It would seem now that the only people who ever supported Joe McCarthy were John Birchers and other rightwing loons far out of touch with sanity. Somehow Tailgunner Joe not only got elected himself but struck terror in the heart of liberals. A recent book described the ability of Joe McCarthy to destroy Democratic politicians who opposed him. Oddly it was a Republican, Eisenhower, who really did Joe in.
I was young and foolish once, instead of old and foolish as I am now. I believed. I believed in Joe McCarthy, the virgin birth, heaven and hell, everlasting fire and torment for sinners. And then I volunteered for Vietnam.
Most Americans probably didn’t know there was a Vietnam at the time. Eisenhower was president. Ike was resisting the efforts of Dick Nixon and John Foster Dulles to expand the war in order to stop the Communist monolith from capturing the entire world.
There was one private, me, and three generals in Vietnam when I arrived. Wasn’t bad those days overall. In fact it was very good duty compared to most any duty elsewhere. It wasn’t until my second year in Vietnam that the Viet Cong started bombing and shooting Americans. Somewhat unpleasant to get bombed, as I was. One sergeant was later to become the first American to make it onto the Wall.
I visited that memorial once. Maybe it was something that got in my eye so that I couldn’t find the name of that long forgotten soldier. Bad scene. An old fool standing by a wall full of names of long deceased soldiers, who needed the help of his bride of 40 years to get away from that place with all the smoke or whatever it was.
That Viet Cong bomb didn’t do nearly the damage to this old fool, who was then a young fool, that a JFK fan later did. I told him that the nomination of a friend of Joe McCarthy, who was beating the war drums even harder than Dick Nixon, would lead to a worthless war for this country and the waste of numerous lives.
There is an everlasting flame across the way in D.C. to the two brothers who once loved old Joe McCarthy like I had and almost no one else, it seems these days, had. It is a much more splendid memorial than the simple wall sunken into the ground where there is smoke or something that can get in an old fool’s eyes.
You progressives here want this ancient liberal to vote for another hawk who wants to continue another war to win the hearts and minds of people by killing, maiming, torturing and displacing them?
Sorry. Can’t do it. Something about my eyes I think.