Sunday, August 26, 2012

In Times Gone By

I've been reading Truman, by David McCullough, a Pittsburgh area native and two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  Its a mamoth book on the Democrat President who proceeded FDR.

Legendary basketball coach and President of the Miami Heat, Rick Riley is said to of been so inspired by its in depth portrayals and details that he changed his style of coaching as a result.

I read a lot about a lot, but not so much about Truman, so I'm learning a lot.  Especially a lot about what Democrats where like back in the proverbial day.  Take a moment to read this excerpt from congressional testimony of David Lilienthal, head of the TVA(Tennessee Valley Authority) and prospective head of the Atomic Energy Commission.  He was asked about his stand on communism, which in the day was the big Red Scare and politicians feared them lurking every where.

Regardless, the view on communism is one thing,  his interpretation of what it means to be American, coming from a son of Eastern European immigrants is quite the point for me.

Democrats, do they believe this way today?  Do people who vote Democrat, because they always do, ever think of these things, or think of them this way?

Conservatives do, liberals don't I reckon.  What about President Obama?  Actions speak louder than words, do I have to list the encroachments on personal liberty?

Read and think on this:

I believe in, [he said] and I conceive the Constitution of the United States to rest, as does religion, upon the fundamental proposition of the integrity of the individual; and that all Government and all private institutions must be designed to promote and protect and defend the integrity and the dignity of the individual...
Any forms of government, therefore, and any other institutions, which make men means rather than ends in themselves, which exalt that state or any other institutions above the importance of men, which place arbitrary power over men as a fundamental tenet of government, are contrary to this conception;  and therefore I am deeply opposed to them...The fundamental tenet of communism is that the state is an end in itself, and that therefore the powers which the state exercises over the individual are without any ethical standards to limit them.  That I deeply disbelieve.
It is very easy simply to say one is not a Communist.  And, of course, if despite my record it is necessary for me to state this very affirmatively, then this is a great disappointment to me.  It is very easy to talk about being against communism.  It is equally important to believe those things which provide a satisfactory and effective alternative.  Democracy is that satisfying alternative.
And its hope in the world is that it is an affirmative belief, rather than simply a belief against something else....
I deeply believe in the capacity of democracy to surmount any trials that may lie ahead provided only we practice it in our daily lives.
And among the things that we must practice is this:  that while we seek fervently to ferret out the subversive and anti-democratic forces in the country, we do not at the same time, by hysteria, by resort to innuendo and sneers and other unfortunate tactics, besmirch the very cause that we believe in, and cause a separation among our people, cause one group and one individual to hate one another,  based upon mere attacks, mere unsubstantiated attacks upon their loyalty.... 

As I said yesterday,  I can understand why my grandfather was a Democrat.  But to think that being a Democrat today is the same as being a Democrat back then is mere fiction.

There are a million reasons to be for one party over the other, and we all do find that one weighty issue that defines for us our loyalties, so be it.

Would it be that harmful though to look past some of the innuendos and sneers, against the 'rich' for example,  and do a little internal reflection on what our loyalties, by way of a vote, for a party really support?

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