Jean Kirkpatrick contributed to the ire of liberals - remembrance of 1984 in 2006

Washington Times - Kirkpatrick hit liberals for blaming America first

We live in interesting times. Getting to know the 1970s and 1980s, and the troubled thoughts of Jeanne Kirkpatrick about her Democratic Party, might help clarify why and when one party (heavily) wandered to the left, while another followed a path set by Ronald Reagan, and folks like Newt Gringrich in later years.
"When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies," Mrs. Kirkpatrick said of her party, which had just had its national convention in San Francisco. "They blame United States policies of 100 years ago. But then they always blame America first."

She accused Democrats of abandoning the anti-communism of liberals like
Harry S. Truman, Hubert H. Humphrey and Henry "Scoop" Jackson for the accommodative tack of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and the "new liberals" she tagged as the "San Francisco Democrats."

Mr. Reagan liked the "blame America first" refrain so much he used it against Democrats in his speeches in the fall 1984 campaign, winning a landslide victory.
Kirkpatrick and her husband were dismayed by the post-1972 drift of the Democratic Party to the extreme left. But "the GOP didn't seem an acceptable alternative because it retained a brand image associated with country-club snobbery and an indifference to problems of race and poverty."

Kirkpatrick, who was in fact a longtime Democrat, was right to do so, especially in the time of Reagan's focus against Communism. That of course proved to be a windfall against autocratic, or simply undemocratic, leadership.

Late the same year the quoted retrospective article appeared, Kirkpatrick, a former ambassador to the U.N. passed away, on Dec. 7, 2006.

- JRO
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