presidency to another.
It’s the Electoral College that calls the election officially.
It seems to be a common presumption in this country that the Constitution authorizes the national media to call our elections based on their keen political intuition, careful analysis of voting precincts, and exit polls. We then are expected to fall in line as though their declarations are formal, official, and final.
I looked again at Article II and the 12th Amendment of the Constitution and found no such instructions. Nor do I believe there are any written into any law other than the law of the political jungle. Good thing. The media of late have not been too swift at calling elections correctly as Thomas Dewey, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton all discovered.