The New “McCarthyism”: Do You Now or Have You Ever Said Something Mean on Twitter?

After over four years of a Chief Magistrate in the White House who governed by misspelled insults — insults mainly published on social media platforms — and sometimes spat out in driveway press conferences — we now face a new set of obstacles constructed by a thin-skinned right-wing Senate minority: a minority that has conveniently chosen to forget the perpetual vitriol spewed out by their now leader-in-exile.

It was vitriol that went uniformly unchecked as to truth or civility because it served the immediate purposes of the party-in-power.

Only when the “optics” of this barbarism became so bad for television did the “former guy’s” rank inhumanity face even the slightest pushback from his own rabid constituency solely because the media became flooded with images of children inside cages at near-border encampments authorized by executive order and policy.

But even then, it sufficed to merely change the imagery and persist in the policy. As a now famous commentator has told us, it was indeed the purpose of the policy to display an edge of unabated meanness and cruelty. Strength through callous indifference.

Yet, now that the scene has changed, the lines once spoken by the observers and critics of cruelty are being forced towards recantation; the harshest and sharpest critics must show their penance before they can serve in the new Administration.

It is the McCarthyism of old newly repackaged; but not as an ideological badge of shame but instead as a new Scarlet Letter of past incivility that must be sincerely denounced by a full and complete apology lest all the enablers of the once and wants-to-be-again emperor of insolence withhold their constitutional consent for further government service.

It is a way of forcing all of the former guy’s critics to say they are now really sorry for denouncing his unending inhumanity.

For if they do not, they will end up like the former nominee for the Office of Management and Budget — relegated to a non-cabinet level position simply because her Senate confirmation is simply not practical.

They are indeed at risk of being forever tarred by their one simple mistake over the last four years: having the gall and temerity to understand that cruelty and indecency must always be resisted. No matter the cost to someone else’s sensibilities. Once upon a time, we called that courage.

-Albert Turner Goins