I have been enjoying episodes from "The Fugitive" on ME TV from the 1960s starring the great, but vastly underrated, David Janssen. The show communicates a highly subversive message and reveals some interesting contrasts between the 1960s and today. The main character, Richard Kimball, a respected physician in his community, has been convicted of first-degree murder by a jury of his peers but escapes on his way to the death house.
Throughout the run of the series, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people brazenly lie to the police and otherwise commit potential felonies to protect him. They make most "extreme" anti-government folks of 2013 look like wimps by comparison in their willingness to defy authority in the service of a higher moral cause.
Revealingly, Kimball, for his part, is able find a wide range of jobs without, apparently, once being asked to provide his social security number! Federal law enforcement authorities are almost completely absent and Kimball's pursuit seems to be completely a matter for local police departments.
Viewing this is quite an experience. Larry, Moe, and Curly capture several menacing men who "escaped" from a Japanese "relocation camp" during World War II. The actors, who are all Asian, wear false buck teeth. They are dressed like convicts, thus better fitting the private comment of Franklin D. Roosevelt (the Teflon president in nearly every history department) that his executive order would create "concentration" rather than "internment" camps.
This is a real treat. Here is an audio from 1940 of the great classical liberal, free trader, and co-founder of the NAACP, Oswald Garrison Villard discussing Franklin D. Roosevelt's national defense program.
This is quite a treat but also, sadly, prescient. In this 1953 talk, Frank Chodorov, the great libertarian critic of the warfare/welfare state, chides those who believe that a Republican president will roll back the New Deal.
I don't think anyone could say this with a straight face post-9-11 when "everything changed."
Viewed in hindsight, George McGovern was the last major party nominee I could have voted for. No Democratic or Republican candidate did more to challenge the post-war "bi-partisan" foreign policy of world policing. Less well known was McGovern's unorthodox views (at least for a Democrat circa 1972) on economic policy. He endorsed an end to Richard Nixon's wage and price controls calling for a "free market" in prices instead. His advocacy of social liberalism and civil liberties led Republicans to demonize him as the candidate of "acid, amnesty, and abortion."
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." – Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
George Takei at the 2011 Phoenix Comicon. Credit: Gage Skidmore
It’s no surprise that I’m a Democrat. I’m a gay man, I got married to my husband Brad, and I don’t particularly like being told my marriage should be invalidated because I don’t have the same rights as other people. But mind you, I don’t forget that it was a Democratic President (FDR) who abused his power 70 years ago and put my family and me in an internment camp without charge, trial or cause. Now that was Big Government at its very worst. So I am leery of excessive government power or control of any kind.
That’s why I want to take a moment here to talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room: To ask why the GOP has allowed itself to be hijacked by extremists who aren’t Republican at all.
At their core, Republicans are for smaller government. That means LESS governmental intrusion into our lives, our affairs, our money. Consistently applied, this is a sound and important philosophy that acts as a counterweight to wasteful government spending, excessive taxation, and Big Brother intrusiveness. It is a “live and let live” attitude. Good people may disagree respectfully whether more or less government is needed in areas such as healthcare and education, whether a larger military or more international intervention is needed, and whether we should cut taxes on the wealthy or raise them. I personally can completely understand the economic rationales behind the GOP platform, even if I don’t think we should retry them right now.
What I simply can’t understand is why the GOP ignores the gorilla in their tent when it comes to social issues. For a party that prides itself on less government intrusion, it sure seems busy these days telling women and LGBT persons what they can and cannot do....
Read the full article: www.allegiancemusical.com/blog-entry/gorilla-their-midst
Very few Americans opposed Japanese internment but prominent among those who did were conservatives, libertarians, and classical liberals, such as George Schuyler and R.C. Hoiles. Here is what Old-Right activist John T. Flynn had to say:
"Many of you have forgotten, I am sure, an incident which occurred just after that war [World War II] started. We were at war with Japan, and on our West Coast there lived thousands of Japanese-Americans - many of them born in this country - American citizens. President Roosevelt called in the War Relocation Authority, uprooted these American citizens, routed them out of their homes and farms and businesses and moved them lock, stock and barrel into the interior of the country. They were put in concentration camps - that's what they are called in Europe. But of course we called them relocation centers. This was because we were at war with Japan. But whatever the reason, it was and remains one of the greatest assaults on civil liberties in our history."
John T. Flynn, Behind the Headlines, Script No. M159, February 8, 1957, John T. Flynn Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.
Jesse Walker, one of my favorite historians, provides a thoughtful and informative overview of the history, and increasing respectability, of Mormonism in the United States:
For many Americans Mormons are scary, or weird, or at least not the sort of folk you'd want marrying your first lady. Last year a Gallup poll found that 22 percent of the country would not support a Mormon candidate for president. MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell claimed in early April that Mormonism "was created by a guy in upstate New York in 1830 when he got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it." Jacob Weisberg, generally a reliable barometer of center-left conventional wisdom, wrote during the run-up to the last presidential campaign that he "wouldn't vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism."