To know where we're going, it helps to pause, look back, and see if we've been down this path before.
For example, BushCheneyAshcroftRumsfeld & Co. -- backed by a compliant chorus of Wobblycrats -- currently has our democracy headed down a particularly dark path. They're suspending our individual liberties, empowering more police agents to snoop on us, targeting citizens they say are "suspicious," asking us citizens to snoop on each other, and imprisoning people with no evidence of illegal activities. They're condemning and browbeating anyone who questions any of this, branding dissenters as unpatriotic and treasonous. They're operating in secret, declaring that they don't have to reveal who is on their lists... or why.
How interesting, then, that as the Bushites push us down this path, an ominous piece of our past has surfaced, giving us a marker that ought to give us pause. Five thousand pages of transcripts have recently been released, revealing details of secret hearings conducted 50 years ago by the infamous and venomous Senator Joe McCarthy.
Generating a nationwide "Red Scare," McCarthy's communist witch hunt smeared thousands and ruined the careers of hundreds of good Americans, turning family members and colleagues against each other and miring our nation in a decade of self-destructive paranoia. McCarthy's bullying demogoguery was backed by cowardly media barons, opportunistic preachers and pundits, right-wing zealots, and flag-waving leaders of both political parties.
McCarthyism is loose on our land again, pushed not by one deranged, malicious senator, but by a self-righteous, slow-witted president who is under the wing of such maniacal, anti-democratic ideologues as Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft.
To keep America from stumbling down this dangerous path, We the People must speak out against the Bushites' push for more police power, intrusion, secrecy, xenophobia, militarism, and executive rule.