Letter: A lost sense of decency

Letter: A lost sense of decency


The age of 89 has some advantages. I was a theological student in seminary at Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., at the time Sen. McCarthy and Roy Cohn were holding forth in the Senate office building charging people as communists.

This is reviewed presently in the current Foreign Affairs magazine.

From an article by William J. Burns:

"That Senator McCarthy's chief counsel, Roy Cohn, was also Donald Trump's lawyer and mentor is one of history's sad ironies. Trump's scorched-earth tactics, casual relationship with truth, and contempt for career public service bear more than a passing resemblance to the playbook that Cohn wrote for McCarthy. And when Trump cried out for a "new Roy Cohn" to replace the late original, it was hardly a surprise that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared — or that he dove into the muck of the Ukraine scandal and agitated for the removal of a career ambassador whose integrity and expertise proved to be an obstruction."

A seminary classmate went to the Senate hearings and reported back. The famous line of the lawyer opposing McCarthy still rings in my mind, "Have you no sense of decency?"

I heard that again when I heard Joe Welch at Grinnell College give a presentation on his experiences confronting McCarthy and Cohnn. Now we have the latest version of McCarthyism and Roy Cohn in our president and Rudy Giuliani. "Have they no sense of decency?"

Marlin Whitmer



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