Week 2 Lavender Scare

The “Red Scare” and the “Lavender Scare” go hand in hand as the “Red Scare” gave way to the “Lavender Scare”. The “Red Scare” was a wave of fear of communism in American politics. The “Lavender Scare” was a wave of fear of homosexuals in American politics. Both scares allowed politicians and journalists to smear other American politicans. One of the politicians spear heading some of these anticomunism and homophobic purges was Joe McCarthy who ultimately fell victim to the “Lavender Scare”. The “Red Scare” was used as apolitical tool to bring down opponents. The “Lavender Scare” was used cold war liberals. Friedman states, “liberals worked against the excesses of anticommunism by using “gay-baiting” to fight against red-baiting.” Public anxieies were weaponised against both sides. The article also brings up an interesting fear felt by people at the time of a connetion between communists and homosexulas. These connectings are “ moral corruption, psychological immaturity, and an ability to “pass” undetected among ordinary Americans.” Yes, sexual innuendos are still used in politics today. Our past president has a long list of highly inappropriate sexual inuedos. Like McCarthy, Trump was an outsider and a man with a carefully cultivated persona of being a tough guy. What’s interesting about his comments against women is his followers conndoned his talk. Also, nearly every women in a position of political power has had a sexual inuendo said about them. Its not surprising in an instution historical ran by men with big egos would have issues with misogyny. Michelle Obama was attacked relentlessly during Barak Obama’s campaign and presidency. If I remember correctly, there were rumors surrounding Michelle about if she was transgender. Hillary Clinton was barraided with horrible comments from the public and Trump. 

Image has such an impactful role on American politics. A politician image which is carefully cultivated, can be destroied in the matter of one tweet or one news article. Reading through the article made me wonder what the McCarthy era would have looked like is twitter was around. Today, social media can’t be avoided. Politicians use social media to get their platform out their out. Since the inspection of our country media has been increasingly part of American politics. Media in the United States started out with papers and pamphlets, moved to the radio, then to television, and now social media of all kind infultrates our daily lives. Reading the article I wondered would it put the founding fathers into a coma if they saw how twitter impacts the institution they built. It will be interesting to see where media goes in our lifetime. I’m also at fault for relying to heavy on social media platforms to get information. I find myself saying “I saw a TikTok” far to often. Social media is a powerful tool that if used correctly can start movements. Movements like Me too have rocked our society with people speaking out against those in power usng the power against other.

One thought on “Week 2 Lavender Scare

  1. I like how you connected our reading to the present day with the focus on social media. This was not something that really occurred to me when I first reflected on how politics work nowadays; I was still thinking about actual news sites and how they report information. However, I think that you have a really good point in that social media has a lot of power over our lives. Thanks to platforms like twitter, it is so easy for anybody to post something for everyone to see, meaning that people’s opinions can be very easily swayed by sources with zero credibility. This has massive implications for something like politics because of how important image is in that career path and how easily someone’s image can be taken apart online. It’s crazy to think about how tactics that politicians during McCarthy’s time used to “smear” their opponents would probably work even better now thanks to social media’s far-reaching influence.


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