I once heard a quote about Ol’ Joe which was something like, “He was not the most intelligent, but he wasn’t wrong”.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Most Europeans are unlikely to be familiar with the facts behind the American term “McCarthyism.” They probably know it describes something very bad in American politics – the “Communist witch hunts” of more than half a century ago. They may also know that simply uttering the term, like casting a spell, stops all debate cold by associating someone with the eponymous Joseph McCarthy. As the story goes, he was himself very bad. After all, he conducted those long ago “Communist witch hunts,“ ruining his name in perpetuity. This probably exhausts general knowledge.
But here’s a secret: Most Americans know little more than this same familiar but completely false narrative. In recent years, stunning revelations from archives in Washington and Moscow have confirmed that McCarthy’s investigations – and those conducted by other officials before and after – netted not innocent and imaginary “witches,” but secret cadres of hardened Communist agents determined to bring down the American republic.