How do Americans' fears about terrorism today compare with their fears about communism during the 1950s and 1960s?
While the fears of these two different eras in American history may seem rather similar, I would argue that they are, in fact, very different. I would argue (though it is certainly possible to argue against my point of view) that the fear of communism was much more pervasive and that those fears were also much more well-founded than our fear of terrorism is today.
The major similarity between these two fears is that they both led to what some would call overreactions on the part of the federal government. Because people were so afraid of communism, the US House of Representatives created HUAC, which bullied people suspected of being communist. Because people were so afraid of communism, the US spent huge amounts of money (and lives) trying to prevent the spread of communism in foreign countries. Today, partly because of fears of terrorism, Donald Trump can win the Republican presidential nomination while pledging to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. Because of...
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