When Donald Trump’s former legal mentor, the notorious red-baiter Roy Cohn—who served as Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s right-hand man—once more asserted that the Army was harboring persons it knew to be active “Communists” and “subversives,” Joseph Welch, who was serving as the Army’s chief counsel, had had enough. During the course of the Senate hearings on June 9, 1954 he demanded that Cohn hand over the list that McCarthy claimed named 130 such persons; Cohn didn’t have such a list, and neither did McCarthy. Challenged to prove their lies, McCarthy accused Welch of “hypocrisy” because he knowingly harbored a “Communist” in his own law firm in Boston, a Harvard Law School graduate named Fred Fisher. Welch knew of Fisher’s former connection with the National Lawyers Guild, which apparently supported progressive causes that those on the far-right would then and now label as “socialist.”
Welch believed that such open accusations against a young attorney was unjust, and when McCarthy launched his attack against Fisher, he responded
Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us....Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
McCarthy—who up to this point had been allowed so much rope by his Republican colleagues that he was bound to “hang” himself eventually because of his arrogance, disregard for the truth and a vile compulsion to destroy the lives of much better people than himself—had finally encountered a man who had the courage to tell him so to his face and the world: “Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild ... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
That was beginning of the end of McCarthy; what many had been thinking had come out into the open. The only persons still afraid of the truth were fanatics like McCarthy and Cohn—the latter who was not finished by any means. Cohn would go on to continue to use the character-assassinating tactics and complete indifference to the truth in his subsequent career. Trump sought his “legal” advice during the investigation into housing discrimination at his properties during the 1970s, and Cohn taught him that long and loud denials and personal attacks would eventually “wear down” his accusers, who simply moved on to others. But the truth lives on, and no one save Trump’s most pathetic supporters believe anything that comes out of his mouth—save the fact of his inhuman cruelty, sadism and racism, which everyone should believe is part and parcel of his being.
Trump’s latest twitter assaults against Robert Mueller and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe continue to demonstrate that this man occupies the lowest levels of human depravity. Perhaps he didn’t need to prod Jeff Sessions too much to fire McCabe over what is essentially political “indiscretions” just a few days before his retirement; but for Sessions to claim he acted in the “interests” of “ethics” makes a mockery of the den of immorality and injustice that he has created in the Justice Department. Let us remember that the Clintons endured years of independent prosecution into their Whitewater dealings and Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades which pale in comparison to Trump’s; the difference for Trump is that he unblinkingly dumps people who aided and abetted him overboard, and they are more willing to talk then serve prison terms for him as many Clinton associates apparently did. His business dealings are so vast and so shadowy that it is no wonder that that he insists that Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt” against him personally. If he has nothing to hide, why is he acting like he does?
Meanwhile, Trump never ceases to insult and degrade those he believes are of a lesser “quality” of humanity than he is, whether individually or entire groups. This braggart loves to hear himself brag about his “greatness,” and when the cheers are not loud enough for that he remembers what brought him his loudest cheering section alive, spreading his “gospel” of racial hate. This is part and parcel of his whole being; he claims he is not racist, but only in the sense that he occasionally is diverted when under attack by people who happened to be white. But whenever he talks to “his people,” he knows what they want to hear; if David Duke thinks Trump is a racist, then who better than he to know the truth? And let’s not “reason away” Trump’s whole “excuse” for running for president in the first place: He wanted to destroy the legacy of the country’s first non-white president. What has he offered in its place? Nothing but destructiveness with total disregard for ethics and morality—and that includes the Republican tax “reform,” which will perhaps sooner than later prove to be the downfall of the latest iteration of Republican hegemony, once the country feels its whirlwind.
And now we hear that Trump is congratulating Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on his “election” victory. Most people in this country know that Putin is the greatest menace to world order today, but with Trump continuing to view him as a personal “friend,” one wonders where his true loyalties lay. While he insults and attempt harm on our international friends, Trump believes that aiding and abetting Putin is in the U.S. “interest”; it only proves that Trump is a menace to this country. Of course, his "backup," Mike Pence, is in many ways an even greater menace given that unlike Trump he is a "true believer" in far-right social radicalism, but we haven't reached the point that we have to be concerned about him, at least not yet.
So while Trump cozies up to the West’s greatest long-term threat, he “deals” with those “threatening” him personally by degrading decent people with the interests of the country in mind. If that interest means forcing the resignation of or marginalizing for good the most destructive president this country has seen since the antebellum days leading up to the Civil War, then all the better for all of us. It may take, ultimately, for enough people in his “party” to stand up to him and say enough of his reckless cruelty to people who are more “American” than he will ever be. Trump has no sense of decency, not just in regard to individuals but in his thoughtless actions with the ACA, DACA, environmental protection and perhaps worst of all, the disaster-in-the-making that will be monstrous deficits his tax cuts (that will continue to benefit the already wealthy) that Republicans promise will be “paid for” by every American vulnerable to an economic downturn.
And being a man with no sense of decency, neither should Trump or his abettors expect to be forgiven for it.