Friday, October 19, 2007

A political history lesson
On Robert Taft, the man who deserved to become US president in 1952 (the establishment stole the Republican nomination for their man, Ike)
When a nationwide railroad strike loomed, it was the liberal Harry Truman who proposed to draft the strikers into the army and force them to keep working, and it was Senator Taft who led the opposition to the move as slavery.

[At the 1952 Republican convention:] The Taft delegations in the South were largely Negro, hence their name of "Black and Tan," and were led by the veteran black Republican Perry Howard of Mississippi, whereas the Eisenhower delegations, the representatives of the "progressive" white suburbanite businessmen of the Southern Republican future, were known quite properly as the Lilywhites.

It is important to note that the later, 1960s Republican right wing, the Goldwater-Buckley Right, had no connection with the old Taft Right, even organizationally.
He wanted to stay out of Vietnam:
Taft in particular centered his fire on Dulles’s nascent policy in Southeast Asia. He was especially concerned because the United States was increasing to 70 percent its support of the costs of the fight of the French puppet regime in Indo-China against the revolutionary forces of Ho Chi Minh. Taft feared – with great prescience! – that Dulles’s policy, upon the inevitable defeat of French imperialism in Indo-China, would lead to its eventual replacement by American imperialism, and – to Taft the worst of all possibilities – the sending of American forces to Vietnam to fight the guerrillas.

Declared Taft:
I have never felt that we should send American soldiers to the Continent of Asia, which, of course, included China proper and Indo-China, simply because we are so outnumbered in fighting a land war on the Continent of Asia that it would bring about complete exhaustion even if we were able to win....
From LRC.

A Christian who gets it
The Revd David Paul, a Lutheran minister and Ron’s brother:
On Iraq, I am in total agreement with [Ron]. We shouldn't have been there. We should get out of there.

If it's not in the Constitution, we shouldn't be doing it.
Also from the LRC blog:

Priests protest torture
And when the radical priest
Come to get me released
We was all on the cover of
— Paul Simon

This political street theatre doesn’t work — again if Mr Bush’s minders took these people seriously they’d shut them up by invading Darfur on a ‘humanitarian’ mission (as the leftists are statists just like them) — but I honour their noble intent here. Still, I can’t help thinking of theologically and liturgically modernist ageing boomers reliving their romanticised glory days at university any time from 1968 to 1972 (whom Charley has pinpointed as ‘the boomers’ according to common knowledge).

Libertarians and communitarians
...there is little difference between the Republicans and Democrats... the real tension [is] between libertarians and communitarians--this axis makes much more sense than left/right. "Communitarians tend to be bossy, boring and self-important, if they're not being oversweetened and touchy-feely" and that "Libertarians, by contrast, are not the selfish monsters you might expect." ...libertarians are more tolerant of dissent than communitarians.

...the fascism that libertarians see as their opposite is represented in America by communitarianism (though it is not "infinitely" milder). And it's good that he acknowledges explicitly that "communitarians ... believe that group responsibilities (to family, community, nation, the globe) should trump individual rights." Bravo. I wish more (mild) fascists would be so honest about their anti-individualism.
Fun fact
Johnny Rotten, former lead singer of the Sex Pistols, is a libertarian, and met Harry Browne at an LP convention.

1 comment:

  1. I'm trying to imagine Dorothy Day as "bossy, boring, and self-important".

    It doesn't work.


Leave comment