Paul takes off in the home of left-wing populists and pacifists amid the ghost of Henry Wallace.
(Page 3 of 4)
Here’s George McGovern in 1972, talking with the famous chronicler of presidential campaigns Theodore H. White. South Dakotan McGovern was busy telling White, just as a real disciple of Iowa’s Henry Wallace could be expected, that communism wasn’t a threat. Said McGovern:
“The war against communism is over…somehow we have to settle down and live with them.”
Shift ahead in time to Ron Paul, taking a question last summer from a voter expressing concern about the threat from radical Islam. Replied candidate Paul, in an exchange found in the Des Moines Register:
“Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.
“If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.
“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”
It should be said here that this point of view sells with some in Iowa. Henry Wallace was certainly not alone in the cornfields with this belief.
A more recent example is Iowa’s late Senator and Governor Harold Hughes. Democrat Hughes was a burly, one-time truck driver and recovered alcoholic who served the state as a popular governor, elected to the first of two terms in 1962. In 1968 he won a Senate seat and was frequently mentioned for a 1972 presidential run, which he declined.
Senator Hughes was not simply an outspoken opponent of the then-ongoing Vietnam War and its most prominent antagonist of the day, Minnesota’s Senator Eugene McCarthy. Harold Hughes, Iowa politician, was, by his own account in his memoirs The Man from Ida Grove — “a pacifist.”
What did this mean in terms of his actions as a sitting United States Senator from Iowa? How did this translate into every day actions?
Senator Hughes was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and thus, in his capacity representing Iowans he used his pacifism to vote against weapons systems and military budgets and so on and on. Even he finally began to feel this was the wrong place for him to be, and he passed up his re-election in 1974 to work as a religious layman.
While Hughes and Wallace before him (not to mention elected liberal Iowa Democrats after them) were elected to public office, it would be a mistake to think that this kind of thinking Ron Paul is touting throughout Iowa is limited to Iowa’s candidates for office.
Perhaps one of the best known Iowa leftists in recent history was the late Peg Mullen. Mrs. Mullen’s son Michael was killed in the Vietnam War. Unsatisfied with the explanation of her son’s death, she began her own investigation, resulting in her discovery that Michael had not been killed by the enemy but rather by “friendly fire” — meaning accidental fire from the American military. A furious Peg Mullen wound up launching a crusade as an anti-war activist. A book and the inevitable television movie was made of her transition from placid farmers wife to a fire-breathing left-wing peace activist, the film starring Carol Burnett.
SO WHAT DOES all of this mean? Because of course there’s more. After all, Iowa is the place that birthed the most famous leftist politician of today — then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama, whose upset of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses launched him on the path to the presidency Iowa’s Henry Wallace had come so close to filling before being yanked from FDR’s ticket in 1944.
What it means is that yes, even among Iowa Republicans, there is a streak of isolationism or, as Ron Paul would have it, “non-interventionism.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?