It's time for another declaration of conscience

The nation “sorely needs a Republican victory,” Smith said, but she did not “want to see the Republican party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny—Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.”

That list right there—fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear—could well be the slogan of Trumpism.

Could the Republican party ride to victory on those four horses? Smith didn’t think so: “I doubt if the Republican party could do so, simply because I do not believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans are not that desperate for victory.”

Smith, as it happened, was wrong before she was right. Her Republican party increasingly did turn toward McCarthyism, and the party won both chambers of Congress and the presidency in 1952. (Eisenhower’s platform that year: “Korea, Communism, and Corruption.”) But within a couple of years, the country, and the leadership of the party, had sickened of McCarthyism, and in 1954 the Senate came around to censuring McCarthy. Three years after that he was dead.