ERIC Number: ED172304
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: 0
Red Scare Rhetoric: A Weaverian Perspective.
Martin, Donald R.
An analysis of political rhetoric from a perspective suggested by the theories of Richard M. Weaver indicates that during the post-World War I and post-World War II eras, the United States experienced interplays of sociohistorical variables that prevented the nation from rapidly returning to a tension-free experience of peacetime living. Unemployment, inflation, labor unrest, passions for ideological conformity, and fears of Bolshevism as an international menace served as external stimuli representing danger and preventing the nation from returning to "normalcy." The rhetoric of A. Mitchell Palmer and Joseph R. McCarthy established superficial links between the external stimuli. The "spacious" stylistic qualities of each of these men's discourse welded these components into cohesive relationships that, in an oversimplified way, enabled blame to be laid on single causes; for Palmer, the cause was the radical alien, and for McCarthy, it was Communist activity in the Federal government. The rhetoric of both men lost effectiveness as a political tool when there ceased to be external stimuli that represented danger to the United States. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: McCarthy (Joseph); Weaver (Richard M)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 5-7, 1979)