It's okay, We're Hunting Communists

Published October 31, 1947


Subject: The purge of communism in America during McCarthyism

Context: Examining a highly controversial issue going on within America at the time

Symbolism: The car represents the American government and McCarthyism who go to the lengths of alienating their citizens to stop communism.

Exaggeration: In the illustration, the car is depicted essentially mowing down the people in the crowd, this symbolizes the relentlessness of our government during the red scare.

Labeling: The car that's deliberately running through a crowd of people labeled "Committee on Un-American Activities" This illustrates that in McCarthyism, leaders who didn't see Communism as pertinent or helpful to our government or nation as a whole could simply dispose of or accuse those in their way.

Analogy: The purging of communism in our nation at this time is actually quite comparable to this picture, a few men deciding what's morally correct for a nation and then vehemently enforcing it among all it's people

Irony: The irony is expressed by the fact that at the time, the government would do anything necessary to get rid of communism, even if that meant completely impeding on the rights' of citizens or as illustrated in the cartoon, running them over.

Purpose of Cartoon:

What issue is this political cartoon about?
The ruthlessness of the American government during McCarthyism and the Red Scare.


What do you think is the cartoonist’s opinion on this issue?

Herblock is trying to communicate that the government has very much over stretched their bounds in trying to suppress communism in America.


What other opinion can you imagine another person having on this issue?
That the government is right in what they're doing and that we shouldn't criticize them for trying to protect us from possible spies or people who only want to harm our country.

Did you find this cartoon persuasive? Why or why not?

Yes, Herblock's use of a car literally mowing down a crowd of people really gets the point across of how ridiculous McCarthyism became in the search for a more free nation


What other techniques could the cartoonist have used to make this cartoon more persuasive?

He could've used a counter view of an average citizen looking a the political leaders going back in forth in their accusations.