In 1950, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) took on Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a member of her own party, in a speech she called a “Declaration of Conscience.” While Chase didn’t mention McCarthy by name, she urged her fellow Republicans to stand up for the basic American values being trampled by McCarthyism:
It is high time that we stop thinking politically as Republicans and Democrats about elections and started thinking patriotically as Americans about national security based on individual freedom. I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny: fear, ignorance, bigotry, smear.
“Wow, did she resonate,” Cuomo said before noting that Chase’s words served as a reminder to her fellow politicians.
“She reminded them your duty was to the people,” he added. “Not to party alone.”
Then, Cuomo called on today’s lawmakers to follow Smith’s example.
“Please give the people a reason to believe again, Mr. and Mrs. Office Holder,” he said. “If you are not man or woman enough to say it out loud like Margaret Chase Smith, then listen to her words and let it guide your actions.”
See his full segment below: