Exhuming McCarthyism - Part 1: Joe McCarthy

Posted On: Friday - January 13th 2023 1:16PM MST
In Topics: 
  Commies  History  Media Stupidity  US Feral Government

Since I finished reading the book Blacklisted by History about anti-Communist 1940s-50's US Senator Joe McCarthy months ago, a review is really forthcoming ... and also the librarians are getting antsy. This post is not about the book and not too much about the man himself excepting for the now 70-year-long lie that turned his name into a well-known political term with bad connotations. This is really about the Lyin' Press, right there even 70 years ago.

Senator Joe McCarthy*:

See, Communists in today's America are pretty much out in the open with their stupid, destructive ideas based on resentfulness. In mid-1940s and 1950s American, however, regular Americans gave them no quarter with those evil political beliefs. (OK, maybe an occasional folk singer did.) They hadn't made inroads into most of the Institutions of American society yet. Communists would get nowhere without help from the same detritus in foreign countries, their 1st Amendment-protected organizations, and an occasional American President (FDR). They really didn't like being rooted out from their nests of infiltration and espionage within the US State Dept. and elsewhere in government.

Therefore, Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy was their biggest enemy during the era in which he held investigations to try to root them out. Though it SHOULD BE, the definition of "McCarthyism" is not:

"The practice of rooting out Communists infiltrators from one's government."
I don't seem to get that one in my duckduckgo search results for the definition, strangely. Wikipedia comes up first:
McCarthyism is the practice of making false or unfounded accusations of subversion and treason, especially when related to anarchism, communism and socialism, and especially when done in a public and attention-grabbing manner.
This is why I say a silent "Fuck you!" when that donate box comes up during the all-too-often times I use the wiki site. I think it would read OK with just 3 words missing - "false and unfounded". (Where do I sign up for Editor?)

Merriam-Webster says "McCarthyism is :
a mid-20th century political attitude characterized chiefly by opposition to elements held to be subversive and by the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.

broadly : defamation of character or reputation through such tactics
Though not as pro-Communist, -Socialist, or -Anarchist, this definition needs too much doctoring up for just a simple FIFY. Merriam-Webster is wrong on the use of the wording "personal attacks", "indiscriminate", "unsubstantiated", and "defamation". OK, perhaps that dictionary definition refers to common usage of the term, so it's not really Merrriam-Webster's error, the problem being a 70-year effort of using the term "McCarthyism" in this manner ... because they HATED him then, and the Lyin' Press has always hated the real truth.

That's a long time for Americans to have heard a lie that has never concerned them personally and hasn't concerned anyone for most of that 70 years. After all, what was McCarthy's point? Was he going to stop them from their Long March through the Institutions? What if the full Senate had stood up and backed him, though, making "McCarthyism" mean "Saving the country from Communists" for the last 70 years? Nope, some were fellow travelers with the Commies, and others were too cowed by the Lyin' Press to back this "false accuser" and "defamer" and generally uncouth rube out of Wisconsin, the latter of which is also part of the lie.

As I'll write about in the review, even the people being accused and questioned about their Communist support in Senator McCarthy's hearings thought him an even-handed, polite, patient, and generous accuser. He was generous in letting the nuttier of them go on rants, and patient with those who kept pleading the 5th on the simplest of questions. (The ones he'd had enough of were those who pleaded the 5th, THEN went on long rants!)

"Have you no decenty, Sir?" was the big sound bite of the time that reverberated down hall of Lyin' Press offices over history.

It was 1954, as the Senator was holding hearings on yet another infiltration, in the US Army, with the "Moles of Monmouth" and goings on at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Senator McCarthy pointed out to grandstander-style attorney Joe Welch that Welch himself had a 3-4 year CPUSA member (including after Law School) lawyer named Fred Fischer on his staff for these very hearings. Joe Welch went on a rant against McCarthy about his "cruelness" and "recklessness" in bringing this highly irrelevant biographical history of Welch's assistant to the panel. As McCarthy tried to give some background on the Commie-ridden National Lawyers Guild and brought up the harm done to the reputations of his staffers by bogus charges from Welch, Welch said his famous line:

"Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you no sense of decency?"

Decent people seek the truth rather than spread lies. McCarthy's unearned lie-based reputation of being an asshole in the many hearings was one thing, but it's his search for truth that made him a decent man too. There was no decency in the grandstanding bullshitters like Joe Welch, and there was no decency in the Lyin' Press minions who coined term McCarthyism.

We've exhumed McCarthyism here, and we've found that McCarthy's legacy term was just another case of medical media malpractice ... happens all the time... Joe McCarthy was so distraught from his censure in the Senate that he died from drinking not that long after, though the death certificate now reads Covid-19.

Part 2 will be an effort by Peak Stupidity to, if not bury the term, find another, more correct use for it. There's this guy named Kevin... yes, and we'll embed REM, of course.

* I didn't mean to crop the picture that thin. I can't fix that just now though.

Saturday - January 14th 2023 11:20PM MST
PS: Good summary comment of the situation, Mr. Blanc. I'm in agreement with all.
Saturday - January 14th 2023 1:03PM MST
PS The Left have controlled the language since at least the 1930s. Your definition is clearly more accurate, but theirs is the one published in respectable dictionaries. There’s a big difference between then (1950s) and now, however. In those days, the Communists (upper case) were agents of a foreign power that almost all Americans saw as hostile. These days, the communists (lower case) aren’t, for the most part, actual communists in any strict sense of the term “communist”. They are simply troublemakers who are opposed to all things normal. Ironically, what they sell seems reasonable to a lot of our fellow citizens, and especially to paper citizens. When the Left are in power, they are every bit as Stalinist as Good Old Uncle Joe, but Stalinism and Communism are not conceptually, but only historically, related. Don’t expect things to get better any time soon. They will almost certainly have to get worse before they have any chance of getting better. They might not ever get better. We can take some comfort in one thing, however: We might not win, but our enemies will surely lose.
Adam Smith
Saturday - January 14th 2023 11:52AM MST
PS: Thanks, Achmed!

The dirty communists at wikipedia undo most of my changes.

Saturday - January 14th 2023 11:43AM MST
PS: Haha, good effort, Mr. Smith! I see that someone has reverted it, as of the time I'm commenting.
Adam Smith
Saturday - January 14th 2023 10:57AM MST
PS: I fixed it...


Pretty sure it won't last long.

Evil Empire
Saturday - January 14th 2023 9:13AM MST
PS A true great American hero who tried to save us from building CCCP back better.
Comrade commissar FDR made a quote that there was nothing wrong with communism and several of his best friends were REDS.
How ironic that the rainbow rump forces of the CPUSA will be facing the former CCCP in the oligarch's foot in the door back to Russia or Ukraine.
Saturday - January 14th 2023 5:24AM MST
PS: Alarmist, I missed out on history during college, and back in HS I doubt McCarthyism got more than one line. However, some of the people teaching me had lived through that time, likely not in front of the TV, which probably didn't show these hearings as if it were 20-odd years later with Watergate. They were lucky TV was in its infancy.

The press used the term to mean what it means, with not much pushback. Yeah, he was on the money.
The Alarmist
Friday - January 13th 2023 5:03PM MST

Even in the ‘70s, when we still had plenty of old anti-commie teachers, there were enough of the young “fifth column” in the faculty to teach us the “evils” of McCarthyism and Joe McCarthy. I always kind of shrugged it off, but as I matured and broadened my education, I independently concluded they were trying to brainwash me all along, and McCarthy was pretty much on the money.
WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)