Joseph McCarthy started his political career as a Democratic supporting Roosevelt and the New Deal, but when he did not receive the nomination for district attorney, McCarthy became a Republic politician. Through his dirty election campaign, McCarthy won the election for district attorney.
After some time as a Marine, McCarthy turned back to politics and became Senator of Wisconsin. During his first term though, his dirty means of campaigning began to catch up with him and he found himself scrambling to ensure re-election. At this time, he began to instill the fear of communism through his campaign to root of the communists, specifically in the Democratic administration.
Throughout his career, McCarthy made hundreds of claims of the existence of communist behavioral though much of this claims proved to lack evidence and substance. Though he won re-election, he would once again be question when his 157 investigations regarding communism only brought 17 individuals to court for hearings.
McCarthy’s varried actions to “root out the communists” became known as McCarthyism, as termed by Herbert Block. McCarthy’s often outlandish attempts to prove communist involment is what served as the base for the majority of Block’s cartooning, especially during his times with the Washington Post.