Q. Who were the 22 Republican senators who voted against the condemnation of Joe McCarthy?
A. More than a dozen senators told McCarthy that they did not want to vote against him but had to because of the tremendous pressure being put on them by the White House and by leaders of both political parties. The 22 men who did put principle above politics were Senators Frank Barrett (Wyoming), Styles Bridges (New Hampshire), Ernest Brown (Nevada), John Marshall Butler (Maryland), Guy Cordon (Oregon), Everett Dirksen (Illinois), Henry Dworshak (Idaho), Barry Goldwater (Arizona), Bourke Hickenlooper (Iowa), Roman Hruska (Nebraska), William Jenner (Indiana), William Knowland (California), Thomas Kuchel (California), William Langer (North Dakota), George Malone (Nevada), Edward Martin (Pennsylvania), Eugene Millikin (Colorado), Karl Mundt (South Dakota), William Purtell (Connecticut), Andrew Schoeppel (Kansas), Herman Welker (Idaho), and Milton Young (North Dakota).
Q. Did Joseph McCarthy become a recluse in the 29 months between his condemnation and his death?
A. No, he did not. He worked hard at his senatorial duties. "To insist, as some have, that McCarthy was a shattered man after the censure is sheer nonsense," said Brent Bozell, one of his aides at the time. "His intellect was as sharp as ever. When he addressed himself to a problem, he was perfectly capable of dealing with it."
A member of the minority party in the Senate again, McCarthy had to rely on public speeches to alert the American people to the menace of communism. This he did in a number of important addresses during those two and a half years. He warned against attendance at summit conferences with the Reds, saying that "you cannot offer friendship to tyrants and murderers … without advancing the cause of tyranny and murder." He declared that "coexistence with communists is neither possible nor honorable nor desirable. Our longterm objective must be the eradication of communism from the face of the earth."
Senator McCarthy was virtually alone in warning that the Soviet Union was winning the missile race "because well-concealed communists in the United States government are putting the brakes on our own guided-missile program." He was prophetic in urging the Eisenhower Administration to let "the free Asiatic peoples" fight to free their countrymen from communist slavery in Red China, North Korea, and North Vietnam. "In justice to them, and in justice to the millions of American boys who will otherwise be called upon to sacrifice their lives in a total war against communism," said McCarthy, "we must permit our fighting allies, with our material and technical assistance, to carry the fight to the enemy." This was not permitted and, a decade later, more than half a million American servicemen were fighting in South Vietnam.
Q. Did Joe McCarthy drink himself to death?
A. His enemies would like to have you think that. If McCarthy drank as much as his foes allege, for as many years as they allege, he would have had to be carried from speech to speech and from hearing to hearing, and he would have been unable to string two coherent sentences together. Did McCarthy look or act like a drunk during the 36 days of televised Army-McCarthy Hearings? No alcoholic could have accomplished all that McCarthy did, especially in so few years. Yes, Joseph McCarthy drank, and he probably drank too much sometimes, but he did not drink during working hours, and any drinking he did do did not detract one iota from his fight against communism or from the accuracy of his charges.
In the last two years of his life, McCarthy was greatly disappointed over the terrible injustice his Senate colleagues had done to him, and he certainly had his times of depression. Who wouldn't after what he had been through? But he also had his times of elation, as when he and his wife adopted a baby girl in January 1957. The picture in Roy Cohn's book of a smiling Joe McCarthy holding his new daughter is not the picture of a man drowning in alcohol. William Rusher was counsel to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee during 1956 and 1957 and met McCarthy repeatedly on social occasions. "He had at one time been a heavy drinker," said Rusher of the senator, "but in his last years was cautiously moderate; he died of a severe attack of hepatitis. He kept right on with a senator's usual chores up almost until the end."
The end came on May 2, 1957 in Bethesda Naval Hospital. Thousands of people viewed the body in Washington, and McCarthy was the first senator in 17 years to have funeral services in the Senate chamber. More than 30,000 Wisconsinites filed through St. Mary's Church in the senator's hometown of Appleton to pay their last respects to him. Three senators - George Malone, William Jenner, and Herman Welker - had flown from Washington to Appleton on the plane carrying McCarthy's casket. "They had gone this far with Joe McCarthy," said William Rusher. "They would go the rest of the way."
Q. Did McCarthy conduct a "reign of terror" in the 1950s?
A. This is one of the big lies the left continues to spread about McCarthy. The average American did not fear McCarthy; in fact, the Gallup Poll reported in 1954 that the senator was fourth on its list of most admired men. The only people terrorized by McCarthy were those who had something subversive to hide in their past and were afraid that they might eventually be exposed.
Oh, there was a "reign of terror" in the early '50s, but it was conducted against Joe McCarthy, not by him. Those who denounced McCarthy week in and week out included the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Life, Walter Lippmann, the Alsop brothers, Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson, the cartoonist Herblock, Edward R. Murrow, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, and liberals from all walks of life. Reign of terror? During one 18-month period, the University of Wisconsin invited Eleanor Roosevelt, Norman Cousins, Owen Lattimore, and James Carey - all bitter anti-McCarthyites -to warn the students of McCarthy's reign of terror.
Q. Most of the books written about McCarthy say that he smeared thousands of innocent people. Is that true?
A. This is impossible since McCarthy never even mentioned thousands of people. At the most, he publicly exposed about 160 persons, all of whom had significant records of collaboration with or support for communists and/or communist causes. Detractors of McCarthy, said Roy Cohn, "have to fall back on picayune things about whether he drank and had a liver condition, usually with a total distortion of the facts. They talk about the innocent people he destroyed. I have yet to have them give me one name. I have a standard answer - 'name one.' They usually come up with someone who came before some other committee, or Hollywood, or something which was never a focus of a McCarthy investigation."
Here is one of literally dozens of examples of misinformation about McCarthy that could be cited: An article about Lillian Hellman in Newsweek for July 9, 1984 said that perhaps her most famous lines "were those she wrote in a statement to the House Committee on Un- American Activities in 1952. 'I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions,' she wrote, refusing to testify against her friends at the McCarthy hearings." Miss Hellman could hardly have testified "at the McCarthy hearings" because there were no McCarthy hearings in 1952 and because Joe McCarthy was a senator and was never involved in any House Committee hearings dealing with communist infiltration of the Hollywood film industry.
Q. These same books insist that Senator McCarthy never uncovered "a single communist" in his five-year fight. Is that true?
A. Joe McCarthy was hated and denounced not because he smeared innocent people, but because he identified guilty people. Any list of identified communists uncovered by McCarthy would have to include Lauchlin Currie, Gustavo Duran, Theodore Geiger, Mary Jane Keeney, Edward Posniak, Haldore Hanson, John Carter Vincent, Owen Lattimore, Edward Rothschild, Irving Peress, and Annie Lee Moss. But that is not the whole story. McCarthy also exposed scores of others who may not have been identified as communists, but who certainly were causing harm to national security from their posts in the State Department, the Pentagon, the Army, key defense plants, and the Government Printing Office. At the latter facility, which handled 250,000 pieces of secret and classified printed matter annually, the McCarthy probe resulted in the removal or further investigation by the FBI of 77 employees and a complete revamping of the security system at the GPO.
Was it unreasonable of McCarthy to want government positions filled with persons who were loyal to America, instead of those with communist-tainted backgrounds? "A government job is a privilege, not a right," McCarthy said on more than one occasion. "There is no reason why men who chum with communists, who refuse to turn their backs on traitors, and who are consistently found at the time and place where disaster strikes America and success comes to international communism, should be given positions of power in government." The motivation of these people really doesn't matter. If the policies they advocate continually result in gains for communism and losses for the Free World, then they should be replaced by persons with a more realistic understanding of the evil conspiracy that has subjugated more than one-third of the world. That's not McCarthyism, that's common sense.
Q. Most of the books in the libraries seem to be anti-McCarthy. Are there any pro-McCarthy books?
A. There are indeed, but most of them are out of print or not usually available in libraries. Here is a list: McCarthy and His Enemies, by William Buckley and Brent Bozell; McCarthy, by Roy Cohn; The Assassination of Joe McCarthy, by Medford Evans; The Lattimore Story, by John Flynn; Who Promoted Peress?, by Lionel Lokos; three books by McCarthy himself - Major Speeches and Debates of Senator Joe McCarthy 1950-1951, McCarthyism: The Fight for America, and America's Retreat From Victory; and a collection of tributes to McCarthy entitled Memorial Addresses Delivered in Congress.
Q. How then would you define McCarthyism?
A. McCarthyism was a serious attempt to remove from positions of influence the advocates of communism, the willing and unwilling supporters of communism and communists, and persons who would prevent the removal of those who give aid and comfort to the enemies of America. Communist conspirators and their friends do not fear those who denounce communism in general terms. They do, however, greatly fear those who would expose their conspiratorial activities. That is why they hated and fought Joe McCarthy more than any other public figure in this century. That is why they have preserved his name as a club to hold over the head of anyone who dares to expose communism.
Joe McCarthy was a brave and honest man. There was nothing cynical or devious about him. He said and did things for only one reason - he thought they were the right things to say and do. He was not perfect; he sometimes made errors of fact or judgment. But his record of accuracy and truthfulness far outshines that of his detractors. His vindication in the eyes of all Americans cannot come soon enough. Medford Evans put it well when he said: "The restoration of McCarthy … is a necessary part of the restoration of America, for if we have not the national character to repent of the injustice we did him, nor in high places the intelligence to see that he was right, then it seems unlikely that we can or ought to survive."
* Evidence presented in the other six cases showed that two (Haldore Hanson and Gustavo Duran) had been identified as members of the Communist Party, that three (Dorothy Kenyon, Frederick Schuman, and Harlow Shapley) had extensive records of joining communist fronts and supporting communist causes, and that one (Esther Brunauer) had sufficient questionable associations to be dismissed from the State Department as a security risk in June 1952. For further details, see chapter seven of McCarthy and His Enemies, by William Buckley and Brent Bozell.