An Overview of McCarthyism and the McCarthy Era Essay example

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An Overview of McCarthyism and the McCarthy Era This is the first definition ever of the word McCarthyism, first published in 1954. The basis of this definition is the life of lawyer, judge, and senator of the United States of America, Joseph R. McCarthy. If one takes a look at the actions of this man, it is not very hard to understand where this definition comes from.

Joeseph McCarthy was a master of media and public manipulation for the purpose of his own notoriety. Throughout his career as a politician, he used many issues to gain him attention, the most well known, of course, being his anti-communist crusade/witch hunt during the early 1950, of which he was the leading spokesperson. McCarthy’s record at
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This was completely untrue and furthered the pattern of dishonesty for which he would eventually be known.

McCarthy’s next stage of politics and lies was his term as Senator. This is the beginning of the famed anti-communist accusations which have defined McCarthyism. In order to win the senatorship, he accused his partner of having communist inclinations and a mouthpiece for the communist party. This was not a new tool to be used by republicans, but it is one which he would take to a new level. During the early part of his term, Joseph often irritated the Republican party by showing blatant disregard for rules and for backing unusual platforms. He was also known by this time for bending the truth as it fit his needs and for turning any serious discussion into a personal, usually false, attack on his opponent. Because largely of these views of him, his population was dwindling. He knew that he needed a new platform from which he could attract the support and attention of the media. That issue was the manipulation of the red scare. On February 9, 1950, he launched his crusade that would turn the government upside down. Although there was no documentation of the speech which he made on that day, the commonly accepted quotation is this:

“I have here in my hand a list of 205 - a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of Sate as being members of the Communist party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy

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