web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Three Reflections On The Democratic Party That Used To Be (Plus A Footnote)


1. From Senator Joseph Lieberman’s November 9 speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies:

 

Confronted by the totalitarian threats first of fascism and then of communism, Democrats under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy forged a foreign policy that was simultaneously principled, internationalist, and tough-minded.

This was the Democratic Party I grew up in – a party that was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders, to draw a clear line between what Nitze in NSC-68 called “the free world” of the West and the “slave society” behind the Iron Curtain. It was a party that grasped the inextricable link between the survival of freedom abroad and the survival of freedom at home – that recognized, as Nitze wrote, that “the idea of freedom is the most contagious idea in the world.”

And it was also a party that understood that a progressive society must be ready and willing to use its military power in defense of its progressive ideals, in order to ensure that those progressive ideals survived…. That Democratic foreign policy tradition – the tradition of Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy – collapsed just a few years later, in the trauma of Vietnam. And in its place, a very different worldview took root in the Democratic Party.

 

2. From a letter to the editor in the November issue of Commentary:

 

          When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, he was on his way to a joint luncheon of two local organizations (the Dallas Citizens Counsel and the Dallas Assembly) that symbolized progressive liberal leadership in the city. . . . [T]he entire last paragraph [of the speech he was to have delivered there] is worth quoting:

 

We in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

 

The image of the “watchman [on the walls]” in the first sentence is drawn from Isaiah [62:6-7], and the final sentence [from] Psalm 127. This was apparently a time when a Democratic President could urge the country to “bear any burden” and “oppose any foe” in the service of a righteous cause in the world, and allude repeatedly to the Bible, without defensiveness or ostentation, in an address to a progressive group.

 

3. From James Piereson, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (Encounter Books 2007):

 

Kennedy’s anticommunism … was turned on its head by the radicals of the 1960s and by the liberals who eventually took command of the reform movement. They argued that the Cold War was a diversion from urgent domestic issues and represented a false conflict spurred on by military and industrial interests in the United States. In 1972, the national Democratic Party, led by its presidential candidate, George McGovern, essentially withdrew from the Cold War, leaving that battle to be fought in the years afterwards by a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats. In 1977, a Democratic president … apologized for national policies that had been crafted out of an “inordinate fear of communism.”

          …. Between the time of Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976, the liberal movement was gradually taken over by a new doctrine that might be called (for want of a better term) Punitive Liberalism … [which] took as its point of departure the assumption (described above) that the United States was responsible for numerous crimes and misdeeds through its history that called for some kind of official recognition and punishment…. For the Punitive Liberals, American history was a story of sin and corruption going all the way back to the initial European visitations to North American shores….

          In the most surprising turnabout of all, it was finally the Republicans led by the conservative Ronald Reagan who moved in to fill the void left behind by the retreat of the liberals.

 

        Here is the footnote: James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he directs the Center for the American University. He was previously the executive director and a trustee of the John M. Olin Foundation. His book was published six months ago, generating various favorable reviews. This past Sunday it was finally reviewed in The New York Times Book Review – a half-page review, published at the bottom of page 54, concluding that the book is “rubbish.”

The review is not a fair summary of the book, much less a capable critique of its thesis, and the belated review seems to have been run for the sole purpose of discouraging readers from perusing it.

It is a pretty good illustration of the descent of the Times from paper of record to school newspaper for the modern Democratic Party.

About the Author: Rick Richman, whose work has appeared in The New York Sun, The Tower Magazine, and The Jewish Press, among other publications, is a prolific writer who appears regularly in Commentary magazine and its group Contentions blog, where this originally appeared. He also maintains the Jewish Current Issues blog (www.jpundit.typepad.com/jci/).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Three Reflections On The Democratic Party That Used To Be (Plus A Footnote)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
“Praised is the nation that understands the quavering sound of the shofar.” (Psalms 89:16).
Orthodox Rabbis to Lobby near Rosh HaShanah against Deal with Iran
Latest Indepth Stories
Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 were likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

More Articles from Rick Richman
Former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain

Iran accords are worse than Munich; even Chamberlain would be shocked at what is transpiring again.

Late last year, I was flying from Los Angeles to San Jose – a trip I have made many times in the course of my professional career. Over the years, I have watched the San Jose airport transform itself – from a one-building terminal with rental cars parked on the curb to an international airport with rental car facilities much larger than the entire airport I first visited many years ago.

The firestorm that erupted with the YouTube posting of excerpts from a 1990 sermon by Pastor John Hagee – reflecting his belief that the Holocaust and the establishment of Israel both reflected God’s will – is a case study of how certain religious views have been placed beyond the pale of permissible discussion.

1. From Senator Joseph Lieberman’s November 9 speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies:

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were in Los Angeles last month, speaking to an overflow crowd of more than 300 people at the Armand Hammer Museum – part of a speaking tour with appearances at World Affairs Councils in San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C., the City Club in Cleveland, forums at the University of Chicago, MIT and Columbia University, the Cambridge Forum in Harvard Square, and media slots on NPR, the Colbert Report, and WTTW-TV in Chicago.

Rudy Giuliani’s article in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs (“Toward a Realistic Peace“) marks an important statement about the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.”

Jimmy Carter’s new book – Palestine Peace Not Apartheid – should, by all rights, be headed for the remainder bin. Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, calls it a “tendentious, dishonest and stupid book.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/three-reflections-on-the-democratic-party-that-used-to-be-plus-a-footnote/2007/11/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: