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H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 11:37 AM Mar 2015

Red Scare #9

“Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us
Why don’t we do it in the road?”
-- Paul McCartney

Most historians would not even mention Paul McCartney in a discussion of “McCarthyism,” for obvious reasons. Fewer still would begin such an attempt at conversations about America’s second great Red Scare with a quote from one of Sir Paul’s curious contributions to the double LP titled “The Beatles,” though commonly known as “the White Album.” But there is an actual good reason for my including here, perhaps beyond the simple fact that Side Two of the double LP is spinning on my turn-table as I type this. (We’ll see, won’t we?)

“McCarthyism” in the gutter sense describes the attitude of much of America circa 1950-56. It is known as the second “red scare” in America. There was an attempt -- rather successful, at that -- to scare people into refusing to listen to anyone who dared to ask questions; or to read literature that asked questions; or to be in any way DISLOYAL.

The insane Senator Joseph McCarthey (R-Hell) wanted everyone to take loyalty pledges of allegiance to his flag. Failure to do so resulted in a dynamic that involved excessive allegations of disloyalty; twisting of a person’s sincere dissent into evidence of betrayal; and vicious attacks upon the character of anyone who didn’t subscribe 100% to the party line.

This form of McCarthyism is a malignancy upon a democratic society. Note that I used the word “is” to describe it -- because this disease is never truly cured: it goes into remission, but always is present in the uglier regions of the human minds, seeking opportunity to re-assert itself in the most surprising of places.

The positive form of “McCarthyism” was found in America in 1967-68, when a diverse group of patriotic citizens at the grass roots level questioned the establishment’s definitions of reality. The combined force of this dissent created a synergy that resulted in Senator Eugene McCarthy challenging LBJ. What is funny is that history has revealed that the very same cogs in the Washington, DC machine that accused the people supporting this McCarthyism of being disloyal to the cause, actually were questioning -- but only among themselves -- if LBJ had totally lost his grip on reality, and was stark raving mad? Yet they remained “loyal,” though it is hard to see that as a strength today.

Now, there are many things about LBJ that deserve respect. I’ve heard it said that Martin Luther King, Jr., could not have accomplished all he did, with his protests in the streets, if LBJ hadn’t been in the White House. And that’s true. Yet, King had to challenge LBJ’s stance on Vietnam, to remain true to his principles. But this wasn’t simply a “purity test” for King: for the “war on poverty” and the Great Society were being destroyed by the war in Vietnam.

Fast-forward 48 years, and we see some of those same dynamics at play here on DU:GD. If you don’t vote this way, you ain’t loyal. A red state scare: do you want to be responsible for Ted Cruz in the White House? And on and on and on.

Sides three and four of the White Album are simply outstanding.

76 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Red Scare #9 (Original Post) H2O Man Mar 2015 OP
kick Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #1
Thanks. H2O Man Mar 2015 #4
Go to church ...or the Devil will take over. L0oniX Mar 2015 #2
"Heaven for the climate, H2O Man Mar 2015 #8
What is this... nuance? Bucky Mar 2015 #3
No, I promise! H2O Man Mar 2015 #10
The Day Joe McCarthy came to DU. leveymg Mar 2015 #51
It's the "Love it or Leave It", "You're with us or against us", "Not as Bad" wing of the party. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #5
Iraq... Love it or leave it! world wide wally Mar 2015 #9
Outstanding answer. H2O Man Mar 2015 #12
Excellent comment.. You could add to your list of the 'blame game' tactic, 'blame the voters' sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #14
Can we get the pledge flavored with Vanilla? Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #34
I suppose so, but I am resistant to 'loyalty pledges' regardless of how they are flavored! Lol! sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #35
Flavored with Rum or Tequila might be a more effective inducement to oath taking. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #36
It would take a whole lot of that with a few stronger drugs to get me to take any 'loyalty oaths' sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #40
Even as a drunk & druggie I found them unpalatable and even more so now. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #43
Great quote from Jefferson. And that is why we have a country AND parties to even fight over, sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #55
But Lemon Pledge keeps your table shiney! hootinholler Mar 2015 #68
+ 1000. nt antigop Mar 2015 #15
and our "outrage" is "manufactured". nt antigop Mar 2015 #16
"vote for the candidate who can win and ignore their record" Martin Eden Mar 2015 #18
Thanks... onyourleft Mar 2015 #21
I don't think they are even pretending this time will be different, any more. djean111 Mar 2015 #26
+1 ! KoKo Mar 2015 #69
I've seen this here, and I don't like it either... ms liberty Mar 2015 #6
Thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #23
Alerting. Zorra Mar 2015 #7
Jury Results: H2O Man Mar 2015 #29
I'm fixing this. Few realize that Nixon was a staunch McCartneyist who almost beat Kennedy in 1960. Zorra Mar 2015 #39
The strange thing H2O Man Mar 2015 #44
Your OP's are exactly the length they need to be. Zorra Mar 2015 #56
Exactly. H2O Man Mar 2015 #57
Number NIne, Number Nine, Number Nine zeemike Mar 2015 #11
Right. H2O Man Mar 2015 #31
When I played it backwards, I thought I heard "Paul is a dead man" (perhaps an KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #45
The end of H2O Man Mar 2015 #52
why can't you write pretty KG Mar 2015 #13
I'll try my best: H2O Man Mar 2015 #32
Thank you... onyourleft Mar 2015 #17
And thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #38
Part of it I believe is driven by overconfidence. Rex Mar 2015 #19
And some of it is actually support for neo-liberal policies. sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #20
True and it appears there are a few here that do. Rex Mar 2015 #22
Yes, like Chained CPI eg. Or the support for the continuation of neocon wars. At least we are no sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #25
Well it is sad when all people want is for money to get out of politics and they get yelled at. Rex Mar 2015 #42
Interesting points. H2O Man Mar 2015 #41
I don't think it is the leaders as much as the policy wonks they hire Rex Mar 2015 #46
And then again, a real leader doesn't need policy wonks to tell them how to think. sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #54
Excellent OP, H20 Man Oilwellian Mar 2015 #24
Someone on another thread called Trotsky a 'red Fascist,' so clearly logo- KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #47
! H2O Man Mar 2015 #59
Right. H2O Man Mar 2015 #58
As always, sane and articulate and taking the long view. Thanks H2O Man. Hekate Mar 2015 #27
Thank you. H2O Man Mar 2015 #60
I skip a lot, trash others. Had my faith almost restored by the responses to FLyellowdog Hekate Mar 2015 #64
I am trying to learn to do that. But sometimes some things require a response, to correct the sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #70
"Your thinking, Sir, H2O Man Mar 2015 #71
excellent contrast using Johnson's 'Great' Society efforts vs. his Vietnam push bigtree Mar 2015 #28
Very good! H2O Man Mar 2015 #61
don't remember Truman and MLK associating bigtree Mar 2015 #62
Fair enough. H2O Man Mar 2015 #66
fascinating bigtree Mar 2015 #67
Excellent OP as always, H20 Man ... sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #30
Thank you. H2O Man Mar 2015 #72
Because happiness is a warm gun seveneyes Mar 2015 #33
Since "half of what I say is meaningless," think I'll just KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #48
A great song. H2O Man Mar 2015 #73
Excellent post malaise Mar 2015 #37
Thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #74
Joseph Heller spoofs the whole 'loyalty oath' segment in "Catch 22" when his KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #49
"Give me Eat". Major ___de Coverly. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #50
Holy shit! H2O Man Mar 2015 #53
was written by McCartney in India after he saw two GeorgeGist Mar 2015 #63
k&r... spanone Mar 2015 #65
K&Ring bit late! MannyGoldstein Mar 2015 #75
I missed this one H2O Man.. 2banon Apr 2015 #76

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
8. "Heaven for the climate,
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 01:44 PM
Mar 2015

hell for the company." -- Mark Twain


I actually went to church for a funeral yesterday. One of the outcasts from my high school class had "friended" me on FB last year (the outcasts were my anti-social-circle). I saw that her mother died at the age of 93. As she was traveling from several states away, I thought it might be good for me to show up. There is something powerful about seeing the deceased's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren .....a family of old-school, FDR Democrats.

I'm not sure if it will prevent the republican take-over of which you speak. (grin)

As always, I appreciate your contributions here. You help to keep the place sane.

Bucky

(54,495 posts)
3. What is this... nuance?
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 11:44 AM
Mar 2015

Obviously a sell out to the man... if you weren't an NSA plant in DU all along, trying to throw us off the trail of the moon-fakers.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
10. No, I promise!
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 01:46 PM
Mar 2015

The OP was merely my attempt to secure a scholarship! I blame the influence of that communist movie, "The Breakfast Club." I think Arlo Guthrie wrote it.

 

Tierra_y_Libertad

(50,414 posts)
5. It's the "Love it or Leave It", "You're with us or against us", "Not as Bad" wing of the party.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 12:31 PM
Mar 2015

And, that wing has been around for as long as I can remember. In '68 they called us Commies, Reds, and Dirty Hippies because we embarrassed The Party by speaking out against the ongoing slaughter in Vietnam and challenged our party to stop the war. The Not as Bad wing chose to continue the war and lost to Nixon. And, of course, blamed us, the Commies, Reds, and Dirty Hippies for the loss.

And, so it has remained.

Forget the wars. Forget the deaths. Forget the torture. Forget the collaboration with the Republicans. Forget the collaboration with the corporations. Forget the pursuit of whistle blowers. Forget the poor. Forget the persecuted. Forget the police state.

Again, we are told to be patient. That the other side is worse.

Again, we are told to shut up and vote for the candidate who can win and ignore their record.

And, again, we are told that "this time it will be different."

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
12. Outstanding answer.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 02:03 PM
Mar 2015

Simply outstanding. Not surprising, coming from you. But certainly the stuff of a great OP, in and of itself. Thank you so much!

Your first paragraph reminded me of Martin Luther King's most prophetic speak -- "A Time to Break Silence" (aka "Beyond Vietnam&quot from April 4, 1967 -- in which he warned that if our nation did not make serious changes, wars like Vietnam would continue in other places, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

King was attacked, not only by the hawks of the day, but even more painfuly, by too many of those who were too cowardly to grasp the Truth of his message, much less to act upon it. That included many from the Civil Rights movement, the social liberals who began the neoconservative movement at that exact time, and many, many others.

We are, of course, facing very similar problems today. And being called "disloyal," in an attempt to discredit any meaningful dissent from machine politics.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
14. Excellent comment.. You could add to your list of the 'blame game' tactic, 'blame the voters'
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 02:15 PM
Mar 2015

And if you 'don't take a pledge of loyalty' to the (still unannounced but assumed) nominee, you are 'NOT a Democrat'.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
40. It would take a whole lot of that with a few stronger drugs to get me to take any 'loyalty oaths'
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:06 PM
Mar 2015

but giving it a try might be fun! So long as THEY supply the drugs! Lol!

 

Tierra_y_Libertad

(50,414 posts)
43. Even as a drunk & druggie I found them unpalatable and even more so now.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:12 PM
Mar 2015

But, even as a collector and, presumably an imbiber, of fine wines, Thomas Jefferson had this to say about party loyalty:

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francis Hopkinson, 1789.

Of course he would now be considered a "Left Leaning Independent" by some.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
55. Great quote from Jefferson. And that is why we have a country AND parties to even fight over,
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 06:20 PM
Mar 2015

there were people there at the time, who could THINK for themselves. They needed no Think Tanks to tell them what to say, to stick their fingers in the wind to see which way it was blowing.

What we appear to have now is mostly 'followers' where we should have 'leaders'.

And those who would demand that we swear 'loyalty oaths' to FOLLOWERS?

I doubt all the drugs in the world would enduce me to that. But as I said, so long as they pay for the booze and the drugs, why not play along, for the RIDE? Lol!

Martin Eden

(13,027 posts)
18. "vote for the candidate who can win and ignore their record"
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 02:37 PM
Mar 2015

+1
Nothing will change as long as Democrats follow that advice.

 

djean111

(14,255 posts)
26. I don't think they are even pretending this time will be different, any more.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:10 PM
Mar 2015

Basically, it seems to be "We have a billion corporate bucks (or whatever) and you don't, so STFU and vote "D" anyway".

ms liberty

(8,903 posts)
6. I've seen this here, and I don't like it either...
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 01:04 PM
Mar 2015

Thanks for illustrating the parallels. It's disturbing to see these tactics used here.

I agree with you about The White Album's quality, but I love Magical Mystery Tour more than any of their albums, except maybe Help!. They both have this happy bright feeling that never fails to lift my mood.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
23. Thank you!
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 02:44 PM
Mar 2015

Oh, I love Magical Mystery Tour, too. It has some amazing music ....plus it serves to connect them from a high-point as a group (Sgt. Peppers), to four musicians using some/all of the others as a backing band (White Album).

Recently, I've been playing two other favorites quite a bit -- Rubber Soul (British version) and Revolver. And when spring comes, I'll be blaring the early LPs outside. Can't wait.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
29. Jury Results:
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:27 PM
Mar 2015

Juror #1: Hide it --- The Beatles glorified porno-graphy and violence with pornographically priestests kicking Edgar Allen’s Poe.

Juror #2: Hide it -- This is disruptive to concrete thinking. And dangerous.

Juror #3: Hide it -- I preferred the Rolling Stones.

Juror #4: Hide it -- I prefer the Bay City Rollers. Rock on!

Juror #5: Hide it -- he forgot Poland.

Juror #6: Hide it -- does neatness count?

Juror #7: Hide it -- I normally like open debate. But when you forget Richard Nixon, well, that’s just going too far. It makes DU look petty.

Zorra

(27,670 posts)
39. I'm fixing this. Few realize that Nixon was a staunch McCartneyist who almost beat Kennedy in 1960.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:02 PM
Mar 2015


(And here's another clue for you all ~ the Walrus is Paul)

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
44. The strange thing
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:16 PM
Mar 2015

is that yesterday, I re-read "Nixonland," by Rick Perlstein. It is -- as I'm confident that you know -- an outstanding book, that documents how Nixon was actually a more capable scumbag than McCarthy. He made an art of the old red-scare tactics.

I should definitely have included Nixon in the OP. My only "excuse" is that I was attempting to keep the OP relatively short -- something I'm not that good at.

Zorra

(27,670 posts)
56. Your OP's are exactly the length they need to be.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 06:32 PM
Mar 2015

And much appreciated.

I was just adding a bit of flour to help thicken the stew.

Nixon was a spider who lived life so thoroughly lost in the giant web of his own lies and deceit that he forgot where he was, and ending up eating himself.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
57. Exactly.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 08:03 PM
Mar 2015

Nixon is that spider that got caught in his own web of deceit and hatred, paranoia and envy. He will reside in the eternity of American history in that lonely corner of an abandoned, "haunted" house .....a strange, compelling yet repulsive creature.

zeemike

(18,998 posts)
11. Number NIne, Number Nine, Number Nine
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 01:56 PM
Mar 2015

That always sent a chill up my spine...because it has a ring of truth to it...one revolution after the other and nothing changes...to add another iconic reference, Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

But your account of history is exactly how I remember it.

Big K and R for this H2O Man.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
31. Right.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:30 PM
Mar 2015

It reminds me of being in college, and playing it backwards ....."Turn me on, dead man ...."

I've got quite a few copies of the White Album in my record collection. The "first day" edition with the numbers on the cover is in pretty poor shape, but I still hold on to it.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
45. When I played it backwards, I thought I heard "Paul is a dead man" (perhaps an
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:16 PM
Mar 2015

oblique reference to the now obscure "Paul is dead" controversy immortalized on the Abbey Road LP cover?)

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
52. The end of
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:46 PM
Mar 2015

"I'm So Tired," when played backwards, came out as, "Paul's a dead man, mis him, miss him, miss him."

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
32. I'll try my best:
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:41 PM
Mar 2015

“Some people want to fill the world
With silly love songs
And what’s wrong with that?
I’d like to know
‘Cause here I go, again”
-- Paul McCartney

I think that we are going to be safer, in both the long and short run (and all points in between) if we faithfully follow the direction of that 1% “in the know.” They understand corporations, and we don’t. And let’s just stop with this asking questions! Enough, already! Who are we to question bourgeois inauthentic, when it stares us in the face? Safer to look down at the ground, and stay in line. Not only that, but really -- there’s hardly a problem facing the world today that can’t be solved by way of a simplistic religious phrase, or fine patriotic motto.

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
19. Part of it I believe is driven by overconfidence.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 02:37 PM
Mar 2015

And a failure to learn anything from past elections. Great post btw!

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
22. True and it appears there are a few here that do.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 02:42 PM
Mar 2015

They always are easy to spot. Crying about people merely talking about the Third Way etc.. So obvious since nobody said a single one supported neoliberalism. They all came forward and told us themselves by trying to be 'cute' and pretend TW is a fable or harmless.

I am glad they pointed themselves out to this board, they probably didn't mean to.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
25. Yes, like Chained CPI eg. Or the support for the continuation of neocon wars. At least we are no
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:02 PM
Mar 2015

longer hearing that the Third Way is a figment of anyone's imagination. That was hilarious, considering they are proud of their existence and of their 'policies' for a 'New Democratic Party' which will, if they are allowed to do so, destroy The New Deal programs.

I have also noticed the attacks on FDR rarely seen on Democratic forums. Another way in which to identify them.

The Third Way made their hatred known for Elizabeth Warren recently, calling her attacks on Wall St 'unacceptable' in a rare public admission of their existence within the Dem Party. The blow back was unprecedented and they have refused to discuss that ill fated article in the WSJ, written by two of the the Third Way's founders.

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
42. Well it is sad when all people want is for money to get out of politics and they get yelled at.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:10 PM
Mar 2015

So when you bring it up, they tell you that of course you must want Jeb Bush to win! See the parties are not the same, but when neoliberals need them to be, we see it in their refusal for policy change.

'The GOP has to go along with it', they will because you pass rules against money in politics. It is called doing their fucking jobs in Congress and making it fair for US the voter.

'Well gee, we just have to wait for that one magical Congress to come along and fix everything!' And on and on it goes with them...a waste of time to say one word really they care not one shit about anyone but themselves.

Bring up term limits or gerrymandering and they all vanish, not important. It's all about the money.

I hope Warren does run just to give them the fauxrage to post more drivel.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
41. Interesting points.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:09 PM
Mar 2015

You are consistent in your ability to see things from a different view-point that others. I admire that.

One of the things that I think stands out on DU is that many good people have accepted what those in power -- including the "leaders" of the Democratic Party -- say are the important lessons from elections past. 1968, 1972 and 1980 stand out in this way. Yet those accepted truths from those three are actually nothing more than opinions, too often part of what the holders are advocating for their own gain.

I see that overconfidence in the attempts to dismiss a segment of DU with the old, "you guys don't represent the larger public opinion," etc. From my experience as a young man in the sport of boxing, I learned that overconfidence and under-confidence are but two sides of the same coin, with a lot in common. Neither side buys much of anything of value.

As always, thank you.

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
46. I don't think it is the leaders as much as the policy wonks they hire
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:17 PM
Mar 2015

to tell them which way the grass is growing that day. I think leaders rely too much on think tanks and not enough on the confidence of the people that put them in office. How many public opinion polls do they need to read where the majority in this country want more gun control laws, socialized medicine, government oversight, etc.. before they feel like they can make a bold move? "Too risky, might lose an election." Yet the polls show overwhelming support.

I've been told DU matters not one wit, it is the everlast stop of all politicians, one post can change the entire nation, etc.. so I really don't include DU it this observation. DU has made itself moot by the very people that use that narrative as a tool.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
54. And then again, a real leader doesn't need policy wonks to tell them how to think.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 06:15 PM
Mar 2015

DC is flooded with them and I think part of what we on these forums, is the same 'policy wonks' trying to remain relevant or see their 'cash cow' drying up.

I wonder how many 'think tanks' told FDR what to think, eg?

A leader speaks from the heart AND the intellect. His/her own.

But when a would be leader has to wait to be told what it is okay to say or think, imho, that is not a leader, that is a puppet.

Oilwellian

(12,647 posts)
24. Excellent OP, H20 Man
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:00 PM
Mar 2015

There have indeed been many threads on DU:GD that are McCarthyesque in nature. I've seen long time DUers called The Extreme Left and Rightwing. (I really think they need to get their act together when labeling us, because we can't be both.) I don't mind being referred to as Extreme Left because these days, that would be your basic Democrat. What is insulting and quite ironic is to be called a Rightwinger for not supporting the most conservative candidate hinting at a presidential run. Desperation is apparent when we see this during the pre-primary season.

Even the owners of DU agree there should be debate about the candidates being considered for office, and they expect the pre-primary and primary seasons to be cantankerous at times. I am posting this DU rule as a reminder:

Winning elections is important — therefore, advocating in favor of Republican nominees or in favor of third-party spoiler candidates that could split the vote and throw an election to our conservative opponents is never permitted on Democratic Underground. But that does not mean that DU members are required to always be completely supportive of Democrats. During the ups-and-downs of politics and policy-making, it is perfectly normal to have mixed feelings about the Democratic officials we worked hard to help elect. When we are not in the heat of election season, members are permitted to post strong criticism or disappointment with our Democratic elected officials, or to express ambivalence about voting for them. In Democratic primaries, members may support whomever they choose. But when general election season begins, DU members must support Democratic nominees

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
58. Right.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 10:08 PM
Mar 2015

Malcolm X used to say that any time two people thought just alike, it was evidence that only one was thinking. I am surprised at the number of folks on DU who appear to agree with everything a given politician stands for -- so much so, that they take great offense at the mere suggestion that other forum members might disagree with that politician.

Especially when the primary season has yet to officially begin -- at least for democratic candidates -- it seems curious indeed to be told that there is a dress code mandating intellectual straight-jackets.

Hekate

(92,351 posts)
27. As always, sane and articulate and taking the long view. Thanks H2O Man.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:13 PM
Mar 2015

This place is having a deleterious effect on me again. Need a break. Probably won't manage to take one.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
60. Thank you.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 10:10 PM
Mar 2015

I find it beneficial to pass on the opportunity to read certain forum members' posts. That might be an alternative to taking a break from DU.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
70. I am trying to learn to do that. But sometimes some things require a response, to correct the
Tue Mar 3, 2015, 04:37 AM
Mar 2015

record. And some people are on the ignore lists of so many here, they might get the impression when they receive no response, that everyone agrees with them.

But sometimes yes, some members are better ignored.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
71. "Your thinking, Sir,
Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:22 AM
Mar 2015

does not fit me." -- Malcolm X, responding to a personal attack from a member of an audience that he was addressing.

It is often tempting to respond to some of the more off-the-wall attacks by some of our good friends on this forum. Been known to do that, myself. Yet, sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

When it comes to OPs, there are some contributors to this forum that are always worth reading. Octafish is the prime example, in my opinion. On the other extreme, there are a few who are never worth reading. Likewise, there are some topics where it's worthwhile to read posts from those we may disagree with. There are also topics that are utter nonsense, and never worth investing twenty seconds of our lives exploring -- for we can never get those 20 seconds back.

bigtree

(87,522 posts)
28. excellent contrast using Johnson's 'Great' Society efforts vs. his Vietnam push
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:19 PM
Mar 2015

...represented today, I suppose, by Barack Obama's domestic policy successes vs. his own military engagements - support of one aspect of his presidency and protest of his other more controversial one for many Democrats (in the country and here at DU).

I view the steadfastness and consistency of MLK in standing up for what he believed - despite any allegiances he may have forged with politicians responsible for a military involvement he objected to and perhaps abhorred - politicians responsible for our nation's military involvement in Vietnam, from republican Eisenhower through Democratic presidents Kennedy and Johnson, who he also personally lobbied in the WH for civil and equal rights and programs to aid the poor, and today's debate/dilemma of support or dissent with Barack Obama's policies as a challenge to place principle ahead of politics. That's a quality that MLK never appeared to lack as he defined his opposition to war as a natural extension of his concern for the poor and disenfranchised minorities here in America.

Martin Luther King said in his 'Beyond Vietnam speech of the war:

"I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such."


Quite correct, and very much relevant to our country's needs today which get nothing more than a miserly pittance of attention at budget time in Congress where the money for their military adventurism is reflexively approved and almost automatic. In fact, Bush's initial Iraq 'military misadventure' was the realization of a conservative dream which surfaced during Ronald Reagan's term that envisioned a federal budget which bled the social programs and entitlements dry by directing almost every dollar to defense spending and corporate welfare.

Nothing must have thrilled al-Qaeda more than to hear Bush read off passages of propaganda from the terrorists' very own speeches and dispatches -- nothing . . . except maybe the slick campaign commercial the republican party put out featuring the terrorist's words lovingly super-imposed against the smiling image of bin-Laden.

"What is yet to come will be even greater," the announcer the republican commercial in support of Bush's re-election quoted bin-Laden as saying. "These are the stakes," was the hook; strangely reminiscent of the '64 'Daisy' ad Johnson ran in his campaign which featured a countdown to a nuclear explosion.

The legacy that would come from allowing the republican party, and both parties in Congress, to exploit our fears to spend records amount of our borrowed money on warring would be that bin-Laden and his accomplices would be able to continue to run loose in Afghanistan/Pakistan for years while the administration continued to direct the bulk of our defenses the other direction, to Iraq. In the face of Bush's retreat from the hunt in Afghanistan they managed to greatly expand the numbers of those who would associate themselves with their 'organization'; just by encouraging resistance among their followers and others in the region against our violently repressive military adventurism. The American fools gave them life, meaning, and elevation. In return, the terrorist goons provided the fear for our leaders to exploit and lord over us. They were "two bodies with one soul inspired." Beloved and inseparable.

But, I digress. Principle. That's what those who would be strongly in favor of domestic improvements and accomplishments from our present administration recognize and defend in their opposition to our politician's obsessive warring. It's that same principle of steadfastness and principle against the politics of reflexive militarism which many Democrats have been advocating that Barack Obama adhere to in their protests alongside support offered for other more worthy pursuits of his presidency.

At the end of his remarks in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the president quoted Martin Luther King Jr.'s remarks made at his own acceptance of the prestigious award many years earlier . . .

As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago: "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him . . . We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace . . .


It's understandable that President Obama would want to justify his own duplicity between his stated ideals against 'dumb wars' with a declaration of a pursuit of peace behind his own exercise of military force; or as a defense against what he correctly terms genocide against this (relatively) newly recognized faction of combatants threatening a newly recognized faction of civilians in Iraq.

Yet, King's answer to the dilemma the president faced was non-violence. His own acceptance speech was a promotion of peace and love, not a litany of excuses for militarism.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy," King said in 1967. "Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."

Principle over politics. Who could argue with a defense of that?

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
61. Very good!
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 10:16 PM
Mar 2015

Thank you for this.

I think it is important to recognize that the US military involvement in Vietnam actually started under President Truman. (Had FDR lived, it would have been very different.) Despite Ho's letters to Truman -- that focused on the mutual benefits to be accrued from US investment in a free Vietnam, Truman refused to answer him. Instead, he stated that "yellow people" were not "ready" for democracy. He began the investment -- not only financing the lion's share of the money needed for the French attempt to re-colonize Vietnam, but also sending military-intelligence operatives to assist in the fighting.

bigtree

(87,522 posts)
62. don't remember Truman and MLK associating
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 10:32 PM
Mar 2015

...although Truman was the first prez to address the NAACP. (trying to keep to the MLK analogies). Thanks for the op!

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
66. Fair enough.
Mon Mar 2, 2015, 11:02 AM
Mar 2015

I likely include both Truman and Nixon out of habit, though they were the "book-end" presidencies.

MLK did put on the pressure that resulted in Ike's 6-23-58 meeting with Civil Rights leaders. Martin was 29 years old at that time, and while he was gaining national influence, the President was more interested in the other older, more established leaders of the movement. To be fair, Ike was sincere in his belief that their approach was more beneficial to progress in "race relations," than the young, more confrontational minister's.

Ike's VP actually had a much closer relationship with King. Indeed, Nixon lobbied for Ike to meet with King. Yet, as history shows, the cautious President would do so in a group setting -- distinct from Nixon's personal relationship with King. (It's interesting to speculate on what might have happened if Nixon had, during the 1960 election contest, reached out to King's people, in the manner that JFK did to Mrs. King? Until that point, both Rev. Kings -- Senior and Junior -- were registered republicans. Those southern black citizens who did vote tended to support republican candidates. When the Kings came out for JFK, it changed that dynamic.)

Now, let's fast-forward to April '67, at the time when King delivered his most prophetic message to America. He publicly opposed the war in Vietnam, thus breaking the increasingly strained relationship with LBJ. By identifying those "giant triplets" of militarism, materialism, and racism, King was challenging a heck of a lot more than LBJ's policies on Vietnam -- and the speech could not be mistaken as an endorsement of Johnson's damaged Great Society as such.

King was being pressured to actually run on a presidential ticket with the nation's top "baby doctor." He knew that Nixon was running, on a vague promise to bring peace with honor in Vietnam, and lawn and order to America's cities. Nixon, that snake, would hint that the Great Society programs promoted lawlessness, even riots. This was part of his "southern strategy," to compensate for the loss of the black voters' support.

Hence, a small group -- led by a retired general and a former senator -- pretending to be an independent-from-the-White House organization (but directed by LBJ), came out loudly in support of LBJ's policies in Vietnam. They identified themselves as the "anti-anti-war" advocates. One of their best-known spokesmen was, of course, Harry Truman. Though Harry wasn't about to mention him by name, he was outraged by King's attempts to combine the Civil Rights and anti-war movements. He could not be objective, for he had a major share of the responsibility for the US involvement there.

bigtree

(87,522 posts)
67. fascinating
Mon Mar 2, 2015, 11:19 AM
Mar 2015

...great summary of a history I've only read snippets of - disjointed and skewed snippets judging by your reading. Interesting detail and perspective. Much appreciated.



sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
30. Excellent OP as always, H20 Man ...
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:27 PM
Mar 2015
The insane Senator Joseph McCarthey (R-Hell) wanted everyone to take loyalty pledges of allegiance to his flag. Failure to do so resulted in a dynamic that involved excessive allegations of disloyalty;
twisting of a person’s sincere dissent into evidence of betrayal;
and vicious attacks upon the character of anyone who didn’t subscribe 100% to the party line.

This form of McCarthyism is a malignancy upon a democratic society. Note that I used the word “is” to describe it -- because this disease is never truly cured: it goes into remission, but always is present in the uglier regions of the human minds, seeking opportunity to re-assert itself in the most surprising of places.


I highlighted two sections of your post, because they absolutely apply to the 'new' McCartyistic bullying of sincere people, right here on DU. Eg, I was told recently that if I do 'take the Pledge of loyalty to our nominee (which we do not have yet) 'you are not a Democrat'.

And the replacement for McCarthy's assault on those who questioned, iow 'Commies' 'Red's has been replaced right here on DU with 'Putin lover'.

I, I have been told, am a 'Putin Lover'! But it helps to know history and to consider sources when these old 'red scare' tactics emerge, as they probably always will.

The leap from someone's sincerely expressed concerns regarding our Foreign Policies and the possibility of a Third World War to 'You love Putin' is so reminiscent of the McCarthy era it should give Democrats at least, a chill down their spines.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
72. Thank you.
Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:43 AM
Mar 2015

Human beings exhibit a curious need to be able to identify others in such a way, that those others fit comfortably within a specific category. Scientists debate if the primary identification -- one that every infant makes when exposed to humans other than their mother -- make: is the other male or female? Because infants lack vocabularies that allow us adults insight into much beyond the moods and cravings of infants, no one really can say for certain if this is true instinct, or a learned behavior.

Even as we age, most people identify others' sex (male or female) automatically. Yet, when people see someone, say in a crowd in public, who is not easily identified as male or female, they will find themselves looking repeatedly at that individual, trying to determine which category they belong in.

As our culture has progressed, we are beginning to reach the point that traditional native (around the globe) were at, thousands of years ago: not everyone fits into those two categories in an exact, easily-defined manner. For we all are humans, a diverse group at that.

Still, we have some people who find it rather discomforting when others do not "fit" into one of the categories that they have filed in their minds. They have a limited number of files in which to place things ranging from gender roles, and things such as "race" and ethnic identity.

Hence, when we expand human behavior to include such things as "politics" and social structures, those with so few files in their heads have a compulsive need to "identify" others, especially those that they do not understand -- who thus create some level of discomfort -- and that is where we see the "name calling" in society, including DU, come into play.

Name-calling rarely is an accurate mode of identifying others; however, it always identifies the individual engaged in it as having limited mental capacities.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
73. A great song.
Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:44 AM
Mar 2015

I have some bootleg versions of both of the two songs that Lennon was working on, before he combined them.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
49. Joseph Heller spoofs the whole 'loyalty oath' segment in "Catch 22" when his
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:24 PM
Mar 2015

characters get so caught up in the hysteria that they have to sign a loyalty oath in order to be able to sign the loyalty oath.

 

Tierra_y_Libertad

(50,414 posts)
50. "Give me Eat". Major ___de Coverly.
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:31 PM
Mar 2015

The best anti-war book ever written. I read it while I was in the marines and had to stop periodically because I was choking with laughter or grimacing at the similarities.

Black Humor at its finest. But, very, very, dark under the laughs.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
53. Holy shit!
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 04:49 PM
Mar 2015

An old-fashioned DU:GD discussion! dang!

I have to take my daughter to basketball practice. Looking forward to coming back after practice, to continue with this!

Thank you all.

GeorgeGist

(25,347 posts)
63. was written by McCartney in India after he saw two
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 11:17 PM
Mar 2015

monkeys copulating in the street and wondered why humans were too civilised to do the same.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_%28album%29#Side_one

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