Mccarthyism

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“The Hangman” by Maurice Ogden is about an executioner, or “hangman” who comes to a town to kill every citizen one by one. After each person is executed, all other citizens refrain to protest because they fear for their own lives. The narrator of the story remains, until he is the last person in the town. He becomes the last of the hangman’s victims being that there was nobody left to defend him. The political foundation of this poem derives from the author’s aversion toward the act of bystanders who witness acts of evil or injustice. This poem is known as a great attack on McCarthyism. The townspeople who were too afraid to object the acts of the hangman symbolize the idle bystanders of McCarthyism that allowed innocent people’s lives to be ruined because they were too afraid to put their own reputations at stake by objecting the false accusations of Communism in America. After witnessing the success of Senator Joseph McCarthy in his claims of having a list of some 205 communists in the State Department, several members of congress began to adopt his oppressive and abusive tactics for political purposes. In, “You Mean I’m Supposed to Stand on That?”, Herblock of the Washington Post illustrates conservative Republican senators pushing a reluctant elephant to mount a very unstable platform. The elephant of the political cartoon represents the “Good Old Party,” the traditional nickname for the Republican Party whose platform is generally conservative and soundly structured. The unstable platform symbolizes the adopted tactics being employed by the senators from Senator McCarthy. I this cartoon, Herblock was the first to ever use the term known today as “McCarthyism.” This clipping from the New York Times newspaper is a report from the courtroom where the controversy of “The Army-McCarthy” hearings took place. Representing from each side were Senator Joseph McCarthy, and Joseph N. Welch, a special counsel for the Army. This article is so imperative to the study of...
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