Heroes and Villains

Joseph McCarthy and Demagoguery

Students will explore the vice of demagoguery in a constitutional republic in this lesson on civic virtue.  Students will examine the anti-Communist crusade of Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Cold War in the early 1950s.  Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to weigh whether McCarthy was expressing genuine concerns about Communist subversives or just interested in his own power.  Students will examine the effects of demagoguery on a constitutional republic and civil society.

Founding Principles

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Civil Discourse

Reasoned and respectful sharing of ideas between individuals is the primary way people influence change in society/government, and is essential to maintain self-government.

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Due Process

The government must interact with all citizens according to the duly-enacted laws; applying these rules equally among all citizens.

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Inalienable / Natural Rights

Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.

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Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, the government does not have the authority to limit freedom.

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