Progressive Neo-McCarthyism: A Serious Threat to the First Amendment? by Ted Galen Carpenter

Are you now feeling or have you ever felt intense hostility towards the federal government? From Ted Galen Carpenter at

The stifling intolerance that Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI) and his ideological allies fostered during the 1950s went far beyond the effort to purge government employees suspected of being part of the international Communist movement. The campaign also exerted pressure on the news media, universities, and the entertainment industry to exclude individuals subjectively considered to be disloyal.

There are more than a few unsettling similarities between the abuses committed during that period and the current calls to investigate and cancel (purge) individuals in those same occupations and professions who reject left-of-center ideological positions on an array of issues. In essence, America seems to be witnessing the early stages of mirror-image McCarthyism, with leftists harassing their opponents. And if that trend is not halted, we are likely to suffer similar deleterious effects. The original McCarthy era smothered the expression of iconoclastic, or even unorthodox, views on various issues, especially foreign policy, and the corrosion persisted well into the 1960s.
Given that history, we should be alert to any new attempts to demonize a political faction and seek to silence debate. However, manifestations of neo-McCarthyism are now taking place on multiple fronts. Echoes of McCarthyism are loud and growing louder.

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