Posted on | October 11, 2013 | 118 Comments
Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested after an August 1963 pro-Castro protest
“The alienated radical suffers from feelings of helplessness and insignificance and, unable to find satisfaction in ordinary life, seeks to vindicate himself — to prove that he is a person of historical importance — by grandiose gestures on behalf of fringe ideologies, savagely lashing out against ‘the system’ he rejects in a sort of sour-grapes rationalization: Feeling rejected by society, he rejects society in revenge.”
– Robert Stacy McCain, “Squeaky Fromme, Sara Jane Moore, Lee Harvey Oswald and the Radical Impulse,” Aug. 27
What happened to the Democrat Party? When and how did the psychological impulses of radical alienation seize control of a large segment of our society, infusing them with the anti-religious, anti-family, anti-capitalist, anti-American spirit that dominates the souls of Democrats today? George F. Will describes the pivotal turn:
The transformation of a murder by a marginal man into a killing by a sick culture began instantly — before Kennedy was buried. The afternoon of the assassination, Chief Justice Earl Warren ascribed Kennedy’s “martyrdom” to “the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” The next day, James Reston, the New York Times luminary, wrote in a front-page story that Kennedy was a victim of a “streak of violence in the American character,” noting especially “the violence of the extremists on the right.” . . .
A Soviet spokesman, too, assigned “moral responsibility” for Kennedy’s death to “Barry Goldwater and other extremists on the right.”
Three days after the assassination, a Times editorial, “Spiral of Hate,” identified Kennedy’s killer as a “spirit”: The Times deplored “the shame all America must bear for the spirit of madness and hate that struck down” Kennedy. The editorialists were, presumably, immune to this spirit. The new liberalism-as-paternalism would be about correcting other people’s defects.
Hitherto a doctrine of American celebration and optimism, liberalism would now become a scowling indictment: Kennedy was killed by America’s social climate, whose sickness required “punitive liberalism.” . . .