U.S. Government Trade Offs Essay

1907 words - 8 pages

Like people, the US Government faces trade-offs when making decisions. For example, members of congress recently passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The law is going to be beneficial to citizens by making health care services affordable for Americans. Unfortunately that can't happen without raising taxes for citizens and small and large business alike. In this case it is not possible to have affordable health care without raising taxes. A similar situation exists for the eras of McCarthyism and what I'll refer to as post PATRIOT act. The United States government used similar tactics from the McCarthyism era during the post PATRIOT act era to trade off it's moral and lawfully binding obligations to citizens of the United States in order to condemn and punish a group deemed an enemy of the United States.
McCarthyism is characterized by Sen. John McCarthy and HUAC using tools like scare tactics, unfair court trials, and other uncalled for actions during the 1940s to 1950s to attack Communists. One of the reasons leading up to the Communist hating McCarthyism period may have been the fear of losing basic constitutional rights given by the Bill of Rights. Shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, socialists in the US formed united under the Communist party in 1919 (Schrecker 4).To a US Citizen the threat of a Communist overthrow seemed real. Partly because during the Great Depression more people were joining the American Communist party because it seemed that capitalism was not working and Communist party members appeared to be the only ones taking action(Schrecker 5). In the Soviet Union, Stalin didn't tolerate anyone with anti Communist opinions. In fact, he persecuted many officials within the Communist party and was responsible for the death of millions of Soviet citizens("REPRESSION AND TERROR: STALIN IN CONTROL."). Americans inferred that the actions of Stalin were supported by American Communists within the country(Schrecker 3-4). That essentially was bad press for the American Communist Party because what Stalin was doing stood for was the complete opposite of American values. McCarthyism was set on by rational concerns, but with assistance from Senator John McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee(HUAC), the actual dangers of Communism were exaggerated.
In essence, I believe that the post PATRIOT act era, an era we are still in now, to be the reincarnation of McCarthyism. The Hijacking and use of airplanes for suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001 was the event that sparked the post PATRIOT act era. Shortly after the incidents, one of the most controversial acts written in the United States passed through Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Rand Paul, in a speech to Congress, addresses the issue that the US was so frightened by the events that occurred on September 11th that it allowed for the USA...

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