"The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body in the world. But recently that deliberative character has too often been debased to the level of a forum of hate and character assassination sheltered by the shield of congressional immunity.
It is ironical that we Senators can in debate in the Senate directly or indirectly, by any form of words, impute to any American who is not a Senator any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming an American - and without that non-Senator American having any legal redress against us - yet if we say the same thing in the Senate about our colleagues we can be stopped on the grounds of being out of order.
It is strange that we can verablly attack anyone else without restraint and with full protection and yet we hold ourselves above the same type of criticism here on the Senate Floor. Surely the United States Senate is big enough to take self-critcism and self appraisal. Surely we should be able to take the same kind of character attacks that we "dish out" to outsiders.
I think that it is high time for the United States Senate and its members to do some soul searching - for us to weigh our consciences - on the manner in which we are performing our duty to the people of America - on the manner in which we are using or abusing our individual powers and privileges.
I think that it is high time that we remembered that we have sword to uphold and defend the Constitution. I think that it is high time that we remembered that the Constitution, as amended, speaks not only of the freedom of speech but also of trial by jury instead of trail by accusation.
Those of us whos hout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism:
The right to criticize.
The right to hold unpopular beliefs.
The right to protest.
The right to independent though.
The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn't? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in."
This statement was later followed:
"Surely it is clear that this nation will continue to suffer as long as it is governed by the present ineffective Democratic Administration. Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny - Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear."
Updated, so I don't have to reanswer the question multiple times in case there are multiple responses, hah!
Margaret Chase Smith
One of the earliest female representatives in Congress and writer of the Declaration of Conscience, a reaction against McCarthyism and growing extremism in the Republican party, spoken 1950.