ARCHIVAL (PBS, NEWSHOUR, IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, 11-20-19):GORDON SONDLAND (UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION ): We followed the presidents orders.
NARRATION: Even after the revelations of the impeachment hearings, nearly every Republican in Congress is sticking by the President.
ARCHIVAL (PBS, NEWSHOUR, IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, 11-20-19):REPRESENTATIVE DEVIN NUNES (OPENING STATEMENT FOR SONDLAND HEARING ON IMPEACHMENT): The Democrats have gathered zero Republican support in the House of Representatives for their impeachment crusade.
NARRATION: Breaking ranks with party leadership often carries a political risk. Thats what one senator discovered decades ago at the height of the Cold War, when fears of communist influence in the U.S. were running high.
ARCHIVAL (MAINE PUBLIC BROADCASTING):SENATOR MARGARET CHASE SMITH: Wake up, America. Wake up to the fact that you are gradually committing national suicide.
NARRATION: In the 1950s, Senator Margaret Chase Smith became the first Republican to condemn a popular but divisive leader from her own party Senator Joseph McCarthy.
ARCHIVAL (F.I.L.M. ARCHIVES):SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY: Even if there were only one communist in the State Department, even if there were only one communist in the State Department, that would still be one communist too many.
NARRATION: McCarthy had launched a crusade to root out communists in government, using televised hearings to question the patriotism of public officials.
ARCHIVAL (WPA FILM LIBRARY):SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY: If a stupid, arrogant or witless man in a position of power appears before our committee, and is found aiding the Communist Party, he will be exposed.
NARRATION: McCarthy was called the most feared man in America, and Republicans were silent on his tactics. Except for Smith, the lone woman in the Senate.
ARCHIVAL (MARGARET CHASE SMITH LIBRARY):SENATOR MARGARET CHASE SMITH: The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds.
NARRATION: Speaking in the Senate, Smith warned her party against using fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear to win elections.
ARCHIVAL (MARGARET CHASE SMITH LIBRARY):SENATOR MARGARET CHASE SMITH: We are Republicans, but we are Americans first.
NARRATION: Only six Republicans backed Smiths call for decency. McCarthy ridiculed the group as Snow White and the Six Dwarfs. Soon, many of Smiths colleagues would abandon her. And McCarthy recruited a Republican to challenge Smith when she ran for re-election.
ARCHIVAL (WPA FILM LIBRARY):SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY: This fight to expose those who would destroy this nation will go on and on.
NARRATION: Four years after Smiths speech, the Senate finally turned on McCarthy, condemning his behavior. As for Smith, she was re-elected and served another 18 years in the Senate.
ARCHIVAL (MAINE PUBLIC BROADCASTING):SENATOR MARGARET CHASE SMITH: Too many of your leaders sew doubt and dissension and hatred among your people, just for their own political gain. Wake up America.