The cold war at home, ‘Truman’s fair deal
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The red scare during the cold war was between the Soviet Union and the United States. It
was a hysteria that was perceived a threat staged by the communists. It led to a range of actions
that had a massive and historical effect on the U.S. society and government. Some of the events
that helped in the creation of hysteria and the fear of communists during this period include
the Marshall plan which ultimately led to the start of the Korean war. The American foreign
policy by the National Security Council as it went underway which mirrored the fear of
communism and the detonation of the first atomic bomb by the Soviets fueled the fear and spread
of communism as it was a global threat of annihilation (Wills, 2005).
Out of the three events stated above, the most that would have been the most intense
for Americans was the fear of more Russian atomic bombs rose as a new threat. Upon this
threat, the United States had a fear of communist aggression. The United States hoped that
increasing their defense forces; they would achieve unmatchable bomb arsenal which could be
used as leverage during negotiations (Joy, 1995).
Some of the ways that the anti-communist hysteria manifested itself in the American
society is the development of the red scare where people in the community were blacklisted if
they were alleged of being a socialist or a communist. There was infiltration of the society as the
United States spied on its own as many people were deported or incarcerated. For instance, in
Alabama and Mississippi, the NAACP (national association for the advancement of people of
color), which was a civil rights establishment was banned as a communistic influence. In the film
and music industry, artists like Paul Robeson and Arthur Miller were cut off, and their lives were
disrupted as they were branded as being part of the communism or sympathizers (Albert, 1997).
THE COLD WAR AT HOME, TRUMAN’S FAIR DEAL 3
The current society and government would have reacted in a slightly different way
as compared to the way it was dealt with at that time. For instance, if there were a fear of
communism, through the technological advancements, it would have been much easier to find
the people behind it and deal with. The government is a sensitive body, and with this current
administration, they would be probably dealt with harshly.
Through the media, Senator Joseph McCarthy gained national fame in 1950 as he
invoked the spread of communism. Americans listened to him as he showed how politics
depended on the sensitive issues and gained from it by riding on people’s fear and suspicions.
Joseph McCarthy became well known because of his intensive investigations of people from the
government and others, on the grounds of suspicion. The term McCarthyism was fashioned to
create an anti-Communist movement that existed in U.S. from1950 to 1956 (Herman, 2000).
On the legitimization of Joseph McCarthy claim, he was said to have a list that
contained over 200 members of the department state who were ‘known communists.’ From
research and evidence, I believe that it wasn’t legitimate as he refused to provide the names of
the alleged communists. He didn’t produce reasonable evidence, and this led to a struck chord
with the people (Albert, 1997).
A brief description of McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade began on the 9th of
February, 1950. He said that the US had communists within the US government. He held the
hearings to remove the people from the government. He eventually got carried away and started
hitting Hollywood. He started directing this matter to the military, and at this point, he became
too much, and he was turned down, which ultimately led to the end of his crusade. He was
THE COLD WAR AT HOME, TRUMAN’S FAIR DEAL 4
lawfully turned down. This crusade is part of history for McCarthy’s dramatic expressions
The role of television in the demise of McCarthy is manifested when a famous
television journalist, Edward R. Murrow, who was good at his job, went after McCarthy for his
unpatriotic activity. McCarthy used television, a new phenomenon at this time to grill or expose
people to the bright light of the black and white during the 1950’s. Attorney Joseph Welch
questioned McCarthy’s sense of decency which showed how McCarthy was a broken down
person who had his charades and rendezvous of his splendor. This left McCarthy sweaty and
guilty-looking, thus, his demise.
During the 1950s, Eisenhower’s support for government spending influences the growth
of the economy. The federal budget was concentrated on matters of defense was turned to the
direction of industrial growth and technological advances. This ultimately led to the uprising of
Corporates which changed America. Automation and consolidation boosted the businesses
until corporations controlled half or more of the nation’s corporate wealth.
The American economy during the post-world war II period failed and crashed. The
aftermath of the war led to the loss of many jobs. The military men came home to no jobs. A
couple of social programs were developed to cater for the military men when they got home
which also led to the increase in the service industry. It led to the development of construction
which was a social program that catered for the public after social welfare and security.
THE COLD WAR AT HOME, TRUMAN’S FAIR DEAL 5
As more social programs were introduced over the years, the system was overburdened.
It also led to people depending on the system instead of improving their personal lives and
getting better jobs based on the system. It led to the negative impact of increased taxes, also
known as the snowball effect. This means that one progressive idea leads to another and the
cycle continues. This leads to a social monster. This has led to the struggling state of the U.S.
The population trend during the post-world war II, also known as the boom years, the
population rate was lower in comparison to the preceding and past periods. The birth rate in the
U.S. began to grow around 1941 and started declining after 1957 (Chadwick, 1992). The
population changes are evident following the involvement in the World War II based on the
consensus information. There was a Democratic boom between the mid-1946 and 1964
A television show that may be familiar in the 1950s is the first coast-to-coast live show
on NBC presented by Edward Murrow. It is well known because he interviewed Joseph
McCarthy which later contributed to his downfall. Other show such as America loves Lucy and
The Wild West. America loves Lucy is one the first sitcom comedies that topped the charts
during the a950s. The Wild West, featuring shows such as the lone ranger was a fascinating
show that brought in western heroes which later turned into a mix of love affairs (Beretta, 2002).
THE COLD WAR AT HOME, TRUMAN’S FAIR DEAL 6
The G.I. bill is known as the servicemen’s readjustment act of 1944 which is a law that
allows and provides a range of benefits for the veterans returning from war. This bill was signed
by President Roosevelt in 1994, on June 22nd
. The G.I. bill was faced by racial discrimination
based on educational benefits for black people, merchant marines, and predators that targeted
veterans (Glenn, 2009).
Some of the issues that Truman’s 21-point program, the fair deal, tried to address were
measures on the aid towards education, cuts in tax for the low-income earners, the immigration
bill and increased public housing. The far deal led to progress in civil right. This happened
following the unification of the federal civil service, the armed forces and the creation of the
commission on civil rights (Bostdorff, 2008).
People’s criticism of Truman’s and his attempted policies were based on under
appreciation of the grand metaphor for contemporary American culture.it was a message that was
involved with the landscapes of media fantasies which served the people interested in power.
Truman’s show was the only series of books, television products and movies that dished out this
message properly. Truman’s show was based on living a free and authentic chance in life
through distancing ourselves from the comfort zone that media creates, by living in the world as
Some of Truman’s policies that helped minorities are his attempts on extending
Roosevelt’s deal by strengthening social security and providing housing for low-income families.
His policy aimed at improving the social conditions such as Roosevelt’s plan, before him. The
fair labor standards act led to the increase in the minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents, and
improvements in benefits on affordable housing and elderly (Patterson, 1996).
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McCarthy was leaning on achieving a couple of goals during his rendezvous,
narrowing them down to two targets. The red scare is mostly associated with Joseph McCarthy.
The first target, he approached it during a speech in West Virginia, speaking in front the Ohio
County Women’s Republican club, claiming that he had a list of over 200 names of members of
the department state involved with communism. He waved to his audience a piece of paper.
However, this was invalid because he didn’t have evidence to back him up apart from the piece
of paper sternly. His other target was inciting the people and drawing them into anxiety on
He hit the Hollywood world, which included the music and the film industry, and also the
television. He used these media influences to incite people thus helping in the spread of the red
scare. Through his lack of credibility and bullying tactic, he confidently approached the military
which was like signing his death sentence. This led him to lose his support
Some of the things that stand out on Joseph McCarthy were that he was very well
known as a public figure at the beginning of 1950. He was the public face during a time where
the United States was under a lot of tension under the wide spread fear of communist sabotage.
He was known for allegations on saying that he had proof that there were some communists and
Soviet sympathizers and spies within the government, education system and the film industry
One devastating matter which was a major concern that showed his rotten ways was
during his campaign when he attacked La Follette for not enlisting in the war. He was too old to
join the army as he was forty-six during the Pearl Harbor bombing and wasn’t fit for the army.
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McCarthy claimed that he was gaining unaccounted profits from his investments when
McCarthy was fighting for his country. This led to the assumption that La Follette was guilty of
profiteering from the war in his investments, a radio station. This damaged him so much as
McCarthy won. Follette was deeply affected by these claims, which he was falsely accused of.
He retired from politics, and he took his own life (Daynes, 1997).
He knew his ways as he served in the U.S. Marine corps as a captain during the World
War II. He later ran for Senate which he won. He rose to fame using his speech based on the list
of bad apples in the bunch. This later led to a clash between him and President Truman during
their time in office. He claimed that the Truman administration was a soft democracy. Truman
associated him to the infiltration of the foreign policy of the U.S. during the cold war. He
targeted the secretary of defense, George Marshall, indirectly. He insisted that Marshall was
guilty of treason. Which again, he had no proof (Herman, 2000).
Assuming that I would be an editor of a certain newspaper in the 1950s, based on the
lessons learned on McCarthy, I strongly condemn his practices. He might have been telling the
truth, but I disagree with his approaching methods. As an editor, based on the above knowledge
and information, He was a man who somehow made a fool of himself during his time on earth
because he took on large bodies in the country with no substantial proof to back him up. He used
tactics such as media which ultimately led him to his downfall through the interview by Edward.
The Senate censured him. He was strung to the anti-Communist activities. This led to the
development of the term, ‘McCarthyism’ which was fashioned about his shrewd ways at this
time (Adams, 1983).
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He started off well. Before as serving for three years as a judge in Wisconsin, he was an
attorney. He later enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, after that, he became a senator. Upon all
these events, he was a strong character who developed into an important figure at one point,
regardless of being a quiet senator. As a leader, McCarthy was being careless with his opinions
and not acting straight with them. He was censured by his Senate colleagues for unbecoming
conduct. He later gained uncanny support for his campaign of accusations through building up
fear countrywide, otherwise known as the red scare. This happened when he came up with the
list of communists in the government.
With unfolding events, he proved to be an irresponsible self-satisfying cunning hunter
who was underestimating the country’s traditions of civil liberties. After the elections, after the
defeat of the Republicans, the senate was finally7 able to condemn him on votes contrary to the
traditions of the senate. Later on, with time, he was ignored by his colleagues as he was not in a
position of much authority. His stories were not published, and reporters refused to hear him out.
He later drank himself to death. This could be related to the cause-and-effect, where he had it
THE COLD WAR AT HOME, TRUMAN’S FAIR DEAL 10
Adams, John G. (1983). Without Precedent: The Story of the Death of McCarthyism. W. W.
Norton & Company.
Albert Fried. (1997). McCarthyism, The Great American Red Scare: A Documentary History.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Beretta E. Smith-Shomade. (2002). Shaded Lives: African-American Women and Television,
Rutgers University Press.
Bostdorff, Denise M. (2008). Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: The Cold War Call to Arms.
Chadwick Bruce A. and Tim B. Heaton. (1992). Statistical Handbook on the American Family.
Daynes, Gary. (1997). Making Villains, Making Heroes: Joseph R. McCarthy, Martin Luther
King Jr. and the Politics of American Memory. Taylor & Francis.
Easterlin Richard A. (1962). The American Baby Boom in Historical Perspective. The single
most influential study.
Glenn C. Altschuler and Stuart M. Blumin. (2009). The GI Bill: A New Deal for Veterans.
Herman Arthur. (2000). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America’s Most
Hated Senator. Free Press.
Joy Hakim. (1995). War, Peace, and All That Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press.
Patterson, James T. (1996). Grand Expectations. New York: Oxford University Press.
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Richard Gid Powers. (1997). Not Without Honor: A History of American Anti-Communism. New
York: Free Press.
Wills Charles. (2005). America in the 1950s (Decades of American History).