Under McCarthyism there was a:
heightened political repression and a campaign spreading fear of communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents. (From the Wikipedia page above under McCarthyism)
McCarthyism would spread over into the TV and Hollywood worlds as it was a political witch-hunt for communist and communist influence in America and what better way to influence America but through these channels.
Today, McCarthyism is pretty much all but forgotten except for by some liberals who mostly want to remind conservatives that witch hunts always get out of hand and are silly fear-mongering. (Personally, I think it would make for some great tv or film via the likes of Steven Spielberg).
Regardless, whatever one thinks of this “red scare,” one thing I think we as a society can learn from McCarthyism is this.
Whether we are looking for Communism, Marxism, socialism, jihadism, “Islamism,” or whatever “ism,” we should not lie about our neighbour. We should be smart and accurate about these ideologies or evil “isms” because to not do so hurts what one is trying to TRUTHFULLY SAY about these things. One discredits themselves when they OVERSTATE the case. Kinda like how some folks see racism everywhere or under every rock.
Lastly, however, this should also tell us something else. That something else is this. We should not deny the fact that McCarthy was. on. to. SOMETHING. It is not to deny that among the excesses there was something TRUTHFUL in his hunt. Let’s face it, Hollywood, at the time, was shot through and through with communists and communist sympathizers. It is this that seems to be a point that behooves those moderns who write off McCarthyism.