Somebody asked me why I no longer write letters to The Spokesman-Review. I said it’s because of the company I have to keep.
I read that everyone who isn’t far right-wing is a Marxist, Stalinist, Commie, socialist, pinko subversive who wants to destroy America. I spent 40 years at universities, including left-wing, where you might expect to find such characters. I keep wondering where they are.
I haven’t encountered a Marxist since the 1960s. Stalinists are all dead and gone, ghosts from another era. Communism has been relegated to the dustbin of history, where it belongs, although a couple of governments don’t know it yet. I’ve never met one of those either. If you approve of something that is socialistic – say, Social Security – that alone does not make you a socialist. And most comparisons to Hitler are downright laughable.
What I do see is a resurgence of the Know Nothings of the middle 19th century. Now, watch again the Kennedy-Nixon debates from 1960. Observe how both men treated each other with dignity and the American people as intelligent. Then tell me why current political discourse in America is so hate-filled and pathetic.