Anti-Communism and McCarthyism America has both seen and had to face many obstacles which include several wars and a Great Depression. During those times America had many challenges to face, many of which almost led to the destruction of the foundation of the country. The most memorable is the Red Scare which is a result of anti-communism and McCarthyism. This paper describes the differences between anti-communism and McCarthyism. Next, the perspective from which the media covered the issue is analyzed.
In addition to the perspective of the media, the American foreign policy decisions are discussed as to how the decisions impacted anti-communism. Finally, the lives of Americans are examined as to how the Red Scare impacted many families. Difference between Anti-communism and McCarthyism Ideologically speaking, anti-communism is a common belief that communism is harmful or wrong. Anti-communists see communism as a way of attaining power through wars or by revolution.
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Anti-communism is a general term that refers to an individual opposing atheism and includes liberals, socialists, and conservatives. In a 1953 New York Times newspaper article Senator Lehman stated: “This is not between Britain and the United States, but between McCarthyism and America’s role of leadership in the free world Communism must be attacked with equal force since both seek national disunity and destruction of freedom” (The New York Times, May 24, 1953). McCarthyism was more of a communist scare tactic in the United States than anything else.
During the height of the Cold War, a senator with the last name of McCarthy, an anti-communist, had a belief that communist infiltrated American politics. He referred to this as an “un-American activity”. Individuals that were suspected of being communists were put on what was called the blacklist. Employers were very afraid of his or her own reputations being ruined, this preveneted many individuals from being employed. Many individual’s reputations were ruined because of Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthyism led to the imprisonment of many innocent people.
Media Coverage and Impacted Decisions Unfortunately, President Dwight Eisenhower was in support of McCarthy because the man was seen as a positive figure in the eyes of the public and the media. However, it was personal fears that were the driving force behind McCarthy’s popularity. McCarthy, along with Eisenhower, spoke together several times in Wisconsin. In one speech, Eisenhower stated that the government has to be one that Communists and others that sided with the individuals would not only find this uncongenial but thoroughly hostile (Frances, 1952).
However, the media indicated that the two individuals never spoke together. This prompted speculation amongst people and everyone began to question the relationship between the two men. People began to wonder if the two individuals had a problem with one another. Through his public appearances, McCarthy was able to instill fear in the public. No one would dare to cross him for fear of what would happen to their personal lives and careers. The Big Red Scare After World War One, a very hysterical America fell victim to The Red Scare.
The uprising caused many people to lose jobs, families, and credibility. Actors even became unemployed and were unable to find work. Though as quickly as the scare came and went, there remained an incredibly severe case of fear in most, if not all Americans during this time. The Red Scare left many Americans paranoid and fearful of the unknown. However, one must wonder if the Red Scare of 1919 may have been the true cause of the Cold War. Conclusion Although Anti-Communism and McCarthyism are part of past history, some of the ideologies remain a part of the nation in 2011.
During the presidential election, McCain alleged that President Barack Obama was a Communist because of what he stood for. McCain further indicated that if America elected the presidential candidate, that would indicate the support of a communist. America is one of the most powerful countries in the entire world. The media plays upon emotions of the society and understands how issues can be exploited and taken out of context. Just like the Red Scare, the media plays upon the fears of individuals for the single purpose of creating conflict, fear, and insecurity in the people.