"It was a marvellous inspiration to recast the communist ‘hysteria’ of the 1950s as the Salem witch trials of the 1690s. Many people have pointed out the obvious flaw — that there were no witches, whereas there were certainly communists. For one thing, they were gobbling up a lot of real estate: they seized Poland in 1945, Bulgaria in ’46, Hungary and Romania in ’47, Czechoslavakia [sic] in ’48, China in ’49; they very nearly grabbed Greece and Italy; they were the main influence on the nationalist movements of Africa and Asia. Imagine the Massachusetts witch trials if the witches were running Virginia, New York and New Hampshire, and you might have a working allegory. As it is, Miller’s play is an early example of the distinguishing characteristic of the modern Western Left: its hermetically sealed parochialism. His genius was to give his fellow lefties what’s become their most cherished article of faith — that any kind of urgent national defence is, by definition, paranoid and hysterical. It was untrue in the Fifties and it’s untrue today. Indeed, the hysteria about hysteria — the ‘criminalisation’ of ‘dissent’ — is far more hysterical than the hysteria about Reds."He has a point about The Crucible being inapt. I go back and forth on that last statement, though. I hear some pretty big hysteria about the Reds, but then again the Communist advancement was some cause for alarm. HUAC was way before my time, but I get the sense it was a worthwhile endeavor that got way out of hand.
That is to say, the fact that Shirley Temple was not a security risk does not mean there was never anything to worry about anywhere. Anyway, Mark Steyn says it better than I could, so stick with him and you'll be okay. I'll try not to link to him again for at least a week.