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I Recently viewed a movie from 1957 in which a naval lawyer was suspended from duty due to a person who came to his home to ask for advice. This visitor had a some point gone to a communist meeting but decided against ever going again. This person had applied for and got a government job but was concerned as he had answered untruthfully to a question about his ever coming in contact with any communists (the exact wording ?). He asked for advice of this lawyer who directed him to seek assistance elsewhere as he was a naval lawyer. This person was apparently being watched by the government and began to ask questions about the naval lawyers associations, this led to his being suspended and ostracized by his neighbors, some of whom hardly knew hin but leapt eagerly on the bashing band wagon. When the truth finally came out, he was exonerated ll of this to lead into the story below. We had a Senator who ruined multiple lives using the same type of word of mouth information and gossip. This Senator was Joe McCarthy who passed away in the year this movie aired. Mr. McCarthy’s reign of terror occurred in the 2-3 years before the movie but the effects mirror the misinformation put out by some of our current Legislators, office holders  and office aspirants .

Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy (November 14, 1908 –  May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion.[1] He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, McCarthy’s tactics and his inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate.

The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy’s practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character and/or patriotism of political opponents.[2]

Born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, McCarthy earned a law degree at Marquette University in 1935 and was elected as a circuit judge in 1939, the youngest in state history.[3] At age 33, McCarthy volunteered for the United States Marine Corps and served during World War II. He successfully ran for the United States Senate in 1946, defeating Robert M. La Follette, Jr. After three largely undistinguished years in the Senate, McCarthy rose suddenly to national fame in February 1950 when he asserted in a speech that he had a list of “members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring” who were employed in the State Department.[4] McCarthy was never able to prove his sensational charge.

In succeeding years, McCarthy made additional accusations of Communist infiltration into the State Department, the administration of President Harry S. Truman, Voice of America, and the United States Army. He also used charges of communism, communist sympathies, or disloyalty to attack a number of politicians and other individuals inside and outside of government. With the highly publicized Army–McCarthy hearings of 1954, McCarthy’s support and popularity began to fade. On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67 to 22, making him one of the few senators ever to be disciplined in this fashion. McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48. The official cause of death was acute hepatitis; it is widely accepted that this was exacerbated by alcoholism.[5]

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