Was doing some research on a book today and uncovered a section about the Young Americans for Freedom convention in Madison Square Garden in March 1962 and how demonstrably they attacked President Kennedy with vitriolic assaults, calling him names such as ‘traitor’ and ‘enemy of the state’. Some called for his impeachment while others said “This Presidency must end either peacefully or with force.”
Sounds like today. And Kennedy wasn’t even black. The leaders of that movement were John Wayne and Strom Thurman. Two men that are still revered by the far right as heroes and folk icons.
There were, interestingly enough two people who spoke out against the violent diatribe coming from the 18,000 gathered inside Madison Square Garden. One was Barry Goldwater and the other, Ronald Reagan. Both men said empathically, there is no room in a democracy for a power-hungry demagogue leading wild-screaming banshees around the lynching pole in the name of a political cause – for either party.
One man from the Republican Party who stood on the sidelines and applauded the mass hysteria during that three-day convention was none other than – Richard Nixon. “These are fresh voices for the future of America,” Nixon was quoted as saying.
What goes around comes around.