Thursday, June 9, 2016

McCarthy Gets Shut Down...!

The term "Red Scare" should bring back memories of a shameful time in our history.

A man named McCarthy was on a witch hunt and accusing many innocent people of being communists. These false claims cost many people their jobs and reputation. Here's a bit of his story and the man that basically shut him down.

Joseph McCarthy meets his match

In a dramatic confrontation, Joseph Welch, special counsel for the U.S. Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether communism has infiltrated the U.S. armed forces. Welch’s verbal assault marked the end of McCarthy’s power during the anticommunist hysteria of the Red Scare in America.

Senator McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) experienced a meteoric rise to fame and power in the U.S. Senate when he charged in February 1950 that “hundreds” of “known communists” were in the Department of State. In the years that followed, McCarthy became the acknowledged leader of the so-called Red Scare, a time when millions of Americans became convinced that communists had infiltrated every aspect of American life. Behind closed-door hearings, McCarthy bullied, lied, and smeared his way to power, destroying many careers and lives in the process. Prior to 1953, the Republican Party tolerated his antics because his attacks were directed against the Democratic administration of Harry S. Truman. When Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the White House in 1953, however, McCarthy’s recklessness and increasingly erratic behavior became unacceptable and the senator saw his clout slowly ebbing away. In a last-ditch effort to revitalize his anticommunist crusade, McCarthy made a crucial mistake. He charged in early 1954 that the U.S. Army was “soft” on communism. As Chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee, McCarthy opened hearings into the Army.

Joseph N. Welch, a soft-spoken lawyer with an incisive wit and intelligence, represented the Army. During the course of weeks of hearings, Welch blunted every one of McCarthy’s charges. The senator, in turn, became increasingly enraged, bellowing “point of order, point of order,” screaming at witnesses, and declaring that one highly decorated general was a “disgrace” to his uniform. On June 9, 1954, McCarthy again became agitated at Welch’s steady destruction of each of his arguments and witnesses. In response, McCarthy charged that Frederick G. Fisher, a young associate in Welch’s law firm, had been a long-time member of an organization that was a “legal arm of the Communist Party.” Welch was stunned. As he struggled to maintain his composure, he looked at McCarthy and declared, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” It was then McCarthy’s turn to be stunned into silence, as Welch asked, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” The audience of citizens and newspaper and television reporters burst into wild applause. Just a week later, the hearings into the Army came to a close. McCarthy, exposed as a reckless bully, was officially condemned by the U.S. Senate for contempt against his colleagues in December 1954. During the next two-and-a-half years McCarthy spiraled into alcoholism. Still in office, he died in 1957.

It's a sad commentary on our country's political system when we can elect a man so filled with hate and bigotry to such a powerful position. How do people allow such a person to run amok, making false and career ending lies as the truth ! In cases like this, we realize just how much power and influence one man can have...sometimes with disastrous results.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.


Gorges Smythe said...

The problem was, McCarthy was right in many cases. He just got so carried away that there was no logic to it. One thing he missed, though, was the commies infiltration into our educational system. He should have pursued that and backed off on much of the other. We are now reaping the "benefits" of that oversight.

linda m said...

Unfortunately that type of behavior still exists in our politicians today. And people will still blindly vote them into power. Gorges is right about our education system. That is the area the McCarthy should have focused on. I am so glad my grandson is being home schooled.

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

"How can we elect someone so filled with hate and bigotry?" Have you looked at the candidates for President lately? I am totally stunned at the choices we have - an egomaniacal boob who will say whatever pops into his head; or a lying, "the law doesn't apply to me", ready to destroy the Constitution, BHO 2.0. What choices!!

I am amazed, and saddened.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Too bad that he overlooked education, for sure ! That's where a lot of the problems originate even today !
Thanks for stopping by today !

Hey Linda...
Home schooling is the way to go. Our education system has been lacking for a long time, that's for sure.
Thanks for coming by this morning !

Hey Sis...
First time that the choices for the election really scare me. I hate to think what's going to happen when this fiasco is all over. Beginning of the end, I'm afraid !
Thanks for the visit today, Sis !

JO said...

Yes look at the choices we have coming up for elections. It's scarey that fool is still in the running and he is no better than McCarthy if not worse. And at the end it said he died in 1957 and STILL in office.

Humidity building here and next Wed. is the start of monsoon season. See you on the patio

Dizzy-Dick said...

I have a rule that the two things I don't talk about on the internet is politics and religion. But just to set things straight, I am right wing republican and a God fearing Christian. So, I guess there is no hope for me. . . (grin)

Dizzy-Dick said...

And oh yes, I am old enough to remember all that political turmoil in the early 50'.

joetentpeg said...

Yeah, well, facts matter.

McCarthy was proved right...twice.

First with the 'Venona Decrypts', and then again when the KGB archives in Moscow were opened for a time after the Wall fell.