"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
What if Robert Kennedy had survived to become president?
The American Experience airs a two-hour episode on RFK tonight, and I'm looking forward to it.
As someone who wishes he still could be a Democrat, and wishes that party would summon again the spirit of FDR and Truman and JFK, I do think the Democratic Party would be quite different today had RFK lived:
He combined toughness and pragmatism with a deep regard for people who were hurting; he would have ended the war in Vietnam earlier, but was not one to shy from projecting American strength and democracy; he would have united constituencies at home, black and white, in a way other candidates have not; as a devout Catholic with 11 children, he would perhaps have helped a pro-life tradition remain in the Democratic Party; and above all, he was a patriot who was proud of this nation and challenged it to live up to its calling, as opposed to the Left that saw America as a force for ill in the world – and has, since his passing, come to prevail in the party. Would Michael Moore be the poster child of the Democratic Party had RFK lived? I like to think not.
He is appalled that some people on the left are prepared to do almost nothing to defeat Islamofascism. "When I see some people who claim to be on the left abusing that tradition, making excuses for the most reactionary force in the world, I do feel pain that a great tradition is being defamed. So in that sense I still consider myself to be on the left." A few months ago, when Bush went to Ireland for the G8 meeting, Hitchens was on a TV debate with the leader of a small socialist party in the Irish dail. "He said these Islamic fascists are doing this because they have deep-seated grievances. And I said, 'Ah yes, they have many grievances. They are aggrieved when they see unveiled woman. And they are aggrieved that we tolerate homosexuals and Jews and free speech and the reading of literature.'"
"And this man - who had presumably never met a jihadist in his life - said, 'No, it's about their economic grievances.' Well, of course, because the Taliban provided great healthcare and redistribution of wealth, didn't they? After the debate was over, I said, 'If James Connolly [the Irish socialist leader of the Easter Risings] could hear you defending these theocratic fascist barbarians, you would know you had been in a fight. Do you know what you are saying? Do you know who you are pissing on?"
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Winston Churchill, in 1923, on the prospect of crossing the aisle from Liberal to Conservative:
"I am what I have always been—a Tory Democrat. Force of circumstance has compelled me to serve with another party, but my views have never changed, and I should be glad to give effect to them by rejoining the Conservatives!"