Mar 7, 2017

Wallace and Trump.

   
  A year ago next Monday, a contributing columnist for The Boston Globe, Michael A. Cohen, wrote about the then fairly easy-to-dismiss candidacy of Donald Trump, and compared him to George Wallace. The column bears a re-read now that Trump is president and some Democrats are taking a "resistance" stance.

     Also from Boston, WBUR radio has a look back at the time almost a half century ago when Wallace when he was a guest on  Public Television:

"In January 1968, William F. Buckley Jr. featured segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace on Buckley’s "Firing Line" interview show. You couldn’t have paired an odder couple: Buckley, the Yale-educated, sesquipedalian guru of modern conservatism, and Wallace, the farmer’s son who’d futiley blocked the schoolhouse door five years earlier against black students at his state’s university."
You can watch that 50 year old program online HERE.
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     The WBUR column by Rich Barlow suggests Trump should be treated as a modern Wallace, with a  generous portion of reserve instead of resist:

Buckley shows how calm reason and humor can also dismantle a foe. Anger can go too far; smart liberals know that actions such as blocking Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from visiting a school only sink to Trump’s puerile incivility and risk turning off some people who might be open to their viewpoint.

1 comment:

Charles Kinnaird said...

Thanks for posting, Tim -- the article as well as the Firing Line Interview. The look back at Buckley's program was fascinating. In some ways, Wallace was more appealing than Buckley in his views (as in Buckley's disdain for any government assistance for the poor and elderly "Just let their families take care of them."). I found it interesting that Wallace accused Time Magazine of making up the "I was out segged" comment ("we don't even use that word in Alabama"). The funny thing is that I recall hearing Wallace himself say that he said Patterson out segged him when countering the accusation that he (Wallace) said Patterson "out nigged him." At least that's how I remember it. He was trying to make himself seem less racist by offering his own revisionist account, it seemed.

I hope we can get through these crazy times, but we thought we had gotten through with THOSE crazy times.