Skip to comments.Camelot and the Cultural Revolution (American liberals took leave of reason after JFK's murder)
Posted on 07/12/2007 9:37:39 AM PDT by mojito
"Inherit the Wind" is running on Broadway again, night after night pitting the righteously rational Clarence Darrow against the Bible-thumping antievolutionist William Jennings Bryan. The 1955 play--a chestnut of high-school English courses across the country--concerns the Scopes "Monkey Trial" of 1925 and is meant to capture the moment in American history when science and reason superseded, at last, the myth and superstition of foolish reactionaries. It has become something of a liberal sacrament. But as James Piereson shows in "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution," myth and superstition were the essence of the liberal response to John F. Kennedy's assassination in November 1963. It was the liberals who threw evidence and reason to the winds, inheriting the crippling effects of their own bad judgment. Mr. Piereson is not concerned with showing yet again that, yes--in defiance of all conspiracy theories--Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman on that fateful day. "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution," Mr. Piereson explains, is less about "the assassination itself than the political reaction to it and the lasting consequences of that reaction." It is one of the best accounts we have of why liberalism--which "owned the future" in 1963--fell from grace and has yet to recover.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
If John F. Kennedy was around today he’d be somewhat to the right of Giuliani and McCain.
âInherit The Windâ was written in the early 1950s and intended as an allegory of McCarthyism as such it takes brazen liberties with the actual events of the 1925 trial.
Most of the Liberals I know look to JFK and FDR as icons of the Liberal movement. But JFK died 44 years ago and FDR goes back 60 years. They need to get over it and get on with their lives, constructing the future, not reliving the past.
But they won’t...
Inherit the Windwhich starred Oscar winners Jack Lemmon and the late George C. Scottis the fictionalized account of the famous Scopes monkey trial of Dayton, Tennessee. But almost all of the scientific evidence brought forward during the time of the trial has been discarded.
There was another very disturbing thing about Inherit the Wind. It caricatured Christians as self-righteous, intolerant and mean-spirited. The two leading Christian characters in the film rant like lunatics much of the time.
The film did get one thing right. It is indeed a crime (to use their word) to censor an opposing view in the classroom. This lesson has been lost on secular humanists today who attempt to censor any evidence contrary to their dogmatic belief in evolution.
For Christians, the lesson to be learned is that we must be able to give answers for our faith. After all, Christianity is a logical, defensible faith.
A real American military hero! Hand Salute!
Loyal! Would not have left Viet Nam to the Commies. Why. He had a degree in History and understood the long term effects of policy, (more than just the next election cycle!)
Way to the right of Guiliani and McCain! My kinda Guy!
In spite of the left's love of "Inherit the Wind", they will never accept the scientific method for one simple reason. Science is blind to ideology -- fact based. Hard Left ideologues will never accept reasoning where they cannot control the outcome.
I fully expect text books to eventually blame JFK's death on conservatives just as they discount Reagan when discussing the fall of the Soviet Union. Their irrationality when viewing history is a major reason why Putin is able to quietly reconstruct Soviet Russia.
“against the Bible-thumping antievolutionist William Jennings Bryan.”
He was an eternal “also ran” Democrat candidate. Much like Al Gore Junior, it was his final issue to gain the public spotlight.
What has changed, I think, is that one party has become dominated by emotionally immature people who do not think clearly on major issues. People say Leftism is a mental illness, and I think that is true.
In the 1960's, there were certain Liberals (JFK, RFK, MLK, and Hubert Humphrey come to mind) and things weren't too crazy. But then JFK, RFK and MLK got killed. I think at that point the American Left gave up on Liberalism and walked away from the survivors like Hubert Humphrey. Instead, we got the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, and Hillary Clinton. Ever since, the Democrats have been dominated by people who don't have their head screwed on srtraight.
They hate this country because their dreams of Liberalism was taken away from them in their youth. Ever since, they have hated this country and sought to bring it down, and they indoctrinate the young in similar thinking. Howard Dean is crazy, Nancy Pelosi is crazy, all the Dems are.
The Crucible was also an allegory for “the Red Scare” although it predates McCarthyism (Miller saw other such “abuses” before Sen. McCarthy came on the scene).
Now you could restage The Crucible to investigate the issue of Nifongism.
You had a Communist sympathizer who visited the Soviet gulags and did not speak out as VP for FDR.
Liberalism did not change with the death of JFK. Socialists felt victorious after they hounded McCarthy. The KGB files showed that the “Red Scare” wasn’t a lie.
Meanwhile we have a Global Warming Scare today and Democrats like RFK Jr. calling anyone who denies it a “traitor” and says that we should be tried for “treason” to the United States.
Bryan was a Christian Socialist and the architect of 20th century liberal economic policy. His ‘Cross of Gold’ speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention was the keynote. He was a big influence on Woodrow Wilson and FDR.
A lot of far-left extremists have been in the Democrat Party for a long time, I agree. But I think that the rank-and-file voters did not knowingly give leadership positions to far-left extremists until the 1960's.
I think that Moscow, after WWII, tried to sway the US political system. McCarthy and Nixon helped slow that down in the 1950's. But I think the assassination of so many Liberal heroes in the 1960's, combined with behind-the-scene help from Russia and China, finally succeeded in changing the nature of the Democrats into a party where you have to be crazy to adhere to their view of the world.
Guess I'll have to keep an eye peeled for the book.
I read that the real Scopes Monkey Trial was itself a put-on with every player having a script and the verdict foreknown. It was stictly a media event, not a real trial in any sense. If true,how many out there know that?
The whole trial was a setup deal by the ACLU (yes, even back then they were stirring the pot). The defendant never taught evolution, and the whole movie was bogus. In fact, the producers admitted that the whole movie was phony, designed to attack Christians. They knew they weren’t telling the truth!
“It’s not reason that is at the heart of modern-day liberalism but rather the claim to superior virtue and, even more important, to a special knowledge unavailable to the unwashed or unenlightened”
That is absolutely spot-on!!
Like the OJ case?
The exact same number as if it is untrue.
Bryan pointed out that the evolution textbook in the case advanced ‘social darwinism’ and “ideas” about differences in the races which could lead to genocide.
He chided Darrow (and read directly from Darrow’s own statements in the Leopold and Loeb case) about how students were influenced by what they were taught, and how therefore how what ‘ideas’ they were taught could be dangerous.
A dozen years later, with Hitler in power, Bryan was proved right.
In the Scopes case, Bryan agreed to take the stand only if Darrow also took the stand to defend evolution. After Bryan was questioned, Darrow then broke the agreement and refused to let himself be questioned. Bryan, however, had taken pains to appear calm and reasonable and conducted himself in almost exactly the opposite manner as portrayed in the play/film.
Bryan wasn’t perfect but he deserves to be remembered as more than the buffoon character he is made out to be.
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