Mccarthy & the American Psyche
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. ” (Deed Morrow, “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 Warplanes a veritable legion of spies, including those who communicated U. S. Atomic secrets to the Soviets. ” (Alan Exalted) It was 1950. Robin Hood had been taken away from classrooms due to his C]steal from the rich and give to the poor’ message, which could be correctly identified as a Communist principle, not appropriate for American children.
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He fed on the “intense fear and hatred of Communism by most Americans” (Engel Smith). He was “a mover of masses in a queer, negative way” (Leslie Fielder). The attitude in America at the time would have been against Communism regardless of McCarthy; however it was he turned the attitude from defensiveness to aggression. He has been described as “the leader of patriotic Americans determined to root out Communist traitors” (Engel Smith).Anyone who could gain bulk American support would no doubt also gain great power. The power given to McCarthy put the USA in great danger, they were lucky McCarthy had no ambition or he could have caused a lot more internal damage. How could the Americans trust such a character? He was a body until he made his allegations, was there not one person who could have checked his background and realized that he was in no position to be receiving any confidential documents about Communists from the hierarchy? McCarthy provided no evidence to back up his allegations and never uncovered a single Communist agent in the government.
” (Engel Smith) A point that is commonly missed is the similarity McCarthy held to Stalin during the Great Terror of 1937-1938 (on a lower key, of course). If one forgot of the multitude of lives lost under Stalin, they would see how both of these imagoes wrongly gained the power of the people, and then used it to destroy them. That McCarthy pointed a finger was quite enough to ruin a reputation and destroy a career- even if no actual evidenced was presented. ” (Alan Exalted) In both cases, the leaders ended up being just as bad as the enemy they fought, in fact, their people would have been better off surviving the worse case scenario of the threat these leaders claimed to be fighting than the antagonizing humiliation they faced when they were blamed, and found guilty, for a crime of which they were innocent.The one major preference is that while Stalin actually forced the Great Terror to begin, the Aqua’s Terror’ could have been easily avoided, if there was but one person who knew what was going on to do what was morally and ethically right for the county. This is, of course, America. Unlike the Great Terror, many politicians, especially Republicans, saw the advantages they could gain from having McCarthy on their side, rather than the pain it would cause the country.
The right-wing, nationalistic views held by the Republicans over time have shown that, when under threat, the American people are more likely to vote in the ore war-happy party. He could keep the entire political establishment of the United States in perpetual uproar,” (peg 620, Hugh Brogan, “The Pelican History of the united States of America”) that is, the controversy he caused within the government itself caused blood to boil all over the country. One newspaper of the time said, “The Senates afraid of him. ” (Newspaper unknown, reference- Engel Smith) It seems McCarthy as a person would have been virtually powerless and never risen to infamy if the American people had sort after the truth rather than what comforted them.It took McCarthy taking on the conservatives who were supporting him for him to be “exposed for the reckless, self-serving demagogue that he was. ” (Alan Exalted) The American people were a mixture of three types. The first were the typical Cultures Americans’ as we have coined them who actually believed that, with mass support from others, he must be right.
The next were the conservatives. Their single-mindedness on matters of national security ultimately led to their ignorant following of McCarthy. The final category is the one we can blame for McCarthy rise to power.The leaders of the country, including politicians and people holding high positions in organizations such as the FBI, knew quite well what was going on. In the beginning they saw McCarthy not as a threat, but more so a piece they could play to score some more votes. A few months in, they were now powerless against him. The American people are typically gullible, in this case their paranoia led to their gullibility; however the people in power have a responsibility to the country.
If they do not do the right thing for the country, the people will soon look for a figure who does.