The era of the Red Scare was difficult due to the constant fear of communism within the United States. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his policies that shaped the term “McCarthyism” were a central point in this confrontation. They resulted in the crumbling of numerous careers due to the questions on loyalty and promotion of some (Fried 3). However, these chaotic times were also remembered as the “happy times” because the economy was striving, World War II ended, and American interests were preserved (Fried 3).
Nevertheless, Joseph McCarthy was obsessed with the cold war – the period of chaotic rivalry between the Soviet Union and the US. In his speech in 1950, McCarthy was sure about the presence of opposing forces in the form of Christianity and communistic atheism. The questions on the grounds of religion were addressed as the question of loyalty towards the government. Therefore, this leads to unjustifiable acts against the general population’s liberty and freedom of choice.
On the other hand, it is possible to trace the populist themes in their speech of McCarthy among their remarks about the more affluent part of the US population. According to him, they were traitors that sold their country to the communist foes while the minority groups and those of lower wealth remained loyal (McCarthy). He was practically insulting them and their working capabilities. This way, he appealed to this diversion of the higher class from others who shaped most of the population.
It also reinforced the validity of economic motivation introduced by McCarthy about the supposed communists emphasizing the enemy’s presence among American ranks. It also demonstrated that the State Department officials taken care of by the government and were supposed to return the favor in loyalty became a prominent liability instead (McCarthy). This argument does not contradict his assertions in the earlier parts of the speech.
In conclusion, McCarthy’s speech about Democrats and Communists focused on establishing awareness about the communist threat in higher social positions. However, it can be considered as an unnecessarily extensive fear and pessimistic attitude of the McCarthy himself as it contributed to what is known as the Red Scare.
Fried, Richard M. Nightmare in Red: the McCarthy Era in Perspective. Oxford University Press, 2006.
McCarthy, Joseph. Joseph McCarthy: Democrats and Communists (1950). Web.