Judging from the e-mail generated by last week’s column, there are lots of folks out there who really and truly believe that the Government always has our best interests at heart, even if these same individuals can hate the chief executive of that government, and everything he stands for, at the very same time. I realize that this makes no sense, but then, neither does the notion of the altruism of Government.
Maybe we should examine some of the “good things” our leaders did for us…
Dems and liberals still get all choked up about the civil rights struggles of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Democrats, especially, SHOULD get emotional about it, since it was their party that created the Jim Crow South in the first place. Nonetheless, getting equal rights for Blacks was long overdue, and it was clear to JFK and LBJ that the same Southern Dems who put them in office would not willingly let go of segregation.
Few would argue against federal intervention in a matter such as this, and relatively few did. But, when you consider that de facto segregation in the North was at least as bad as the de jure segregation of the South, you begin to see this whole thing in a different light. The elite news media of the day ran story after story excoriating jurisdictions in Dixie for foot dragging—not to mention racism. And, even in cases of tiny county offices that WERE trying to comply with the flood of new voters to be registered, the coverage was inevitably unfavorable.
The point here is not that the elite media was biased then, as it is now. The point, rather is: Why?
How many white liberals, snug in their segregated schools and neighborhoods, could ease their consciences by watching and reading stories of ignorant Southern crackers mistreating the Blacks, with the Feds on their white horses coming to the rescue? Does this remind you just a little bit of the Carpetbaggers, of about 100 years earlier? How many fortunes were made, and how many media empires were built on the backs of the South—once again?
But, there’s more. In the mid-1960’s, the South was still a lock for the Democrats. It was the North they had to worry about, and what better way to secure their position, than to have a bloodless little Civil War, Round Two? In the North, the Limousine Libs, on the Upper Eastside of New York and elsewhere, could sing protest songs for Civil Rights, while never even encountering a person of color in their daily lives, and likely preferring it that way.
At the same time, the then reliably Democratic Joe Sixpacks, fearful of Black advancement into their labor world, were reassured that all the butt-kicking was going on in the South, for now. Besides, that was great, since so many scab companies were packing up and moving down there anyway. Sweet revenge!
In our era of alternative media, it is difficult to appreciate the dominance of elite media back then, and the influence it wielded on those in power. There is no better example than the infamous Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.
Regardless of how this case is taught at present, there was no grassroots movement in favor of legalized abortion. There were, however, various articles that appeared in Northeast liberal media, starting around 1964, bemoaning the poor “victims” who had to travel to Sweden, the Caribbean, or other far-flung destinations, to get their procedure. Lost at the time, and lost now is the obvious point that the only victim is the unborn child.
As abortion became legal in certain states, and proscriptions against selling contraceptives were removed in other states, a few Supreme Court justices, now in the public eye, were feeling the glare of media. The Warren Court had been lionized, and some on the new Burger Court felt the need to break new ground, none more so than Harry Blackmun. It seems that poor Harry could never get over feeling the pain of his daughter, who got knocked up at age 19. Too bad he didn’t have any compassion for the unborn.
Blackmun could be a hero to his daughter, the Leftist tastemakers, and the elite media in one fell swoop.
Blackmun would live for another 26 years, more than long enough to see the legacy of his Roe opinion. A few years before Blackmun’s death, one of the biggest abortionists in the country, James McMahon of Los Angeles, would pass on to his reward. McMahon was a shameless cheerleader for what he did, by constantly noting that he was reducing the number of Blacks and Mexicans.
The Government giveth, and the Government taketh away.