Eisenhower's Contribution To The Demise Of Mccarthy

Decent Essays

Smith. Some Americans believed McCarthy created an untouchable paranoia, while others knew McCarthy was lying but had no way to prove or convince the believers of the truth. Though McCarthy earned reelection to his senate position in 1952, unbeknownst to him the new presidential administration was not going to be as soft as Truman and would cause his downfall in the following years (“Joseph McCarthy Begins His Crusade”).
As Eisenhower took the role of president amid the McCarthy crusade, he decided to handle the problem outright by appointing McCarthy to a relatively meaningless position, chair of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate, him and his counterparts believed would keep McCarthy occupied and unproblematic until they could formulate a more permanent solution. Eisenhower’s appointment of McCarthy to this committee was his one mistake, as McCarthy took the opportunity to create “McCarthy’s Committee” out of the …show more content…

However, Eisenhower understood demagogues, such as McCarthy, more so than the average politician and knew the correct plan of attack, which he simply stated in his diary in April of 1953 saying, “Nothing will be so effective in combating his particular kind of trouble-making as to ignore him. This he cannot stand” (Eisenhower). His refusal to denounce McCarthy perplexed many, and yet, his response was that “getting in the gutter” (Eisenhower) with him would only increase the senator’s celebrity. Even years later, though, journalist Robert Donovan still adhered to the idea that “one great speech on the immorality and illegality of McCarthyism” could have destroyed McCarthy, but Eisenhower knew a speech like this would only play to the McCarthy’s strengths by giving him even more attention he so ardently sought

Get Access