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Joseph McCarthy and Irresponsibility Engage Activity

  • I can differentiate between acting responsibly and irresponsibly while describing how acting irresponsibly can fail the trust others have in you.

Part 1: Campaign Headquarters

Publius and Brutus are running for the student government of your school. They each asked you to plan out their campaign. The school administration will allow candidates to put up posters around the hallways, make appeals on social media, and make a speech to the student body after reviewing each.

Publius is interested in bringing the food trucks for lunch, shortening the school day, and allowing unlimited retakes on exams. Brutus, by contrast, is interested in expanding the school recycling program and starting a student advisory board to meet with teachers and administrators on a monthly basis.


Plan out a brief campaign for each of the candidates by choosing one of the following options. All options must clearly communicate the goals and values of each candidate, their promises to the student body, and a catchy election slogan. Remember, all campaign items must be approved by the administration, so they must be appropriate.  

  • Option 1: Design one poster for each Publius and Brutus.  
  • Option 2: Create 3 social media posts for both candidates (6 total). Include your social media handle and the platform you are using (TikTok, Twitter, etc.). 
  • Option 3: Write a bulleted outline of each candidate’s speech that they will give to the school.  

Part II: Debrief  

  1. Which candidate was more enjoyable to create a campaign for? Why?   
  2. Which candidate would you realistically want as your student body president?   
  3. What would the likely outcome have been for the student government and school culture in Publius won? Brutus?  
  4. Which of the two candidates acted responsibly in their campaign? Which acted irresponsibly? How would you define responsibility and irresponsibility based on this scenario?  
  5. Is it important to consider the motivations and virtues of our elected leaders? Explain. 




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