Speech Explaining the Communist Threat

Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI)

June 02, 1950

Fellow Americans, thank you very much for the opportunity to be with you tonight to discuss a subject which, in my opinion, towers in importance above all others. It is the subject of international atheistic communism. It deals with the problem of destroying the conspiracy against the people of America and free men everywhere…

…[M]any of you have been engaged in this all-out fight against communism long before I came on the scene. You have been engaged in what may well be the final Armageddon foretold in the Bible-that struggle between good and evil, between life and death, if you please.

At the start, let me make clear that in my opinion no special credit is due those of us who are making an all-out fight against this Godless force-a force which seeks to destroy all the honesty and decency that every Protestant, Jew and Catholic has been taught at his mother’s knee. It is a task for which we can claim no special credit for doing. It is one which we are obligated to perform. It is one of the tasks for which we were brought into this world-for which we were born. If we fail to use all the powers of mind and body which God gave us, then I am sure our mothers, wherever they are tonight, may well sorrow for the day of our birth…

We know that the major aim of communism, as stated by its atheistic leaders more than 30 years ago, is to create a Red China, thence a Red Asia, wash it with a Red Pacific-and then enslave America.

In this connection let us take a look at the magnitude of Russian success and the enormity of our disaster in China. This is the disaster to which Mr. Acheson refers as the dawning of a new day; the disaster to which Mr. [Owen] Lattimore [an East Asia scholar at Johns Hopkins University] refers as a “limitless horizon of hope.”

For whom is Mr. Acheson’s new day dawning? Who faces Lattimore’s limitless horizon of hope? Not China. Not the forces of democracy in America, but the military masters of the Soviet Union.

The question in the mind of a man elected to represent the people of this Nation and indirectly the people of the world is, Why is this so?

Is it because we are less intelligent than the Communists? Is it because we can’t match them in courage? Is it because their devotion to atheism is greater than our devotion to God? Is it because we are less willing to stand up and fight for what we think is right? Ladies and gentlemen, the answer to all those questions is “No.” Then what is the answer? Is it in our leadership? To that my answer is “Yes,” and I challenge anyone to find another answer.

I have been naming and presenting evidence against those leaders who have been responsible for selling into Communist slavery 400,000,000 people-those leaders responsible for the creation of Communist steppingstones to the American shores.

Those in power in Washington say that this is not so; that those are not the men. Now if I have named the wrong men, then the American people are entitled to know who is responsible for the tremendous Communist victory in Asia and the dismal American defeat-the greatest defeat any nation has suffered in war or peace.

It is essential, therefore, that we put the spotlight of exposure on those who are responsible for this disaster. This is important, not for the purpose of exposing past failures, but because those same men are now doing America’s planning for the future. Unfortunately they have be-come so deeply entrenched that almost every power of the Government is used to sabotage any attempt to expose and root them out…

…I have tried to give you the highlights of a difficult and dangerous situation that exists. You have as a flaming backdrop to my remarks the facts of the world as you find them today. Communism is no longer a creeping threat to America. It is a racing doom that comes closer to our shore each day. To resist it we must be intelligently strong.

Such strength will come only from men and women dedicated to the wholehearted defense of democracy. The average American who constitutes the heart and soul of this Nation is so dedicated. We must be sure that those who seek to lead up today are equally dedicated. We cannot survive on half loyalties any more than we can find the facts of Communist conspiracy with half-truths.

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