McCarthyism Today

Some have accused George W. Bush and other politicians of using rhetoric and policies to create an atmosphere in America today similar to that of the atmosphere of fear during the Red Scare of the 1950s.
Many Americans are increasingly concerned today that America is entering a new age of fear.  After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, Americans began to fear an enemy that was in our own nation, among our ranks and our people; an indistinguishable, dangerous enemy.  To many this conflict resembles the Red Scare and the conflict that America faced during the Cold War, the conflict that Joe McCarthy brought to the forefront, suggested that there were "enemies among us", Communist infiltrators who could live right next door.  Americans lived in fear, spying on one another and watching one another.  After September 11th, President Bush told the American people to do their best to resume life as usual, but he also admonished every American to be vigilante, to watch one another and to report anything suspicious.  Some fear that this is a resurgence of the mentality that was ushered in by Joseph McCarthy.  Politicians also frequently use talk of terrorist attacks and rhetoric to bolster public support and poll ratings before elections- another tactic that McCarthy has been accused of.

Americans must be careful to take the lessons of the past and work to prevent the same climate of fear from gripping our nation, while protecting our national security.