Imagine it is June 1, 1950, Harry Truman has been president since 1945. Stalinist Russia has developed a nuclear bomb. Mao has taken control of China. Communism is on the rise. All this leads to an ugly stain on American history, McCarthyism.
McCarthyism, where character assassination, false innuendo and fear-mongering were Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn's specialty. Women (Rosie) have returned to domestic life, leaving world leadership to men. The Korean War hadn't started, the southeast Asian domino theory was in its infancy and the democratically elected leader of Iran hadn't been assassinated for nationalizing their oil fields.
It is on this stage that a true American hero spoke out. Margaret Chase Smith spoke out against the evils infecting our democracy, echoing the wisdom contained in George Washington's farewell address and foreshadowing today's putridly partisan politics.
June 1, 2020 will be the 70th anniversary of Margaret Chase Smith's, "Declaration of Conscience" in which a first-term female senator (imagine that for a moment) stood up to the powers that be and called them out, promoting the greater good, over party.
Again, on June 1, 1950, a freshman female senator stands up and rebukes McCarthyism and partisan politics, for the good of the union. Courage, character and integrity are words that come to mind when considering the action of Senator Smith. We all should not only be celebrating the 100th year anniversary of recognizing a woman's right to vote, but celebrating those women with the courage, character and integrity to speak out against partisan self-interested politics.
I have asked the representative from NY-21st to honor Senator Smith's "Declaration of Conscience," however, her words and actions mirror Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy's. Tedra Cobb reflects Margaret Chase Smith's commitment to the good of the union over party.
Excelsior, E Pluribus Unum
Michael Stern, Fort Edward
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!