Biography of Joseph Raymond McCarthy (1908-1957)

Politician, lawyer and American military, born in Grand Chute (in the State of Wisconsin) November 14, 1908, and died in Bethesda (MD.) on May 2, 1957. He/She was President and driving force behind the Committee on UN-American activities of the Senate, and head of the so-called "witch hunt", a virulent campaign unleashed against supporters of communism in the United States of America of mid-20th century.

Born in a humble family of farmers, he/she studied his primary studies at a modest rural public school, installed in one of the premises of a large stable. In his adolescence, he/she began to make a living working on a farm; but willing to procure a profession more rewarding than their elders, at nineteen years of age moved to Manawa and began to build a more prosperous future pointing to courses that helped him to complete his secondary education.

To pay for these studies, he/she worked hard by day at a grocery store, occupation that combined, at night, with the attendant of the local theater. Despite the time and effort you demanding these jobs, I had this desire to progress in the field of studies that able to perform, within the period of one year, the workshops scheduled for four; and so, he/she managed to enter at Marquette University (Milwaukee) and enroll in the career of laws, to finish getting degree in this area in 1935.

He joined, the following year, the city of shawano, Wisconsin, where he/she began to practice law and to prepare to enter the judiciary. Thus the things, in 1939, after having passed with solvency corresponding courses, was appointed judge of the tenth Judicial District of Wisconsin, where only could exercise as such between 1940 and 1942, due to the incorporation of the United States to World War II (1939-1945).

Indeed, at their thirty-four year-old Joseph Raymond McCarthy volunteered to practice his profession as a lawyer in the Marine Corps, where, after a brilliant piece of services, was elevated to the rank of captain.

After the war, McCarthy was attracted by the policy, and in 1946, joined the Republican party, where, in response to their labor and military merits, soon was appointed candidate for Congress. Not had any success in this election; on the other hand, few weeks later was elected Senator for the State of Wisconsin, and began then to deploy a brilliant and meteoric career that allowed him the chairmanship of a Commission on January 3, 1947.

More and more entrenched in its conservative and ultraliberal ideology, McCarthy became standard bearer of the anti-Soviet bias that a large part of public opinion very sensitive by the rigors of the just-concluded race and the threat posed by a possible preponderance of communism during the early years of the cold war, American made gala (1945-1970). Thus, taking advantage of the successes that were entailed his brilliant political career - which, in a short period of time, had led to the Presidency of the Committee of government operations and, shortly afterwards, also chairing the Subcommittee on research-, Joseph R. McCarthy launched a virulent investigation process on some characters occupying important positions within the Government and the administration of the United States, research to find evidence that could show any support to communism, and even the involvement of the accused in an alleged anti-American leftist conspiracy.

Aware of the populist fervor that were their actions within the most reactionary sectors of the country, McCarthy did not comply with accusing the administration of Truman (1884-1972) of harboring in its bosom many infiltrators of the international anti-capitalist. The great friendship that linked him with John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972), director of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), gave wings to extend its investigation by all social and professional areas of the United States, unleashing an aggressive string of accusations, slander, harassment and threats that, in most cases, carried with them terrible abuses against the scratched out of Communists (abuses that(, sometimes came to degenerate in crimes).

McCarthy was also favoured by the support of other conservative groups of radical intransigence when it comes to tolerate communism, such as the Church or the American Legion. Thanks to the collusion of these reactionary forces, charges policy deployed by the Senator from Wisconsin (soon known as maccarthismo) eventually giving rise to the so-called "witch hunt", a merciless persecution, at the national level, which made special emphasis on discovering the alleged Communist connections of the most relevant figures of American culture. In his sick harassment who considered fierce enemies of the American liberal system, McCarthy sought to instantiate the public giving "hunt" to so-called "Moscow agents" who were hiding behind their artistic, literary, journalistic, cinematographic activities, etc.; and so, it became their abused to some figures of the likes of filmmaker Charles Chaplin (1889-1977), the playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005) or the great master of the black novel Dashiell Hammet (1894-1961) - which came to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned, on charges of Communist militancy and anti-American activities.

In addition, the Senate of House UN-American activities Committee, inspired and organized by McCarthy, denounced the presence of more than two hundred "Communists" supposedly "infiltrators" in the Department of State; with practices contrary to the basic rights of a democratic State, it led to the questioning of thousands of people, and managed a few hundred of them were imprisoned, deported 150, and even two of them, accused of Soviet - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed spies. Thousands of people involved in the "witch hunt" were registered in some blacklists that deprived them of their respective jobs and hindered that return to be hired.

The Liberals who, under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, refused to testify before the Commission of McCarthy, were punished with heavy fines and, in some cases, imprisonment. Other U.S. citizens, terrified by the maccarthismo, were forced into exile, and many others fell in the abjection of ratting to many friends and colleagues, thus looking for their own safety.

Senior officials, such as Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) or the Secretary of Defense George Marshall (1880-1959), also included on blacklists of McCarthy, that were not spared military, diplomats, and even men of the new President, Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969). It was this who, outraged by the abuses committed during the "witch hunt", was in charge of disseminating among the public a feeling of rejection towards the maccarthismo, which concluded in an official censorship, the Senate, ratified on December 2, 1954. By then, coinciding with the new majority presence of the Democratic Party in the Chamber, the Senator from Wisconsin was evicted from the Presidency of the Committee, kicked off with what its phase of defenestration, which led him to be completely relegated from public life in a very short time.

Wrecked, and beaten, Joseph Raymond McCarthy was given alcohol and soon contracted liver cirrhosis that led him to death in the spring of 1957, at Bethesda (MD.) Naval Hospital.