McCarthyism

This essay has a total of 1582 words and 7 pages.

McCarthyism



McCarthyism and its Effects on America 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
tremendously the loss of their jobs. They feared that their political afflictions
would reflect on their job status (Reeves, 99). By trying to keep America
from becoming a Communist nation, McCarthy and his followers turned the
country into an anti - Communist nation. A country that thrived on freedom
and was kept in tact by laws would become a country that was moved by
fear alone. Laws would hold no meaning and innocent people would be
accused (Feuerlicht, 154). Communists were everywhere. But they were
hard to identify because Communism was a philosophy. There was no way a
person could provide supporting evidence that someone believed in
something (Feuerlicht, 154). According to McCarthy there were over 200
Communists in the State Department (Feuerlicht, 55). And some 57 cases of
people who fall into the category of card - carrying Communists, loyalist of
the Communist Party, or risks to the nation (Divine, 265). Despite the issue
of Communists in America there was a bigger issue, Communist spies.
Though the truth of the matter is that all countries spy and are spied on, even
America. The shock felt by the nation was not lessened (Feuerlicht, 54).
Communist spies were the worst kind because they were not the type that
stole plans for new weapons they worked from within. They were the people
helping us build our policy (Divine, 265). These Communist spies were also
hard to find because very few made it easy and confessed to being a spy.
One such a person was a German named Klaus Fuchs. He confessed to
spying for the Russians while he worked on the development of the atom
bomb (Fried, 120). Many Americans lives and careers were lost due to
McCarthy and his accusations. Hollywood’s leaders resisted allowing
politicians to regulate their hiring practices, but following the HUAC hearings
the "blacklists" began in Hollywood. No one who was known to be a
communist would be employed (Fried, 77-78). Producers started questioning
their employees on many topics including politics and affiliations. In the case
that the employee’s answers did not fit with the Waldorf Statement which
was that no known Communist would be hired, the employee was fired, or
let go (Fried, 78). With one exception anyone who confessed, and gave the
names of other "Communists" were spared (Garraty, 531). After the
blacklists, and the scare of Communism films started containing only
anti-Communist themes. Somewhere around forty of these anti-Communism
films were made. None of them being very popular or profitable (Fried, 78).
The blacklists continued in Hollywood while in the Government offices more
than 2,000,000 men and women were subject to loyalty investigations no
matter what their status was. The investigations were also required to be
done on any person who applied for a federal job (Feuerlicht, 47). Lists of
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