Chapter

The Age Finds Its Name

Richard M. Fried

in Nightmare in Red

Published in print July 1991 | ISBN: 9780195043617
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199853724 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195043617.003.0005
The Age Finds Its Name

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February 1950 was Joseph R. McCarthy's moment. On February 6, Republican leaders issued a campaign tract scoring the Democrats for tolerating disloyalty in government and the theft of vital secrets. He was needed to put the anti-Red crusade into high gear, ready to commit himself with reckless, career-dominating totality to the Communist issue. His February 9 speech at a Lincoln Day celebration in Wheeling, West Virginia, allegedly marked his first speculation in anti-communism. As long as it lasted, the Korean War ensured the persistence of the politics of disloyalty on which McCarthy thrived. The passage of Eisenhower's election as president meant that McCarthy's days were numbered. His physical decline was accelerated by an emotional one, closely linked to his political fall. He felt betrayed by former friends like Richard Nixon. He was also swiped by a changing political context with some easing of Cold War tensions.

Keywords: Eisenhower; Joseph McCarthy; Nixon; Republicans; Wheeling speech; Korean War; Cold War

Chapter.  9154 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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