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« Tr. 2001, A Sage Odyssey | Main | Self-Defeating Logic »

The Inevitable Americans

Perhaps this young letter writer was one of the audience of fifteen hundred well-informed students who crowded into the auditorium at the University of Colorado to give a thunderous standing ovation a little while ago to a handsome office of the United States Army who compounded a mass of half-truths, false inferences, equivocations, and palpable lies about the behavior of the unfortunate American prisoners of war in [country x] into as vicious an attack on our national character as Pravda could concoct. When one lone girl rose after the talk to point out what she thought was an obvious distortion of fact, this American audience, led by this American army officer, crushed her back into her seat with derisive laughter.

2007? Iraq? No, this was written by then-Associate Professor of Anthropology John Greenway in1963, and the war was in Korea.

The rot runs deep.

The book was The Inevitable Americans, and the professor was a liberal. The book was written to defend the US against these thugs, something that, had I given you the year beforehand, would have seemed bizarre and unnecessary. Here's what he had to say about the difference between Republicans and Democrats in 1963:

However, the basis of the conflict between the Republicans and the Democrats of the world is simple: the existing culture gave the Haves a major share at the feast and they are fat and content; the existing culture gave the Have Nots rather small potatoes, and they are hungry for a change, any change.

The Haves are, by definition, conservative, opposed to culture changes, fighting the change that the Have Nots want to have. One wonders what he would make of a world where the wealthiest give to the Democrats (indeed, of a state like Colorado where the wealthiest have bought the state for them), and whether he'd still see that those elites were essentially resistant to change.

This is as precise a definition of pre-Gompers class warfare as you were likely to get. The Republicans are Wall Street, the Democrats Main Street. But while he mentions Goldwater as, "sensible and simple," he has no idea that one year later, he'd lead the Main Street takeover of the Republicans.

Later, astonished by the radicalism that liberalism had wrought, he would carry a tire iron into his classroom to confront those radicals.

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