Ivan W. Parkins


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About Ivan W. Parkins:

Dr. Parkins is a retired professor of Political Science from Central Michigan University.  He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  Dr. Parkins served as a naval officer during WWII aboard the battleship Alabama.  He is a recent widower with three daughters, 3 grand children and 2 great grand children.  Dr. Parkins has written extensively, having authored 3 books and a newspaper opinion column for many years. 

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Editors Note:

Dr. Parkins’s Grandson, Breton W. Hinkle, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 14, 2009.  He leaves his wife Jen, parents Ray and Susan Hinkle, sister, Gretchen Hinkle, Richard and Kathy Bourque, Father and Mother in law, brother in laws Kevin and Brian and sister in law, Kelly.  He was a graduate of Michigan State University.  Bret was a United States Marine and had faithfully served his country with honor and distinction.   He will be terribly missed  by family and friends.  He was loved by all who knew him.  He was  buried with military honors in Holland, MI.   See Bret’s life story at http://www.lifestorynet.com/memories/45526/ 



Or has the so called “progressivism” pushed by the

 Democrat’s new elite of the 1970’s led us down the wrong path?


By Ivan W. Parkins


       By the early 1960s major and significant political changes regarding race and equal representation were already mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The public school decisions of 1954 and 1955 were, as anyone then teaching American Constitutional Law could see, little more than a gravestone for the already nearly buried separation in public facilities can be equal doctrine.  Several earlier, but more limited, decisions made that outcome virtually certain.  Then, in Baker v. Carr, 1962, the Court extended its own jurisdiction in a direction, unequal and gerrymandered districting, that assured greater equality in voting for representatives.


      The elections of 1960 would, as David Pietrusza notes in his recent book on that subject, shape the Presidency for nearly two decades.  In 1960, however, all of the top contenders were identified mainly with the old system, in both the sources of their strength and the major issues.  That alignment would not be seriously threatened until 1968, or changed until the 1970s.


       But, the bitter conflict in Chicago in 1968, and Nixon’s record setting popular plurality in 1972: followed, as they were by that President’s forced resignation, suggest something closely akin to a coup.  The Democrat’s push floundered in the late 1970s.  It was substantially reversed by the twelve years (1981-92) of Reagan/ Bush leadership.  One thing that persisted throughout was control of the House of Representatives by substantial to huge Democrat majorities.


       The Democrat majorities in the House, combined with Senate majorities throughout the late 1970s, enacted several measures of a new “progressivism” that are of major significance to our politics, even now.  They repeatedly cut in half our aide to S. Vietnam and forced our withdrawal from there; they supported a ban on DDT; they passed the Communities Reinvestment Act (early source of our present economic crisis); they restricted our intelligence and our military services; and they assumed for themselves a greater role in the nation’s budgeting process.


       Meanwhile, prominent academics, previously great admirers of executive leadership (under Democrat Presidents), became sworn enemies of The Imperial Presidency once that office fell into the hands of leaders less friendly to academic political aspirations.   Harvard Law supplied most of the key players in the legal  case against President Nixon; Yale Law supplied the Clintons; Harvard
awarded President Obama's law degree.  Of course academic achievements
are expected of presidential candidates today.  But were the less
progressive Presidents (and larger vote winners) such as LBJ and Richard Nixon
entirely wrong in supposing that their less conspicuous educations were
a major source of the "liberal" oppositions that they faced? 
I.W. Parkins 032209

Letters To the Editor:


U.S.NEWS, 2/21/94


Good News on Race:  Thanks for John Leo’s excellent column “A Sunny Side on Race” (January 24).  Unfortunately, the charge of racism has become one of the instruments by which a new elite asserts its intellectual and moral superiority over traditional America. Burgeoning numbers of “liberally educated” persons, plus advances in communication, have provided opportunities for the new elite to contend for power with old elites and popular majorities.  Until that contest is resolved, the common decency of most Americans is unlikely to prevail.  “Ordinary politics,” in racial and other important matters, is not an option.







     Mr. Owen’s piece contrasts with a less publicized story that is well supported by statistics.  Suicide and homicide rates among young American civilians rose sharply in the 1960s and ’70s.  That increase alone cost more lives than did combat in Vietnam.  The total of youthful homicides and suicides in those two decades was about three times our fatalities in military combat.



The ongoing Deceit of the “Information Media”


By Ivan W. Parkins


      Much of America’s post-WWII confusion, not just the ‘60s and ‘70s, can be traced to our information media.  By publishing and exaggerating some aspects of issues while neglecting others, the media have often given most of the public a distorted view of reality.  Let’s look at three examples.  One example is the view of casualties, both our own and those of our enemy, in Vietnam.  Another is domestic violence in the 1960s and ‘70s.  The third is malaria deaths before and after DDT was banned.  Those were all very real events with substantial casualties, and with considerable information on both sides now available.


      Our media, and the public, demanded details of our military casualties in Vietnam.  Those casualties are now individually recorded in stone on the monument in Washington.  Errors, if any, are minor and technical. 


       During that war our military, at first gave estimates of enemy fatalities.  Our media demanded body counts, an impossibility where skirmishes and indirect fire, including bombing, occurred in jungle.  By the end of the war our military estimated enemy losses at around 600,000.  Critics of the war attack that as exaggeration.  Since then the enemy’s own reports are approximately twice as high as our military had claimed.  Those latter figures have had little media notice.


       Domestic violence in the 1960s and ‘70s was a major news item.  Most of the emphasis was on anti-war and racial protests, a few of which cost dozens of lives.  Totals from such events are measured in the hundreds.  Then, in the early 1980s, the National Center for Health Statistics published interesting figures on domestic deaths, by age from Census groupings, and for various causes.  One point of their report produced a small news story, all but one age group had had falling death rates in the two decades included.  Deaths among 15 to 24 year olds rose.  Vietnam, you say?  No these were domestic deaths only.  But, they exceeded those in Vietnam! My extrapolations from tables not designed to feature such figures show that just the increase of suicides and homicides among youths domestically exceeded our losses from combat abroad.  Wasn’t it grand to have so much agitation for love and peace?


       All of the above looks small beside the World Health Organization’s reports of deaths from malaria, before and after the ban of DDT took effect.  Protecting our troops from insect born diseases was the prime original use of DDT, and it is believed to have saved thousands of lives.  After WWII, that chemical had been widely used, and deaths from what had long been one of mankind’s greatest killers were declining rapidly.  Then came Rachel Carson’s book SILENT SPRING, and the charge (now disputed) that DDT was killing great numbers of birds.  Environmentalists secured a ban on DDT.  Precise figures are difficult to assemble, but even allowing for large margins of error the increase in malaria deaths, especially among the very young in remote Third World countries, has been huge.  It almost certainly exceeds all of our combat deaths from wars since WWII, and it may exceed the totals of such deaths among our enemies too!


       Students in your teens and early twenties:  avoid the military; become an environmentalist!  Our information media, many of them, will then applaud your progressive attitudes and your sensitivity!


Or a short historical review of the

emergent elite of the 1970’s


By Ivan W. Parkins


      Much of the conflict of the 1960s and 1970s has been little understood, and is with us still.  It was primarily the struggle of an emergent elite for political dominance.


      Following the Civil War of the 1860s, manufacturing and finance displaced agriculture as the dominant economic element in America and the one most influential in Washington.  The first half of the twentieth century, and two world wars, established the  government in Washington as a truly national government with nationwide authority.  But, industry and finance had grown too.  What was shaping up was a new distribution of political influence or power among the sectors of our society.


       Prior to WWII the total enrollment in American higher education was quite limited.  Furthermore, many of the colleges and universities still reflected their religious origins as they began evolving into larger and more inclusive institutions.  Often, they were overseen by boards of directors notable chiefly for their prominence in local business.  Meanwhile, a few of the larger and more prestigious institutions had modeled themselves after European institutions, with a classical emphasis.  Faculty members in those often prided themselves on their “freedom” from both religious origins and the commercialism of  most American life.


      It was especially the “Arts” faculties, and professionals from fields such as law and journalism, that fostered and transmitted to students a militant and separate attitude and a sense of superiority.


       All of this was fed by The G. I. Bill, with huge increases in other financing close behind.  Also, in the 1950s, a particularly invasive and almost omnipresent new communications technology, television, speeded and enlarged the warming stew.  I. W. Parkins 032209