“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy is the man most remembered for the ‘Red Scare’ in American politics during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It was just another name for “witch hunts”. The idea that Communist sympathisers, subversives and spies were “working and shaping policy” by working in government positions gave McCarthy licence to go after whoever he suspected. And anyone could be a suspect. Proof or evidence was often immaterial. Five years of interrogating high-profile citizens and other “elite” officials made McCarthy an untouchable. Scare-mongering and intimidation tactics were openly used in his hunt to expose the activities of citizens, with questionable results. It wasn’t until he went after members of the Army and the televised Army-McCarthy hearings that public opinion finally turned against him.