McCarthyism not only destroyed the lives and careers of many Americans but also the innocent image of the country. Senator Joe McCarthy from Wisconsin was the same as any man. But when he cried Communism the world seemed to listen.
Following the Cold War between Russia and the United States there came many hardships, such as unemployment and high inflation. These hardships produced a restless society. The society then looked for something or someone to blame (Fried, 39). They found someone to blame. Communists. Throughout the country there was a witch hunt known as the Red Scare. A basic idea was formed: Communism was evil. Anyone who participated in such evil was considered illegitimate and were to be excluded from such things as sharing ideas, and jobs (Reeves, 136). This fear of Communism or anti-Communism as it was called could be described as a type of "virus." When all was calm in America the virus would fade, but the moment a crisis struck, the virus came back stronger than ever (Feuerlicht, 35). Communism was a threat not only for countries overseas but a threat for America and its people. It was a threat on the American way of life, a bruise on the phrase "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." (Feuerlicht, 45) And McCarthy helped spread this fear.
McCarthy and his ways challenged the Bill of Rights. "When free speech or due process are denied to any individual everyone's rights are jeopardized. Today's oppressors may become tomorrow's accursed group." (Feuerlicht, 154) And nothing is guaranteed more than the destruction of America when the freedoms promised by the Bill of Rights are denied (Feuerlicht, 154). McCarthy installed a fear in the people. But people feared tremendousl...
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...ithers. It must be affirmed and reaffirmed in every generation." But in McCarthy's case it was not (Sawtelle,2). Even the consequences of his hate teachings were felt long after McCarthy's time. They were still fresh in the mind of Lieutenant William Calley when he was found guilty of Murder he was quoted saying that the Army taught him only that the enemy was Communism. "They didn't give it a race, they didn't give it a sex, they didn't give it an age," sobbing. "They never let me believe it was just a philosophy in a man's head." (Feuerlicht, 153). " But Communism was a philosophy, and like all philosophies it needs to be examined and understood. Instead of declaring a holy war against the concept of Communism, America might have defended freedom more successfully and more honorably if she had declared war on the oppression and injustice that make men Communists."
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