Paper On Mc Carthy Force For Good Or Evil?

563 words - 3 pages

Some say Senator McCarthy prevented the US from falling to communism. The fear of communism caused the American people to have increased awareness and suspicion. It allowed the government to purge communism out of all areas of American life, and one could argue that ultimately, America was saved. While all of this is true, there is debate over whether McCarthy truly did a good deed for American society - it is enormously difficult to ignore the negative externalities of the anti-communism wave he started.The most obvious effect of McCarthyism was the effect on society. McCarthy, by declaring that he had a list of names of US government spies, created mass paranoia among the American people. In reality, the Communist Party in the ...view middle of the document...

Perhaps the most noteworthy example of this irrational fear was the trial of the Rosenbergs in 1953, though minor spies, but nonetheless were executed upon scanty evidence.In addition, McCarthyism directly threatened the very freedoms that capitalism represented. Communism was seen as a danger to capitalist sovereignty, but during this period of "fighting communism"; America was in fact closer than ever to the USSR's Stalinist command. People could not believe what they chose to. Government intervention was at a high; people were fired or sentenced only because they were suspected communist collaborators. And communism was not even a real threat! To avoid persecution, the accused were encouraged to rat out other names. If cleansing America of all things communist was supposed to make it a better place, we can safely say that in McCarthyism, the opposite effect was achieved.McCarthy's history also explains a lot to us. He was not a very honorable, righteous person - he would publish twisted slander about his opponents to ensure their elimination and his victory in elections. It was completely unfair and immoral. He was later "censured by the Senate for the methods used in his investigations" and "abuse of certain senators and Senate committees."It is true that the Red Scare may have prevented communism spreading in the US, but during that time communism was not a significant threat. McCarthy's fabrications were a stretch on the truth. He caused widespread, unnecessary paranoia and ruined the lives of many American citizens and even his political opponents. It is difficult to credit McCarthy with saving the US from communism because that would mean remaining utterly ignorant of the numerous negative effects of the Red Scare he began.


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