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Front Page

In This Issue

-The New Democrats and Popular Choices

-Major Flaw in Pre-2012 Election Contest

-Symbols of an Informative Age

-Letter to Editor-Atlanta Journal Constitution

-The Mirror Image or Through the Looking Glass

  ONE MAJOR FLAW IN THE PRE-2012 ELECTION CONTEST

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

One of the least realistic themes of the pre-2012 campaigning is the charge, often made by both Democrats and Tea Partiers, that Republicans should share in blame for long term imbalances in our federal financial policies.  That, I contend, is largely an appeal to public ignorance.

 

Anyone with basic knowledge of our nation’s constitutional system and history will recognize that to enact, and to manage the budgeting of, major programs such as Social Security and national health insurance requires the cooperation of all three elective branches.  But, in the past half century, Congresses have been overwhelmingly Democrat in composition and increasingly partisan in behavior.

 

In the more than fifty years since John Kennedy became President, he, Lyndon Johnson,  Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now President Obama, have all had years of partisan majorities in Congress larger than those of any recent Republican President.  Indeed, only George W. Bush, among Republican Presidents, has had any such time at all, and his congressional majorities were small.

 

Republican successes have been, mostly, in foreign and military matters, fields where the Constitution gives prior responsibility to the Chief Executive (and that Democrats had nearly abandoned following 1968 in Vietnam).

SYMBOLS OF AN

INFORMATIVE CHANGE

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

I welcome the Tea Partiers, but as symbols that some too long neglected truths are now gaining more public notice, not as great purveyors of new information. New major players in the realm of public information, i.e. cable television, talk radio, etc. are rapidly over taking the older “mainstream media.”  But, most explanations of the present, when they rely on older popular accounts of the still very relevant past remain badly flawed.

 

The election of 1968 was critical.  The then dominant Democrat Party split.  New, largely younger and more leftist elements became obstructive.  Humphrey et.al. still ran in the election, but with little help from some newer activists, there.  Some older and more conservative elements went to George Wallace’sAmerican Independent Party”, a third-party in the election.  Republican Richard Nixon became President, and he promised a less expensive and more successful war in Vietnam.

 

In his first term Nixon delivered on his Vietnam promise, and that helped him to win reelection by what is still the largest popular plurality in American history.  That victory came in spite of Watergate charges hanging over the Nixon Administration.

 

Democrats, especially the newer more leftist and anti-war crowd, could not survive public recognition of what looked like a coming victory in Vietnam, plus a boost to Nixon and Republicans.  Most of our major media were aligned with the new Democrats.  The relatively petty Watergate matter was placed front and center in the news.  Nixon, in spite of his recent and record setting reelection, was driven from office.  And our recent S.E. Asian allies were abandoned to the Communists.

 

That American retreat will, I believe, eventually be ranked by historians as one of the most disastrous, and most unnecessary, political moves in American history.  We still live in its shadow—even though we have now killed both Saddam and Ben Laden, both of whom, cited Vietnam as a reason that they believed they could defeat us.

THE NEW DEMOCRATS

 AND POPULAR CHOICES 

The following comments help illustrate

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

The previous page of this blog, IS PANIC WARRANTED?, deals with two major examples of news treatment during our still relevant political past..  The chief information media of the time, both academic and journalistic, gave great attention to the story that American police were waging a war against Black Panthers.  About a decade later, an authoritative study by the National Center for Health Statistics was virtually ignored by most major media when it disclosed that increased domestic violence among young Americans here at home had cost more American lives than war in Vietnam did.

 

Together, the two stories illustrate how, in the late twentieth century, a very biased information system distorted much of America’s vision of events here at home.  Should we assume that their reports of events abroad were more accurate?

 

Note: The following letter is a response to Bill Shipp’s commentary on then President Ronald Reagan.  The new democrats and the media at that time drove out two sitting Presidents (Johnson and Nixon)

 

Letter to the Editor: 

THE ATANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION,

January 11, 1987

 

     Concern for the Presidency deserves priority over concern for Ronald Reagan, as Bill Shipp’s Dec. 26 column suggests.  However, my concern for the Presidency first became critical when Lyndon Johnson was being hounded from office in 1968.

 

     I was reassured by the vigorous leadership of Richard Nixon and by his record plurality in 1972.  We all know the outcome of that.

 

     Ronald Reagan has been a significant President because of his capacity to win and retain a large popular following and because of his success in imparting a spirit of hope and direction to America.  Much more than his personality and reputation is at stake.

 

     If, within one generation, a third President of the United States is driven into oblivion not long after winning a landslide confirmation of his leadership, I will regard that as the greatest repudiation of constitutional democracy in history.

  THE

MIRROR

 IMAGE

Or Through the Looking Glass

This is a reprint from earlier this year

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

I’m dedicating this to “progressive” constitutionalism and to that great English legalist Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.   A.K.A. Lewis Carroll.

 

Isn’t “progressive” constitutionalism grand?  A federal judge tells us that the “equal protection of the laws” phrase, from a post-Civil War amendment and originally interpreted as relating only to matters of that time, now outweighs popular sovereignty.  And, an elected President, who is both an honored graduate of our foremost law school, and an ex-professor of constitutional law, says that he will accept that interpretation while enforcing America’s laws.

 

Could not a further constitutional advance now be based upon strict equality grounds, and facilitated by comprehensive national health care?  Nature’s greatest discrimination could soon be corrected.  Americans could be required to seek, and national health care could provide each with, at least one sex-change after they have reached a mature point in their lives.

 

Two valuable side effects are likely from such a reform.  At least for this nation and its imitators, the likelihood of over-population will wane.  Also, the pressure of immigrants seeking to become Americans should abate.

 

My thanks, again, to the man who has helped me most to comprehend “progressive” constitutionalism, the man best known as Lewis Carroll!