Age of McCarthyism
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McCarthyism was a disgustful period in the United States where accusations of betrayal, subversion, or treachery were made against people with no sound evidence. The re-established tolerance for communism ideologies in the United States had originated from the cold war alliances. During this time, the fight against a strong Soviet Union allowed anticommunism to take a fundamental part in shaping American politics. The war brought a transformation in domestic communism from being just a political inclination to that of overall national security. As the United States grew more aggressive towards the Soviet Union, those people who were inclined to communist ideologies were taken to be possible rival agents (Schrecker, 2002). This paper focuses on the differences as well as the similarities between three arguments presented by the respective authors during the period of McCarthyism.
McCarthyism was conducted through speeches and hearings which were led by Senator McCarthy himself. Other bodies that carried out the investigations include the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The aftermath of these activities were dehumanization that affected the all levels of the society and became a very great source of conflicts and nauseating debates in the U.S (Schrecker, 2002). Although the investigators finally achieved their objective since they found people who had plots to overthrow the government, there were so many persecutions of the innocent people.
According to J. Edgar Hoover, he is totally opposed to communists points of view. He suggests that communists were never contented with the way American politics were carried out and that they had the intension of gaining their dominance through a ‘bloody revolution’. They are known for infiltrating into the political dynasties of most of the states in the world and planting their communist seed in them. Hoover was concerned over the way in which the national security of the United States was at stake due to its encroachment by communist ideologies (Schrecker, 2002). He suggested that they applied schemes such as appealing for the will and pity of the masses.
They choose to use military support and supply plenty of guns and ammunition. They are also known to push for extermination of the police which is a government organ that is considered as the most significant rival. These communists further seize communication channels and infrastructure to gain control of all communication systems in the country. The speeches from communists were regarded as friendly witnesses following the fact they disclosed a considerate number of people who were allegedly accused of holding views of the left-wing group (Schrecker, 2002). It is however believed that before the accusations were accepted, some kind of torture was inflicted to them. As a follow up, the nineteen named communists were arrested.
During the period of the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945, Sidney Hook was inclined to politics of liberal anti-communism. His belief could be easily bought by the masses especially following the anti-communist movement after the war which contributed to his prominence. Since McCarthyism was an effort by Joseph McCarthy to influence the government to react even if the information he provided was sometimes baseless, the practice was regarded as some kind of bullying in politics. It is at this critical period that the senator injected excessive fear to his fellow politicians which made them fear him. Taking into consideration the verity that politicians’ chief purpose is to speak up for the rights of the people they represent, the nature of the panicky life they lived during this era diminished their audacity to play their role effectively. A hefty number of senators were afraid to talk against the man due to the fear that he might attack them and give false allegations against them as being communist (Schrecker, 2002). This followed the fact that the senators were afraid of losing their jobs as well as being punished.
Despite the fact that all the senators could perceive all that was happening around them and witness the unjust punishments and torture inflicted on their people, they had no ability to stop the activities because of the dread imposed by McCarthy. Other detrimental effects on the politicians were more psychological oriented and they had a feeling of inadequacy since they could not perform their stipulated duties. This was in some way some sort of dictatorship which seemed very difficult to control. What killed the hopes of many is the notion that the dignitaries could not stop the inhuman treatments that the public received and therefore gave up and were set for anything that would have cropped up in the near future (Schrecker, 2002). It can therefore be said that both Hook and Hoover were opposed to the concept of communism.
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas had realized that fear had made most people from all walks of life not to respond to the demands of the orthodox. Most of the people who were inclined to liberal movements after the Second World War were opposed to communism (Schrecker, 2002). He was therefore still opposed to communism just like his other two counterparts.
Though this was the period that the term was eminently used, it has been carried on up to date with its usage being evident in the modern society to refer to all fake disloyalty accusations made against people without any feasible evidence. During this critical period, the lives of many Americans were affected and there were mainly very negative impacts on not only the prominent dignitaries and the working class, but also on the peasant non-working people and children.
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