Senator Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism: What Are the Facts?
Was Senator Joseph McCarthy a vicious smear artist who did nothing but make fabricated charges against innocent people? Was he a fanatical anti-communist demagogue who never found a single genuine communist in the government? No, he was not.
Senator McCarthy was not the raving fear monger that so many historians have portrayed him to be. I do not argue that all of McCarthy's claims were correct; some of them were wrong. Nor do I argue that all of his methods were without fault. On a few occasions, he and his staff used unethical means to achieve what they believed were noble goals. On the other hand, many of McCarthy's enemies frequently used unethical methods in their efforts to destroy him. Sometimes McCarthy could be abrasive and would turn potential friends into opponents, but this was the exception, not the rule. The portrayal of McCarthy as a reckless fanatic who made nothing but baseless accusations is simply false.
McCarthy was right more often than he was wrong. Many of the charges that are commonly leveled against McCarthy have no basis in fact, yet they are accepted and repeated over and over again in movies and documentaries, in history textbooks, and in books authored by historians who should know better. It is a sad commentary on the state of American historical scholarship that relatively few people are aware of these facts.
Defenses of Senator McCarthy
Senator McCarthy’s Writings and Speeches