The Army/McCarthy Hearings
THE NIGHTMARE DECADE
"It was a time of national paranoia
in which the greatest power on earth expended its energies hunting for
communists under every bed; in which millions of average Americans looked
fearfully over their shoulders, wondering whether they would be tapped
next to explain themselves before the grand inquisitors.
The hydrogen bomb hung menacingly over the heads of men, capable of
turning the earth into a wasteland as barren as the moon.... It was
a period dominated by the most effective demagogue ever to practice
the arts of mass passion on this continent - Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
of Wisconsin.... The effect was that of a nazi bullyboy glaring at you
from your television screen.... But there was no gale of unfavorable
publicity, no cry of public outrage... the entire nation ran cowed.
A whisper * could ruin a life, a career.... Americans have always admired
the "stand-up guy", but in these years few stood up... on
the highest levels of intellect and leadership, the abdication of responsibility
was all but complete. "
"The damage that Joe McCarthy did
is incalculable. There are no scales on which to weigh his impact
on the soul of the nation, but it is safe to say that he left America
less free than he found it. He made dissent suspect. He made rational
debate of major political issues impossible. "
- The Nightmare Decade
by Fred J. Cook, New York 197l
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