Having had my years in the spotlight I'm happy to be a non-public person these days, but the letter from former Democratic legislator Gerald Kessler is enough to bring me momentarily out of obscurity. His (July 20) letter takes delight in a (July 8) guest column from alleged Republican A.J. Otjen, saying that Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt wouldn't feel welcome in today's GOP. Kessler's thinking is in line with today's liberals who call themselves "moderate" as long as they stop short of advocating violent revolution. The other side, therefore, must all be a bunch of right-wing extremists.
How would Democratic Party founder Thomas Jefferson, who said "the government that governs best, governs least," feel about his 21st century party that thinks the government that governs best governs a heckuva lot? And how would today's Democrats feel about their party's three-time nominee William Jennings Bryan, an unapologetically proselytizing Christian? Or about Woodrow Wilson, who considered "The Birth of a Nation," glorifying the Ku Klux Klan, to be a great movie? If they attend a Jefferson-Jackson dinner, do they know that Jackson pretty much thought the only good Indian was either a dead one or one stuck on a forlorn reservation far away from white people?
How about Truman, justifying dropping the atomic bomb on the rationale that killing a million or so Japanese would save several thousand American lives? Sure sounds to me like belief in the American exceptionalism which Obama pooh-poohs. Or JFK and his "bear any burden, pay any price" foreign policy, the clear opposite of that of the current administration.