Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

I need help on mccarthyism INFO?!?

im really having a hard time finding information about this. actually too much information! im writing a paper and i dont know how or where to start. helpppppp.

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    McCarthy was in the Congress during a period when there were a lot of card carrying communists in the USA, some of them, even in government. They were mostly Trotsky-ites, and this was before people really knew about the horrors of Stalin's regime.

    Anyhow McCarthy wanted to be famous and get on TV and radio and make a big splash. So, unlike a serious person, he just started making lists based on flimsey hearsay evidence and calling people in before the Committee and interrogating them very harshly. If he were around today he would be on political Shock Radio -- like some of the famous ones -- you know who I mean. His problem was he was slipshod careless and negligent. So 75% of the people he targeted were not actually communists. He never figured out which ones actually were. So his activities amounted to a clown show. In the end, another politician asked him "Have you no Shame?" That was pretty much the end of McCarthy and his era.

    The government never stopped looking for the real communists (read A Man called Intrepid), and some fo them were rooted out -- like the ones that worked at Los Alamos, but after McCarthy, things were done more professionally, with more care and skill and less negligence. Although some real big mistakes were made, like when Teller got to use backhanded positive testimony to kill Oppenheimer's security clearance at the AEC -- that was a travesty -- it was very McCarthy-like -- slipshod negligent people made the security decision and disrespected a man the USA should have been grateful to and admired as a hero (and a genius).

    McCarthy was a man twisted by a desire for fame and recognition. People like that, even if they only get a little bit of power, can do a lot of harm. Because he gave a bad name to hunting down and expelling communists from the government, he ended up creating cover for them. They were unassailable except on the most conclusive evidence. Several moles survived at the CIA and did terrible damage until they were finally caught in the 1980's.

    So the publicity seeker was a clown whose actions backfired and had the opposite effect. Talent is important in the national security game, just like in tennis, or golf, or ski jumping. McCarthy was a talentless Yahoo, not cut out for the role he assigned himself.

    Source(s): Life -- I lived through that era, saw it firsthand, don't need to read about it in books, saw it happen before my eyes.
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