Philip Jenkins: Joe McCarthy Was No Witch Hunter
Philip Jenkins is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and a columnist for RealClearReligion. His latest book is Laying Down the Sword.Language speaks us. Much as I hate quoting that post-modern cliché, it captures the truth that certain words and phrases become so deeply inlaid in our everyday conversation that we are scarcely able to realize their ideological slant.As a prime example, I offer the wave of investigations that the United States and other countries undertook into Communist subversion and espionage in the Cold War years. Well, that description is a little wordy, so let's just use the convenient short-hand that has become so standard: the McCarthy witch hunts....Real witches, by definition, did not exist....
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