-- Lauchlin Currie was a Soviet spy on the White House staff.
-- William Remington was the Soviet spy at Commerce.
-- Judith Coplon headed up a spy ring at Justice with access to the FBI secrets and files she transferred to Soviet agents.
-- The Rosenbergs were communist traitors who gave their Russian handlers secrets of the atom bomb. The brother of Robert Oppenheimer, father of the A-bomb, was a communist, as was his wife, who was a lifelong friend of Steve Nelson, a key figure in the Communist Party underground apparatus.
On and on the list goes. For an unbiased account of McCarthy's life, Arthur Herman's Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator is indispensable.
McCarthy's career as an anti-Communist began in February 1950 with his Wheeling speech and was effectively ended with his censure in December 1954. Why was Harry Truman chased out of Washington in 1952 with an approval rating of 23 percent? Why did Joe McCarthy enjoy a 50-29 favorable rating as late as January 1954?
Because McCarthy, almost alone, was exposing the treason and folly of those who had ceded half of Europe to Stalin and all of China to the murderous hordes of Mao Tse-tung. And with 200 American boys dying every week in Truman's "no-win war" in Korea, Americans were demanding explanations.
The 1950s were good years. No one was terrified then, except the fools who had joined a Communist Party that turned out to be a lickspittle of the Comintern. Gallup polls of the era show not even 1 percent of Americans were concerned about "witch-hunting" or "anti-Communist hysteria" or "McCarthyism." That is pure myth.
In 1954, when some snot at the 15th reunion of his class got up to toast Harvard College for never having produced an Alger Hiss or a Joe McCarthy, John F. Kennedy stood up and walked out, roaring, "How dare you couple the name of a great American patriot with that of a traitor." Yes, indeed, that was when the Right was right.