Terrorism has replaced Communism as the arch enemy of the United States, except it’s not red. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, we have no more “Red Threat,” as President Kennedy called it during the Cuban missile crisis. In the geo-political world
of board games, the Soviets played Risk while the United States played Monopoly. In the end, the commies ran out of money just about the time that President Reagan famously said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” At least the Communists had faces, terrorists not so much.
We had become used to arch enemies during WWII, especially the Nazis. At the conclusion of the war, we were left with the face of Josef Stalin, Russian dictator of the Soviet Union and of Communism, for the enemy’s name. His face was known because of newsreel and newspaper coverage at Yalta where he was featured with the benign despots Churchill and Roosevelt. But soon, two other events changed the face of Communism: the Cold War and television.
President Harry S. Truman set up a loyalty program for federal employees and expected all federal workers to demonstrate "complete and unswerving loyalty" to the United States. Anything less, he declared, "constitutes a threat to our democratic processes." Truman also asked the Justice Department to compile an official list of 78 subversive organizations. That set both Senator Joseph McCarthy’s star and cast communism as our arch enemy and national threat.
Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) coined the term of an era in a speech he gave in Wheeling, West Virginia, February 9, 1950. He said, “…for this is not a period of peace. This is a time of ‘the cold war.’” Later, Senator McCarthy became the face of anti-communism gone overboard when Edward R. Murrow went after him on CBS television. Television began to feature Communists as villains until the Berlin Wall began to fall and the era of Communist villainy fell with it.