In the days when communism was crumbling and its beneficiaries were conspiring for a comeback, America’s ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, was asked by a visiting American what he thought was going to happen. “I haven’t got a clue,” confessed Matlock, “but come back to me after it happens and I’ll tell you why it was inevitable!” (Diplomats like that should not have to face a vote in the Senate. They should be confirmed on the spot – with champagne!)
This is written days before the midterm voting, but, unlike Ambassador Matlock, I think I do have a clue. I think liberals are going to take such a beating that some of them may heed the advice that follows.
During World War II, America launched a “de-Nazification” campaign to try to erase Hitlerism from the hearts and minds of German POWs. We could now use a de-liberalization campaign. My friends know the ugly truth about me. I’m not really a conservative. I’m a liberal in remission. I speak their language. When I ran for Congress in New York in 1970, Israel still occupied the Sinai Peninsula, keeping Egypt’s Suez Canal closed. During a speech before a pro-Israel group, I airily proposed that Israel voluntarily, unilaterally withdraw a hundred yards from the Canal as a good-will gesture to allow Egypt to reopen the Canal.
After the speech, my top adviser, Tex McCrary, was furious. “Where in hell did THAT come from?” he roared. “I wanted to show them I was fair,” I replied. Tex was ready to throw the piano through the plate-glass window. “FAIR?” he yelled, “They don’t want to know you’re FAIR. They want to know WHOSE SIDE you’re on!”
Listen to me, liberals. I understand you. Imagine a hospital where the doctors and nurses vote on policy, menus, treatment, etc. – but so do the patients and their relatives. I understand the white-hot exasperation of the “Doctors” Party at the “stupidity” of the “Patients” Party. “We know!” mutter the doctors in ill-concealed fury. “The patients don’t!”
And right they are. But a society isn’t a hospital. My finger is now squarely on the wound, and I’m still too much of a liberal to press down. The liberals in our society are stomp-down sure their superior knowledge empowers them to rule. And the rest of us “patients” should shut up and be grateful. Inside a genuine hospital, yes. But not once you’ve cleared the parking lot, headed out.
In a hospital, you see, I’m voluntarily submitting to your superior knowledge. In society, however, thanks to some excellent Founding Fathers, your frequently disastrous brilliance is mathematically equal to my frequently successful ignorance. For evidence, try the major work of liberal David Halberstam entitled “The Best and the Brightest,” detailing what happened when American brainpower was applied to Vietnam.
A great liberal who’s also a great friend was chortling, the week before the election, that Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell “didn’t even know what the First Amendment was!” as though, “Voila! That’s the beginning, the middle and the end of Christine O’Donnell!” But she didn’t lose my vote; HE did. He’d support Obama; she wouldn’t.
Nobody could ever say it better than our dear William F. Buckley Jr. In 1959, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was set to fly from Moscow to Washington, American liberals went berserk with hope. “When Khrushchev sees the real America, that’ll be the end of the Cold War,” liberals assured each other. That didn’t assure Mr. Buckley. “Expecting a Soviet ruler to call off the Cold War at the sight of the real America,” said Buckley, “is rather like expecting the bishop of Rome [the pope!] to break the apostolic succession at the sight of a new YMCA in Canton, Ohio.”
Speaking of the de-Nazification campaign, one of its directors, undoubtedly a liberal Democrat, thought it would be a good idea to teach German POWs American football; you know, teamwork, blocking for one another, etc. They tried it out on some German POWs (true story!) in northern Virginia. They brought in coaches, shoulder pads and helmets, footballs, blackboards and interpreters and set about teaching the young German men what this confusing American sport was all about. On the day of the Big Game, starring all the German POWs divided into two teams, the head of the de-Nazification program himself was in the stands.
The kickoff went fairly smoothly. On the first play from scrimmage, however, it became apparent the idea played better in the conference rooms of the Pentagon than on the playing field of the borrowed high-school stadium. All 21 men went after the guy with the ball. He wound up carried off the field on a stretcher, and that was the end of German POW football.
Thanks to some not-so-liberal players like Truman, Eisenhower and Patton, it was not the end of hope for a democratic Germany.