HUAC and the Red Scare

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As World War II came to a close in 1945, the Communist Party in America was beginning to simmer away. The government was worried that a Communist takeover in America would soon begin. They believed that these far-left ideas would destroy traditional American values. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was founded in 1938. Its original purpose was to find Nazi and Fascist sympathizers in Hollywood. After the war was over, the committee began targeting Communists. The government believed that the Communist uprising would begin in Hollywood because of the influential power of motion pictures on the American people. Directors, writers, producers, and actors could easily insert subliminal messages into their films to sway…show more content…
I am forced to appear here as a representative of one hundred and thirty million Americans because the illegal conduct of this Committee has linked me with every citizen. If I can be destroyed no American is safe.” He believed that Americans had the freedom of speech and that his rights should not be infringed. Lawson was also angry about the committee’s infringement of his freedom to association. Lawson stated what he thought the government was trying to do: “They’re afraid of the American people. They don’t want to muzzle me. They want to muzzle public opinion. They want to muzzle the great Voice of democracy, because they’re conspiring against the American way of life.” What Lawson didn’t realize is that he himself was technically “conspiring against the American way of life.” Communism was very much against many of America’s ideas and freedoms. It attacked almost everything that made America one of the greatest countries in the world. Lawson had the right to join the Communist party because it was not a direct threat to the country itself, but it was still very un-American. Ronald Reagan’s testimony and John Howard Lawson’s testimony can be seen as starkly different but also, startling similar as well. Reagan stated that the messages seen in films with Communist influences had been stopped by many of the producers in Hollywood. He believed that these messages should not be shown to the public, while Lawson thought otherwise. What is similar between
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