McCarthyism describes a scenario in which a person (or group of individuals) is accused of wrongdoing in a persecutory manner without evidence. This is often a political situation in which someone makes wild non-evidence based accusations against another person or group.

Synonymous with a witch hunt, this concept is named after Joseph McCarthy, a senator who in the 1950s led an aggressive campaign to identify and persecute people with suspected Communist sensibilities and/or affiliations. Most of the people put on trial by McCarthy were innocent and many had their lives and careers ruined.

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