Major Speeches and Debates of Senator Joe McCarthy Delivered in the United States Senate, 1950-1951

By Joseph McCarthy | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
Insertion in Congressional Record of June 24, 1952, by Congressman Timothy P. Sheehan, of an Article Entitled "Senator McCarthy," by Kenneth Colegrove, Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University

Mr. SHEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, as a graduate of Northwestern University. I have noted with great interest that Kenneth Colegrove, professor of political science at Northwestern, has completed a study on Senator JOSEPH McCARTHY, of Wisconsin.

Professor Colegrove's reputation as a man and as a scholar is above reproach, and his many years of study in the art of political science have earned for him an enviable position in that field. The thoughts he has put forth in his study of Senator McCARTHY are, therefore, the considered views of a seasoned political scientist.

In writing this article for Freedom Clubs, which organization believes that the issues of the day are too important to resolve at the level of name calling, especially the art of character assassination as it is being widely practiced today, Professor Colegrove has attempted a scholarly and competent investigation of what has been one of the most vicious smear campaigns of our times. The most spectacular example of the use of this device to avoid facing the real issues is to be found in the personal attacks upon Senator JOSEPH McCARTHY, of Wisconsin. Professor Colegrove evaluates Senator McCARTHY'S speeches in the United States Senate and attempts to appraise in an objective way the issue of "McCarthyism."

Professor Colegrove's analysis of the charges of "McCarthyism" is as follows:


SENATOR McCARTHY

Twenty-three hundred years ago, an eloquent Athenian citizen gave voice to a series of devastating orations against Philip of Macedon. It is doubtful whether Demosthenes could have documented all the charges uttered in his celebrated Philippics. His indictment of King Philip advanced far beyond the evidence at his command. Nevertheless, history has recorded him as a patriotic citizen who rendered a memorable service to the Athenian city-state by his powerful denunciation of the enemy of Greek democracy.

I do not intend to inter that Senator McCARTHY is an American Demosthenes. So far as I know, he does not pretend to Hellenic eloquence. But I do intend to offer the thesis that in time of national crisis, when all the evidence is unavailable, but when considerable evidence exists to show that the national security is endangered, guardians of public welfare are justified in raising charges that will lead to the investigation of the actions of persons and groups which are under serious suspicion as a menace to democratic government. To put it more bluntly, in the words of the Roman proverb. "the welfare of the people is the highest law."


TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES

Without question, the charge of harboring Communists which Senator McCARTHY brought against the State Department in his Wheeling address in February 1950 was a hard blow. But his sledge-hammer blows were a natural reaction to the hostility of a corrupt administration toward any adequate investigation of communism in the executive branch of Government. In conformity with the Instincts of Pendergast machine politics, seeking to hide any malfeasance in office, President Truman had denounced honest efforts to search out subversives in the Federal Government. He had branded the probe of the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Representatives into Communist spying in the Federal Government as a "red herring." He accused Congressional investigation of subversives in Government as an effort to promote public hystaria. Dean Acheson, his Secretary of State, even after the conviction of a former high-ranking officer for perjury in connection with charges of spying had declared that he would not turn his back on Alger Hiss. The corrupt Democratic Government had thrown every obstacle in the way of an effective investigation of Communist influences in the Federal Government.


BLUNT TALK

The brutal charges of Senator McCARTHY were thus a natural reaction to the pugnacious refusal of the Truman administration to assist congressional Investigation of the loyalty of Federal employees. The need for Investigation was obvious to honest and alert citizens. The western democracies were engaged in a cold war with the most dangerous dictatorship in modern history. By means of new techniques of infiltration and

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