On Watergate and McCarthyism

Protesters gather in front of the White House in Washington calling for the impeachment of President Nixon, Oct. 22, 1973. One protester, wearing a mask of the president, holds a sign encouraging motorists to “Honk for Impeachment.” (AP Photo/Henry Griffin)
No Donald.  It isn’t McCarthyism.
You see, McCarthyism was born of a right wing paranoia. It’s primary targets were progressive groups and individuals.  The most famous victims of McCarthyism were Hollywood actors. But academics and intellectuals and scientists were also targets. It had been three decades since the last huge wave of immigration.  But Jews were especially suspect.  Also suspect, were government employees,  whose loyalty was subject to scrutiny.  You see Donald, if they had had cell phones back in the 50’s, government employees would have been subjected to random cell phone searches.
Artists. Scientists.  Intellectuals. Religious minorities.  Progressive thinkers. Government functionaries. Those were the victims of McCarthyism.  Not paranoid right-wing power brokers.
And Watergate? You see, wiretaps were indeed part of Watergate.  But the intent of the Republican Party was to steal information in order to assure an electoral win. And there are other disturbing characteristics of the crisis. A paranoid president, who fired his Attorney General in a desperate attempt to maintain control of a collapsing government.
You and Nixon are very different, of course. Nixon was smarter than you. You have more charisma. But you both share an obsessive narcissism that leads to poor judgement. Nixon inexplicably taped all of his conversations. You inexplicably tweet your random thoughts. Nixon’s tapes lead to his downfall. Perhaps your tweets will lead to yours.
So yeah Donald.  Some of us do see some parallels with Watergate and McCarthyism and today’s political reality.  But not in the way you are suggesting.


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