America, Land of the Free...or Not??? Essay

America, Land of the Free...or Not??? Essay

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5. Americans pride themselves on the idea that they live in a country that embodies the ideals of democracy and freedom for all. Can the Cold War moment of McCarthyism, the fervent pursuit of Communist sympathizers in the United States, and the accompanying suppression of civil liberties be reconciled with this tradition of the “land of the free”? Does it represent an anomaly? Or is it one example of many in which the freedom of individual Americans has been (needlessly) sacrificed to protect perceived threats to the United States?

Senator Joseph McCarthy went from a farm boy in Wisconsin to a famous politician during the Cold War era. His meteoric rise to fame was attributed to his patriotic views and fighting against communism in the name of democracy. McCarthy stated that many communists were attempting to infiltrate and sabotage the United States government, specifically the State Department. He slandered communists as god-hating terrorists of whom people should be cautious towards. McCarthy’s crusade against communism led to many hearings held by the House of Un-American Activities (HUAC) where alleged communists were interrogated and bullied into confessions. Many accused communists were American citizens whose rights had been stripped away in the name of national security. McCarthy’s claims of widespread communist infiltration into American society proved to be fictitious political smears and was later ridiculed out of politics. However, the lies and fear mongering accompanying McCarthyism stripped Americans of their civil liberties. This brings up the question, how did you United States allow for this gross civil injustice, surely this an anomaly as the United States is the “land of the free.” Unfortunately, this i...

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Morgan, Ted (November–December 2003). "Judge Joe: How the Youngest Judge in Wisconsin's History Became the Country's Most Notorious Senator". Legal Affairs. Retrieved August 2, 2006
Mui, V. Information, civil liberties, and the political economy of witch-hunts. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 503-525. Retrieved May 13, 2014, from
Roark, J. L. (2012). The American promise a history of the United States (Fifth edition, Value ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's.

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