Archive | December, 2013

Senator Joseph McCarthy

12 Dec

It was inevitable, Senator Joseph McCarthy was bound to grace the pages of this blog at some point – today is that day.

Many may be familiar with the senator. His name draws notoriety and memories of unjust persecutions, false accusations, wild and maniacal speeches. The term McCarthyism derives from him, meaning, “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.[1]”  This is an unfortunate attribution to his name and ought not to be…

Context is Important to Facts

Today, when presented in history class or spoken of in many circles, his career is presented totally out of context of the day he was living.  Many dissenters of McCarthy, and other communist hunters, fail to grasp the true state of the world at this time. Communism, and the regimes that embraced it, had already taken over much of the population of the world. During times of “peace”, when McCarthy was a senator, communists had already killed over 7 million people in Russia alone. Over 80 million more would be killed by communists later in China, Tibet, Cambodia and other places. That does not include the millions killed in World War II by the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, commonly known in English as the Nazi Party. Notice that word “sozialistische”. That’s right, socialists, which is just another name for communists.  Communists and Nazi socialists have been responsible for the murder of over 100 million people in the last 80 years!

The United States was not left untouched.  20 years before WWII the U.S. had what is called it’s first “Red Scare”. This was not long after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The first Red Scare was truly legitimate. Starting in 1914 and ending in 1932 there were wide spread bombing campaigns led by communists agitators. In April and June of 1919 alone (just two months) at least 44 dynamite mail bombs were posted to high ranking government officials. Unions with communist leanings were responsible for the Seattle General Strike and the Boston Police strikes which created a great deal of disruption and uncertainty. Many other nefarious activities by communists fueled both unrest and fear during this period. Only with the Immigration Act of 1918, and it’s aggressive enforcement, did the U.S. begin to effectively deal with the Red Tide. It allowed  for the deportation of the communist immigrants that had led these attacks and propagated the communist’s most extreme propaganda. Although this legislation helped to quell the most violent tides of communist activity in America, other activities remained in full swing…until this very day.

So with the communist murder of millions world wide underway and the initial Red Scare creating the most disruptive decade in the U.S. since the Civil War, Senator McCarthy makes his appearance in the decade of 1950 with a zealous fervor that would later bring scorn and ridicule.  Much later, KGB files uncovered after the Cold War and the declassification of the Venona project gave a fair bit of credence to McCarthy’s seemingly paranoid accusations.  His temper at those that resisted his efforts against the communists would finally be his undoing. True, a little more tact and wisdom would have netted far more progress in holding back subversive communists, but to vilify McCarthy today is to remain willingly ignorant of the context in which he lived.  I would also venture to say that if one asked the 100 million people that were murdered by communist philosophy if they thought he was being too zealous that they would give a resounding, “NO!”

It is generally recognized that his influence on the United States is still very much felt. There are plenty of federal and state laws still on the books that were inspired by him. His legacy has netted a few recent books and academic papers in his favor[2] and not so much[3] in his favor.  I encourage you to read these and the many other books written about him – as the bias can be hard to dissect without multiple presentations of his life.

It can not be disputed that Senator Joe McCarthy ranks as one of the most influential U.S. senators of the last century. Since the dawn of the Mac Cárthaigh clan there has not been a century where they have not left their indelible mark. May it continue…

“The Strong Arm Forever”!

1. mccarthyism. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from website:
2. Evans, M. Stanton. “Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies”
3. Schrecker, Ellen (Winter 2000). “Comments on John Earl Haynes’ The Cold War Debate Continues. Journal of Cold War Studies. Harvard University—Faculty of Arts and Sciences.