Lest We Forget

(In my lifetime, political discourse in the United States has moved along a continuum from barely civil to openly hostile. Our current presidential administration is different only in that it uses barnyard epithets openly–you may, if you are so inclined, review the vile things one may find on Richard Nixon’s Oval Office tapes–in a variety of places around the Internet. It was Nixon’s vice-president, Spiro Agnew, who impugned the patriotism and loyalty of those guilty of nothing more than disagreeing with his positions. If this sounds familiar, look at the headlines, because it is.)

“A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

Campaign speech, Detroit, Michigan, New Orleans, Louisiana, 19 October 1969

“Ultraliberalism today translates into a whimpering isolationism in foreign policy, a mulish obstructionism in domestic policy, and pusillanimous pussyfooting on the critical issue of law and order.”

Speech at Illinois Republican meeting, Springfield, Illinois, 10 September 1970

“In the United States today, we have more than our share of nattering nabobs of negativism.”

Address to California Republican state convention, 11 September 1970.

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

4 responses to “Lest We Forget

  1. Oh, I well remember this. 1970 was the year I graduated college.

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    • Kinda figured you might have, Zorba; I was ten years old, and even at that tender age, I recognized Agnew as a hack.

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      • The future Mr. Zorba and I were active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and remained so after Nixon the Vile and Agnew the A-hole were elected.
        We lived through a lot of history. The Vietnam War and the protests. Kent State (we all thought “that could have been us”). The Civil Rights Movement. The Feminist Movement. The assassinations of JFK (I was in high school), MLK, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers.
        (BTW, you are a mere youth. 😉)

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      • Most of my friends are ten or so years older than I am, so I hear a lot about my own youthfulness. Have I mentioned that I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and saw the anti-war movement up close? I am indebted to your generation for the formation of my consciousness.

        Liked by 1 person

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