Friday, April 4, 2008
Personal Aside: Defining Moments of the SixtiesYour Turn.
Defining Moments: How We Were Misinformed.
There is little doubt that a handful of events in the 1960s were so misinterpreted by liberal historians (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Ted Sorensen, David Halberstam et al) the media that they changed our society and in particular the Democratic party. That party changed from an entirely acceptable alternative to Republicanism to a left-wing ideologues dream. Lets see how you react to a series of events. Im going to start with the first one and give you the politically correct liberal contemporary Schlesinger- media version and ask you to write a paragraph in Readers Comments either verifying the current impression or changing it to what you believe is the correct version. I just want to see how you interpret these events. Ill give you your grade. Here is the first event as pictured by the media which began the accepted version. Warning: Sometimes in this test the accepted version will be the correct one by historical standards. There will be some examples where media and historical facts agree.
In this test, signify that you either accept the conventional version or supply a version yourself not just illusory but what you believe is the truth
Oh yes: I will be the final judge on which version is right. If you think this is authoritarian, well, yes it is but that comes with owning this blog. Your grade will be published with the next website posting Monday. Here goes. Im using material supplied by theologian-philosopher George Weigel who selected these defining events.
I: The Kennedy Assassination, November 22, 1963.
Conventional Version: Right-wing paranoia was rampant in Dallas. Adlai Stevenson had visited there a few weeks before and was jostled rudely by a crowd and was struck on the head by a placard bearing a right-wing slogan. He thought about warning the president not to go. What was inflaming the city was fear of communism, the drive then current to impeach Earl Warren who had moved the Supreme Court to the left endorsing public school desegregation with all deliberate speed, removing prayer from the public schools. Also right-wingers were increasingly disturbed by rising agitation of civil rights demonstrators. A disgruntled Dallas ex-army major general named Edwin Walker had inflamed right-wingers by signing up with the John Birch Society. He had called Harry Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Dean Acheson communist sympathizers. He had run for governor of Texas in the Democratic primary in February, 1962, an election won by John Connally, frustrating the right. Dallas was a seething madhouse. Something awful was likely to happen there and it happened to John F. Kennedy who had gone to Dallas to defend the politics of reason against the politics of irrational fear. Kennedy was martyred by unreason.
Your Assignment: Is this version right or wrong? In one paragraph in Readers Comments either accept the court historians version or supply your own revisionist one based on facts (not supposition). DONT USE SEARCH ENGINES OR REGURGITATE GRANDMAS CONSPIRATORIAL THEORIES BUT MAKE IT YOUR OWN WORK, USING HISTORICAL FACTS YOU CAN VERIFY. THE HONOR CODE EXISTS. I THINK I CAN DETECT CHEATING.
`60s Defining Moment II will be published here Monday.