FOUR YEARS OF UNREASON,
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
As repugnant as the McCarthy-Army hearings are, there is hope that from bad seeds may come good fruit. Of immediate significance is the growing awareness among Americans of Senator McCarthy's evil and menace. That this is belated is regrettable, of course, but the trend is certain and encouraging.
Secondly, the predicament of Secretary Stevens also serves a purpose. There would have been no need for hearings if President Eisenhower was aware of political realities. In November, he could have given explicit support to the army that produced him by publicly denouncing the distorted picture at Fort Monmouth given by McCarthy. But save for a furtive whisper, the Secretary was left to be devoured by the wolves.
Thirdly, the conduct of Stevens reveals an oft-buried truth. The fallacy that good business men automatically make good politicians is bared in the Secretary's natural but unfortunate compromises with blackguards. Lunching with a rival manufacturer is an entirely different matter from that of lunching with Senator McCarthy. A politically acute man would not have permitted debasing concessions.
Fourthly, it is to be hoped that the Republican Party and conservative opinion in America will finally have the intelligence to admit their grievous error of winking while civil liberty, supposedly the traditional bastion of conservatives, was being destroyed. Not since Senator Vandeburg converted to realism has America had a responsible conservative spokesman. Even the late Senator Vandeburg converted to realism has America had a responsible conservative spokesman. Even the late Senator Taft was not averse to praising Senator McCarthy. No historical revisionism or sentiment for the departed can erase this fact. Yet there are many Republicans who currently say today's McCarthy is different from yesterday's McCarthy. But today's demagogue is the same man who when he pilloried Democrats was called a "little, errant boy." He is the same man who accepted Communist support in 1946, just ten years after Frankling Roosevelt repudiated it. He is the same man characterized by Time as a "liberal" phantom only last June and who now bites the hand that inadvertently fed him. It seems that conservatives applauded while the devil danced alone, and like bashful little girls, were reluctant when partner time came. To study the equivocal words of such respectable Republicans as Saltonstall and Flanders, it is painfully clear that McCarthy has been and still is uncomfortably regarded as a card to show when he's calling Democrats traitors and to hide when he's defaming sturdy Republicans. Only when the party is threatened do Republicans listen to the call of the country instead of the coyote from Wisconsin.
It is unfortunate that it takes a constitutional crisis to alert conservatives to a moral issue. Conservative morality, economy-minded as it is, is not so much wrong as it is porous and shallow. Merit is figured in terms of loss or gain. So, mink coats, a legitimate political issue, is raised as a moral issue, an oblique one when compared to a basic moral issue such as the violation of a Truman order protecting FBI loyalty files from unauthorized persons as McCarthy. When a fundamental moral issue as McCarthyism arises, it is ignored. No one, as yet, has measured the loss of reputations in dollars and cents. So, McCarthy's attacks were estimated in terms of efficiency. His action was balm to inertia-minded conservatives who like nothing better than a little motion, concentric as it may be, just as a change of pace. The present American conservative, unlike the British conservative to whom constitutionality and civil liberty are first considerations, needs a Constitutionality and civil liberty are first considerations, needs a Constitutional crisis to become aware of deep-lying moral issues. This kind of morality will let a McCarthy run rampant four years, and then discovers it's an expensive ride when its own preservation is intimidated. What conservatives must learn is that there is no such thing as economy in truth or awareness. Frederick J. Willman '56 President of the Harvard Young Democrats
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