During Truman's presidency he was faced with forces of intolerance within United States society. These were principally the "Red scares" of the 1950's, hostile attitudes towards Trade Unions and racism, particularly in the South. These forces of intolerance were motivated by both Truman himself and the Republican party for political reasons, but for different aims. Truman's intolerance could be seen as positive, while the Republican's intolerance was more extreme and motivated for party advantage.
The intolerance of the "Red scares" was perpetrated by the Republican party and in particular, Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy made claims that there were communists "known to the Secretary of State" working and making policy within the state department. This was politically motivated because McCarthy was trying to further his own political career. It was uncertain whether he would maintain his seat in Congress in the 1950 mid-term elections, so he needed a strong issue to campaign on.
He had witnessed Richard Nixon become a household name in the United States, when he successfully prosecuted Algar Hiss, who was accused of passing government papers to the Soviets. McCarthy desired a national reputation and the Republican party used McCarthy to play on the fears that already existed in society about a communist threat to the United States to damage Truman's administration.
It is not enough to simply blame the Republicans for the "Red scares". There was nothing new about a fear of communism. There had been "Red scares" in the 1920's, and the House of un-American Activities Committee was set up in 1938, which contained files of premature anti-fascists. This fear of communism is almost inevitable as communism poses a threat to the American ethos of free market capitalism. There was a communist threat to the United...