HATRED THEN AND NOW
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s JFK, Bush, and the Politics of Hate:
A fascinating and interesting article, Mr. Lord. Thanks. It happens to dovetail quite nicely with a recent book on the same subject, by James Piereson; Camelot and the Cultural Revolution. Your musings parallel those of Mr. Piereson, who posited the theory that the assassination of President Kennedy was the root cause of the unraveling of modern American liberalism.
Similarly, you quote from the book by the Kennedy sycophant, William Manchester (1967), who it appears, repeated a theme from another book written by another Kennedy acolyte, the recently deceased, unctuous, bow-tied popinjay, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (1965). Both men saw Dallas, Texas as a hot bed of hatred (right-wing, of course) spawned by the civil rights movement, rather than focusing on Cuba, the Cold War, and Communist provocateur and sympathizer, Oswald. Interestingly enough, both men made scant mention of Kennedy’s Texas vice president, LBJ; probably because this fact did not fit well with their liberal template. For the past 40 years, liberals have vilified the South, while ignoring the more subtle, but still deplorable, apartheid of the North.
But you go farther than Mr. Piereson and bring us to today’s unhinged American Left and how this theme has repeated itself, only this time, reversed, and far worse. It is the height of irony that these bourgeois-hating leftist “champions” from the ’60s, are now seeking to impose on America, the most illiberal, undemocratic, and anti-individual policies, heretofore unseen in our history. The new politics of hate, pedaled by Hillary & Co., will, if successful, bring us a new world order, Orwellian style.
— A. DiPentima
Mr. Lord writes that he was around at the time of the JFK assassination. I wonder how “around” he was. At the time, I was an adult, working for a living in Washington D.C., and active in GOP politics in Montgomery Co., Md. I know that the only reason for the JFK trip to Texas was to shore up support for the primary season that was upcoming in a few months. JFK was wildly unpopular with a large segment of his own party, and it was wondered if they could even keep him from being re-nominated. Even Walter Cronkite carried the speculation on the news, while offering that he didn’t see how you could deny a sitting president the nomination of his own party.
It was precisely the far Left wing of the Dem party that disliked him the most. They loved brother, Bobby, but they were disillusioned with JFK. Yes, the right was not fond of him, but they couldn’t have denied him the Dem nomination. The whole Texas trip was for LBJ and the then Texas governor, Connally, both wildly popular in Texas, to showcase their support for JFK and to cement the support of the Texas delegation to the Dem convention the following summer.
The Left was furious with him due to his across the board income tax cut that took the top rates from 90% down to 70%. They were especially furious precisely because the cuts worked and jump started the economy. They were also of the opinion that JFK had been way too bellicose toward the USSR and Cuba in the missile standoff. One popular opinion had it that, if brother Bobby hadn’t stopped him, JFK would have gotten us into a shooting war with the USSR. Of course the defense establishment Right also was upset because they felt that he had given up too much in the negotiated compromise.
Look, I am not saying that the right side of the political spectrum was happy with him, they were not. However, the left side of the spectrum was really torqued off with JFK. I don’t think he could have been denied renomination, but the convention was going to be a messy public fight. JFK was trying to hold together the forces of the center left, and hold off the forces of the far left and the Center Right of the Dem party. The whole thing was such a mess that the Democrat party was eager to join the Camelot believers and blame the killing on the GOP and the political right. The left was scrambling to cover up their dirty linen from public view.
And that is the way it was, and I was there at ground zero in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
— Ken Shreve
After reading Mr. Lord’s article I came away convinced he and probably the staff of American Spectator simply do not understand the situation regarding the dislike of President Bush.
To begin with, I sincerely believe that a major part of the dislike of President Kennedy was because of prejudice regarding his religion.
In regards to President Bush, he brought the vast amount of dislike on by himself through various ways which include:
1. Total disregard of what the minority party said or felt.
2. Absolute partisanship.
3. Gross incompetence.
4. Distortion of the truth.
Mr. Lord can conveniently attempt to put the blame in thousands of other ways. However, it is very clear that President Bush brought the dislike on solely by himself and he deserves every bit of the dislike he receives.
— Robert Volland
New York, New York
Re: Larry Thornberry’s Another Blight on Old Blighty:
America is closer to the UK on the political correctness primrose path than Mr. Thornberry believes. In a recent NY Times article, “Sweeping the Clouds Away” by Virginia Heffernan, early Sesame Street episodes newly out on DVD contain a warning that they “may not suite the needs of today’s preschool child.” Why? The inner city milieu and the behaviors of some of the characters. According to a PBS representative quoted in the article, they edited out scenes of Cookie Monster smoking and eating pipes because, “they modeled the wrong behavior.”
The politically correct crowd are now eating their own young.
— Christine Willett
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! England is fast ceasing to be the “Land of Hope and Glory,*” lauded in the Elgar piece that is the high point of the Last Night of the Proms**; the lines “God who made thee mighty, make the mightier yet” are sooo politically incorrect, so jingoistic! And, eeek, it actually uses the G-word — Gaia forefend! I wonder how much longer it will take before it is replaced by “Kumbayah.”
*”Land of Hope and Glory” is probably better known in this country as the “Pomp and Circumstance” march played (and often butchered) at high school and college graduations.
** The “Proms” are the Promenade Concerts held every summer at the Royal Albert Hall.
— Gretchen L. Chellson
I suggest that the coming “Winston Smith” villages in the UK are a good thing. In order to be legitimately “eco-friendly” they will, of course, have to be self-sustaining, deriving no food, power, etc from the surrounding fossil-fueled capitalist society. Under these circumstances, their inevitable failure will serve as a perfect demonstration project for the lunacy of what the eco-warriors demand of the entire planet; just as the dismal failure of Biosphere (in Arizona) was a perfect display of human hubris, refuting the idea that we know enough to design an entire, self-sustaining, environment.
— K. Weissman
Larry Thornberry replies:
The finely-reasoned suggestion from Mr. Weissman of Massachusetts (Go Sawks!) might make sense if we were dealing with sensible people, which socialists manifestly are not. When have the many abject failures of socialism (environmentalism being one of the branches thereof) made the first impression on the many co-religionists of the Left? That the late but hardly lamented Soviet Union collapsed in the 74th year of its first five-year plan goes unremarked on in leftie circles, as do the countless other less spectacular examples of the failure of socialism. Failure, no matter how gaudy, seems only to stoke the Left’s paranoia and to excite them to greater efforts. They are hermetically sealed, and determined as badgers.
TOILING THE LAND
Re: Manon McKinnon’s No Freedom to Farm:
From 1988-1997 I served as a Director of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Several fellow members (of the next generation) along with leadership in the commodity organizations proposed beneficial changes in the Farm Bill legislation in 1996. But leadership of the American Farm Bureau Federation changed to a southern agricultural influence, so as the article states the reforms were politically removed.
In 1950, while a high school senior, I wrote a term paper on “Soil Conservation.” A quote (author unknown) passed on to me by my father was, “Live as though you are going to die tomorrow. Farm as though you are going to farm forever.” I have shared this conservation ethic many times and personally have never “farmed the farm program.” Our corn base is not 100% of our crop acres, but around 66%. Nor have we transferred corn from one county jurisdiction to another (to raise the yearly crop yield) as we have two sons (10th succeeding generation with the Sage family name to have farmed in America since 1653) farming in two different counties. We have not maximized acres or bushels to subsidize 100% farm program payments.
— Jim Sage
Iowa Master Pork Producer 1965 &
Iowa Master Farmer 1980
CASE OF THE WILLIES
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Don’t Tell Us What to do Day:
“I figured that once again I was the oddball and bit my tongue.”
I read this line in Mr. Orlet’s rant against popular music and have to agree. Chicago, Billy Joel, and (even) Willie Nelson are talented musicians that have large followings in this country, though clearly their songs are not enjoyed universally.
No need to put them down, though. There is much, much worse “music” out there, produced by talentless airheads, who are told by their producers and idiotic fans that they have some actual musical ability, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Sure, I enjoy classical music, as well as many other kinds, but there is nothing wrong with a restaurant playing popular music from the 1970s and ’80s, especially if that’s what the vast majority of its clientele enjoys. After all, it’s called “popular music” for a reason, no?
— John E. McConnell
Christopher Orlet likes the kind of music he likes, and figures everybody else is an idiot for listening to something else. There’s a name for that. Snob.
— Steve Spaay
I remember, back in 2005, the Left were pushing a “Don’t Buy a Damned Thing” day on January 20th, to protest the reelection of George W. Bush. I remember making a special trip to make a long-put-off purchase of a TV set on that day. I showed them.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
CLASS OF 1992
Re: Andrew Cline’s Ape Over Hillary:
Regarding Andrew Cline, on Hillary Clinton endorsements:
Former ABC news anchorwoman, Carole Simpson, offered her resignation as a journalism prof at Emerson after her self-admitted error in endorsing Senator Clinton at a Clinton rally to which she had taken her students. (It was rejected.)
It’s worth recalling that during the 1992 campaign, it was widely discussed before a debate between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton that Bush would become more aggressive. At one point, he did. Debate moderator, Carole Simpson, like Susan Malveaux at the recent CNN Democratic debate, knew what audience interests were ahead of time. Simpson immediately went to a young man and asked him what he thought about aggressive tactics in debates. The young man said he didn’t like them. The audience applauded. Bush’s face sank. And he abandoned his aggressive tactics for the rest of the debate.
Many factors influence loss of an election. People commonly point to Bush’s checking his watch at one debate. Not often mentioned is the plausible argument that the election was over the moment Simpson asked her question, which seemed driven by partisan purposes and achieved what she intended. “Moderating,” indeed!
— Richard L.A. Schaefer
Re: W. James Antle III’s Bush Doctrines:
I have to give it to the Bushies — after seven long years of failure and ineptitude, they refuse to admit that their ideas are silly. Trying to get them to admit to failure is worse than getting blood out of rock. With their record of underachievement, muddle, confusion and weakness, trying to sell compassionate conservatism now makes less sense than selling Ford Edsels. Why should conservatives have the slightest interest in an idea whose very name says that they are heartless and unfeeling? And liberals have no interest in anything to do with conservatism — if they did, they would be better off buying the original product and not a flimsy, trite “me too” rip off.
Compassionate conservatism is meaningless drivel, it means nothing, it is simply a slogan and an uninspiring one at that. Seven years of George W Bush prove that convincingly and his opinion polls already show what the voters think. Why waste time selling this turkey? And where is the fool who wants to buy it?
Conservatives did themselves a real injury when they sat idly by and let their ideas get hijacked and then utterly distorted by a bunch of country club blowhards and pretenders who think that convictions and ideas are an impediment to getting elected. Wrong — conservatives win and succeed when they stick to their guns, not when they abandon them. Just what are we supposed to be ashamed about? If conservatives want to save their cause and do themselves and their country a favor, the first thing they need to do is stop being embarrassed by their name. That should kill the nonsense about compassionate conservatism stone dead.
— Christopher Holland
Re: James David Dickson’s Lloyd Carr’s Biggest Game:
You have got to be kidding!!! I cannot believe a conservative political magazine would stoop so low as to allow an article about the Ohio State-Michigan game be front page! In a world of terrorism, abortion, national budget out of control and an election coming up, is this the best you can do?
I am an Ohio State fan. Anyone who knows me knows I’m what you would call a die-hard fan. I hate losing to Michigan. But I am not a stupid or irrational fan. I love playing Michigan. It is always one of the best games of the year. And Yes, Lloyd Carr is a good coach. Yes, he had a bad run against Ohio State the past few years. Yes, he coached his team to a national championship a few years back. Yes, he has produced some good players who have been successful in the NFL. And I’m sure there has been a boat load of charity work he has done we don’t know about as well.
But so what!!! So have other coaches!!! Jim Tressel has been equally if not more successful at Ohio State in the past few years. Joe Paterno has a great legacy at Penn State as well. And don’t give me that load bull about Ohio State not scheduling high ranked teams this year. Michigan has done the same thing in years past. I suppose you think that’s what happened in the 2002 season when we won the national championship. Even though we didn’t win the national championship last year, we knocked off two #2 teams in regular season. Schedules ebb and flow like everything else in life. If you are going to write sports articles, at least be balanced and fair.
Leave the sports writing and idol worship to ESPN or Sports Illustrated. Concentrate on what you do best, report the conservative news and help inform and educate your readership to issues that are important in today’s society. The liberals running for Congress don’t care who wins the Ohio State-Michigan game. They’re just trying to take control and ruin what the Republicans have accomplished in the past 7 years.
— Robin Lechleitner
Re: The Prowler’s Speaking One’s Mind:
Hey, Rudy may be on to something here. Just think, if we could amend the Constitution to include the 10 Commandments, especially 5-10, we could declare the Clinton campaign unconstitutional. Plus, a few Congressmen might have to find a real job.
Preach on, Brother Giuliani, preach on!
— Mike Showalter
CHIVALRY REALLY IS DEAD
Re: Paul Dorell’s letter (under “In the Affirmative”) in Reader Mail’s Plant Nation:
Ah, the courtliness of Paul Dorell, hoist by his own petard (hoping he is not reduced to threatening old ladies). One man’s hyperbole is another’s veiled threat. If he cares to read his own letters, paraphrased in mine and very kindly referenced by TAS (thanks for that!), he will see he made a lame attempt to cut me out of the pack of TAS readers (all of them men and presumably not octogenarians). Paul selects his “victims” carefully: Old ladies. He only suggested that Diane Smith had better back off. Not Mike Showalter or the half dozen other men who opposed his view when he was all frothed up about something else last year.
Dorell is close to right on the Tory thing. (We Tories prefer that with a capital “T,” Mensa guy.) My great, great grandfather was ousted from the Texas Senate or Supreme Court for being a Tory. He served in every capacity from circuit judge to state government. Was even a Presbyterian preacher. I have confederate “shin plasters” with his signature as Secretary of the Treasury of Cherokee County! But he was a compassionate conservative. As Judge, he had to sentence a man to hang, which would have left the man’s child orphaned. My great, great grandfather and his wife adopted the child and gave her a good home, upbringing and education. His portrait still hangs in the little courthouse in Woodville, Texas.
Paul can rest easy for a while. It is holiday time and I am immersed in baking fruitcakes — not responding endlessly to them.
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
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