Mccarthy & the American Psyche

Topics: Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism, United States Pages: 4 (1316 words) Published: September 25, 2005
The American psyche has always been a point of discussion among other cultures; they are often called stupid, ignorant and war-happy. During the McCarthy era of 1950-1954, however, they were more so being cautious of the Communist threat than being paranoid. Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) knew "how to win power, headlines and a passionately loyal following by manipulation" (Hugh Brogan). It was said "The McCarthy witch hunts were not born of fantasy," (Alan Axelrod) that is, the American people had reason to believe that perhaps there was a half-truth in McCarthy's accusations. McCarthy rose to national infamy not due to his skill or persuasiveness in the political field, but rather his saying the right thing in the right place at the right time. "He didn't create the situation of fear; he merely exploited it, and rather successfully." (Ed Murrow, "See it Now", CBS) If he had done the same at any other period in history it would have been a somewhat different story. The Americans, however, are responsible for letting it get as far as it did. McCarthy should never have been given such power, regardless of the situation. National security is the president's responsibility, the American people should vote in a competent leader who is bound by oath to the country's wellbeing.

"The Cold War…spawned a veritable legion of spies, including those who communicated U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets." (Alan Axelrod) It was 1950. Robin Hood had been taken away from classrooms due to his ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor' message, which could be correctly identified as a Communist principle, not appropriate for American children. It was three years after Alger Hiss was found to be guilty of espionage. It was the year after the atomic bomb secret had been leaked to the Russian's allowing them to develop their own. Also, the loss of China to the Communists had happened only months prior and was a major blow for the USA. In only a few months the United Nations...
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