The political cartoon “It’s Okay--Were Hunting Communists”manages to sum up the events and political chaos of "The Red Scare"(751, Government and Law). Specifically, the artist is able to mock President Harry Truman, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and The Committee of Unamerican Activities(HUAC). The artist use of facial expression and symbolism paints a picture for the audience, and their feelings towards these issues. The use of this political cartoon also take historical events, and helps to illustrate the meaning and consequences of these events.
The average person, or everyday citizens of the United States are those gathered in the streets. The ones whom were run over are likely to be those accused of communism, a popular fear during this time period. On the side of the car one can see a woman jumping out-of-the-way. This is likely symbolic of what many americans were forced to do at this time: agree with the government or be labelled a communist. If one wanted to look for a more specific population, they could see these people in the streets as Hollywood workers. During 1947 when the cartoon was written HUAC targeted hollywood as a source of communist influence (735). As a result studios began to blacklist those with any potential communist ties, and turn on those they worked with in order to avoid these blacklists.
In the passenger seat of the car we see then president Harry Truman. Driving the car we see Senator Joseph McCarthy, Truman’s lead accuser in many communist trails. (Murrin 738). One can see that Truman is simply waving, and sitting back relaxing which is probably indicative of his continuation to ignore the American people, and allow the “Red Scare” to take place. Meanwhile McCarthy is depicted with a determined and convicting look, his intentions of taking down the crowd are clear. He even goes so far as to run down a stop sign on the right of the car. The artist likely put it to show the population own objections to his actions, and the obvious disregard for these rejections.
Another important detail to note is the label on the back of the car (The Committee of Unamerican Activities). Although not identified as individuals in this picture, this was an important group during the Cold War. HUAC was a committee aimed at exposing and convicting those guilty of treason against The United States. However, this eventually became a “witch-hunt” aimed at convicting those who did not agree with the way things were at the time(734-735). After complaint from anti-communists HUAC would take on Hollywood producers and companies, and pressure them into blacklisting employees. When one considers the amount of influence Hollywood has today, it can only be imagined how control of the media and entertainment industry would have helped to forward this anti-communist regime.
From reading the chapter on “The Age of Containment”, I can surmise that the real threat to America was Senator McCarthy and HUAC. I believe the chapter was named rather...