Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

TruthDig: Opinion- Scott Tucker: David McReynolds- Pacifist and Socialist, 1929-2018

Source: TruthDig- Democratic Socialist activist David McReynolds, speaking at The Left Forum in 2009
Source:The New Democrat

People talk about Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, ( still but not for long the only self-described Socialist member of Congress ) as far as where his politics come from and the people and movements that he looked up and how he got his Socialist politics. A lot of that can be from his upbringing being born in 1940s New York City to a Jewish immigrant family where socialism is very popular with Jewish New Yorkers especially, but with New Yorkers in general. Or coming of age in the 1960s and going to college in the early and mid 1960s when a lot of young people especially in the early days of the hippie movement were open to socialism and perhaps becoming a Socialist them self.

The New-Left ( Socialists and Communists ) emerges in the late 1960s with a lot of Baby Boomers who were coming of age getting involved with that new movement and why it was called the New-Left, because pre-1965 or so to be on the Left in America meant you supported things like the New Deal, Great Society, the civil rights movement, free speech and personal freedom, but were somewhat hawkish  on foreign policy and national security and not just anti-Communist, but anti-authoritarian in general. Which is what it meant to be a Progressive and Liberal back then and still does, at least factually.

Which changed in the late 1960s with millions of young Americans now open and even supporting of socialism, but even communism as well. And as a result the Democratic Party moves to the Far-Left in 1968 and through 1972 and they get their nominee for President in Senator George McGovern, who was the Democratic Socialist of his time, the Bernie Sanders of the 1960s and 70s.

But if I had to point to one man even though I don't personally know Senator Sanders myself, I would point to David McReynolds, who was a Democratic Socialist activist from the 1950s when he was in college really till his death this year. Someone who believed in both democracy including a free press, free speech, freedom of religion, civil liberties, and personal freedom.

But to go along with a democratic socialist economic system where the Federal Government would literally be in charge of distributing the financial resources of the country to the people based on what everyone needs to live well. A national welfare state designed to make sure that everyone's economic needs are met so we don't have a wealthy people and  a lot of poor people or any poor people. That's what a socialist welfare state is designed to do for the country.

Not saying that David McReynolds and Bernie Sanders are ideological twin brothers. Senator Sanders, is not a pacifist and has voted for and supported he use of force in Congress multiple times both in the House and Senate and even though Senator Sanders is somewhat isolationist and dovish when it comes to foreign policy and national security, he's certainly not a pacifist. But economically and as it relates to social issues and personal freedom, you can easily argue that David McReynolds and Bernie Sanders have a lot in common politically.
Source: Democracy Now: Friends Remember War Register League Activist & Socialist David McReynolds - Democratic Socialist activist David McReynolds, on Democracy Now 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Marmar: The South Bank Show- Elizabeth Taylor: 1981 Interview

Source: Marmar- Hollywood Goddess Dame Elizabeth Taylor in 1981 
Source: The Daily Review

The term genius gets thrown out a lot and generally thrown badly and for a lot of incomplete passes ( to use a football analogy ) and gets thrown around by a lot of people who certainly aren't geniuses and if anything are lazy mentally. And they use it to talk about people who impress them and these people tend to get impressed easily. The word is misused a lot similar to how the word awesome is misused today and done for pop culture reasons. But Elizabeth Taylor's case, I believe genius fits her perfectly and not just because she's a great actress, but because of every other characteristic that comes with being a genius.

According to Cambridge Dictionary

a genius is someone who is very great and possesses rare natural ability or skill especially in a particular area such as science or art. That's a paraphrase but it's pretty close. But we all know or know of people that could be accurately labeled as geniuses who are different and standout in other areas and perhaps not as well as they do with their craft.

Anyone who is familiar with the filmmaker and aviator Howard Hughes knows that he was great at his business, but struggled to get close to anyone emotionally and preferred to be left alone. Richard Nixon, in a lot of ways was a brilliant man when it came to public policy especially as it related to foreign affairs and national security, but struggled to socialize with people and didn't like even shaking hands with other people.

Liz Taylor, was a genius in another way as an actress. Someone who was great at playing her parts so well that she made you believe that she was exactly the person that she was playing, but struggled in other areas of her personal life and could even come off as an idiot as far as how she lived her personal life. All the marriages and the different men in her life, the obesity, followed by alcoholism.

Liz, was great at doing the things that made her famous in life which was her ability to act and had a very sharp intelligent wit and could sum up things very well and accurately and do it in a humorous way, but struggled to make deep connections with people and relate to them positively and keep relationships with people she cared about and loved. Things that normal people, ( not to be insulting ) but people who aren't geniuses, but otherwise intelligent and talented do well in their everyday lives everyday.
Marmar: The South Bank Show- Elizabeth Taylor: 1981 Interview

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Angela Mary: Dallas- E True Hollywood Story

Source: Angela Mary- The women of Dallas; Victoria Principal, Linda Gray & Charlene Tilton 
Source: The Daily Review

There have been a lot of great soap operas both in the movies and on TV. The big ones of course today are The Young And The Restless, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, but back in the day you had great prime time soap operas like Melrose Place, Dynasty, One Life To Live, Guiding Light, and movies that were soaps like Where Love Has Gone with Susan Hayward and Mike Connors, Love Has Many Faces with Lana Turner and Cliff Robertson, Strangers When We Meet with Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak. But if I had to choose one over every other I have to choose Dallas because it represents soap opera at it's best, which is what I'm going to explain.

When I think of great soaps I think of dramatic comedy at it's best where you have really serious scenes and situations, but people and characters who are exactly that who do crazy things and seem somewhat out of control and yet always seem to know what they're doing. Like the JR Ewing character ( played by Larry Hagman ) on Dallas. Where you have serious situations with serious people, but doing crazy funny things. Like two adult women getting into cat fights and throwing pillows at each other. Happened multiple times between Linda Evans and Joan Collins on Dynasty.

Or two grown men getting into a fist fight at a restaurant because they're interested in the same woman, with one of them saying, "look, we're both adults here no need to fight for her." Even though that's exactly what happens two guys getting into a fist fight over a girl the kind of thing that happens in high school, but on Dallas or on another great soap opera it happens between two middle age men in public at a popular restaurant. Dallas, wasn't a drama or a comedy, it was both because it was a soap opera. You had a lot of serious situations and serious people, but with crazy immature people doing a lot and saying a lot of funny crazy things. Like with Larry Hagman on the show, who was like an evil bastard, except he was so good at it and funny at it you almost had to like him or at least respect him because he was so good at being a bastard.

The 1980s was a decade of excess where Americans had a lot of money and seemed to be in a hurry to spend as much of it as they possibly could as if they're was a national money going out of business sale and you have to spend all of your money before it becomes worthless. And Dallas perfectly represented the 1980s with the actors and characters that they had, as well as the writers. Similar to how Easy Rider perfectly represented the 1960s. It also represented a time when network TV was not only great, but relevant as well and where people wanted to watch CBS, ABC, and NBC every night and not just for sports and movies, but for programs as well. And almost 30 years later after Dallas finally went off the air after 13 seasons Dallas is still the best soap opera ever.
Angela Mary: Dallas- True Hollywood Story

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Salon: Timothy Denevi- Hunter S. Thompson in Chicago, 1968: 'The Battle For The Democratic Party's Soul'

Source: Salon Magazine- Hunter Thompson at the 1968 Democratic National Convention 
Source: The New Democrat 

If 1967 was the summer of love, then 1968 was the summer of discontentment, revolution, upheaval, whatever other big words that you prefer to voice a national unhappiness with the country and how things were going. It was the summer where once again millions of Baby Boomers were coming of age and pissed off at society, but especially the Vietnam War and feeling the need not just to speak out against the war, but to make their feelings known and to demand real change or face real consequences. The people would face those consequences being the government at three levels, local state and federal.

If you were a Baby Boomer in 1968, ( an American born in the 1940s and 50s ) life for you was pretty swell ( to use a word from the 1950s ) before you deiced to become a rebel and take on the man and the establishment that was created to give you a life where you could live freely and not have to worry about crime, poverty, being able to get a good education including college. Especially if you were of Anglo-Saxon background, ( people of English ethnicity ) just as long as toed the party line ( so to speak ) and weren't a disrupter. You weren't a woman who had some wild idea that you were going to become a lawyer. Or an African-American who had the nerve to enter a quality high school or go to college.

I have mixed feelings about the 1960s especially the late 1960s as someone who wasn't born until about ten years after the summer of 1968 where the only protests and the closest things I got to see to rioting in highs school, were students complaining about the low quality of food at lunch or students getting into fights at the nearby McDonald's because someone believed someone took one of their fries. I love the individualism and the personal freedom of that decade as a Liberal. This feeling that being an American was about being yourself and not having to follow in your parents footsteps, especially your father's just because that's what they decided to do with their lives.

But on the other side I hate the violence of that decade especially 1968. The rioting, the high crime rates, law enforcement going to far in how they responded to the young protesters. Young Boomers, who were given all the opportunities in the world to make great lives for themselves and instead of feeling grateful that instead of growing up in some authoritarian state where the government decides what kind of lives everyone in the country is going to have, they grew up in America where they had that freedom to make those decisions for themselves and instead of feeling grateful, they become political terrorists in many cases. Deciding to rob banks as a political statement because they claimed to hate our capitalist economic system. Far-Left socialist groups like The Weather Underground and others.

I get the opposition to the Vietnam War and if was a young man back then I would've hated that war and just what I've read, seen, and heard about it I hate that war myself. And I get this feeling that it's time for the Democratic Party to change and not just oppose the Vietnam War outright but create a new politics by abandoning the right-wing Dixiecrats and moving the Democratic Party in a more leftist direction. Socialist to be more accurate, with groups like Students For a Democratic Society supporting people like Senator George McGovern and others.

But that's what liberal democracy is for. You don't like the direction that the country is going in, you're more than free to speak out and campaign against it, and even offer an alternative vision for where you believe the country should go. But when you don't win and get your way, the answer is to not turn to violence to try to force your views and policies which is what The Weather Underground and other Socialist groups did back then. But instead take your losses and regroup and get ready for the next elections.
Source: E.P. James MacAdams: Hunter S. Thompson on Richard Nixon - Hunter Thompson's eyes on 1968