On Feb. 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R.-Wisc.) gave a Lincoln’s Birthday speech in Wheeling, W.V., in which he asserted that scores of communists had infiltrated the U.S. State Department.
His charges, far from causing a nationwide fervor of anti-communist hysteria, as his critics have alleged, went mostly unnoticed at the time. Just two weeks earlier, Alger Hiss, then and now the darling of the left, was convicted of two counts of perjury for lying about being a spy for the Soviet Union. He was sentenced to life in prison.
We now know for certain, thanks to documents discovered in Moscow after the collapse of communism there, that McCarthy was, if anything, understating the case; and that Hiss was guilty of far more than perjury. He was a conscious and deliberate traitor to his country.
For nearly six decades, the left has conducted a relentless smear campaign against the junior senator from Wisconsin, making his name a symbol of irresponsible extremism. For an excellent account of what really did happen, get Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, by M. Stanton Evans.
Truth may not forever be on the scaffold, nor deceit firmly on the throne. But for Joe McCarthy, who should be hailed as a genuine American hero, it certainly seems that way.