McCarthyism: blocking democratic freedoms in the 1950s


[VIDEO] English writer named Evelyn Beatrice Hall once said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," which is the principle behind freedom of speech in modern day.

The idea of freedom suffered during the 1950s in the U.S. under McCarthyism, when the government attempted to expose falsely suspected communists.

The movement is called McCarthyism after Joseph McCarthy, a Republican senator from Wisconsin who used communist blacklists as a "partisan weapon" against Democrats to make them lose political power. He started by accusing members of the State department and quickly devolved into a political witch hunt.

McCarthyism ruined thousands of lives and some cases were even taken to the Supreme Court. Yates v. United States was a Supreme Court case in which 14 individuals were accused of intending to overthrow the government.

The court ruled that advocacy cannot be punished because it is protected by the rights to free speech and free press.

How can something like McCarthyism prevent engagement? What are some ways to ensure McCarthyism doesn't happen again in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments section!