erik lundegaard

The Enemy Within

“The right will always invoke an enemy within. They will insist on a distinction between real Americans and those who say they are but aren‘t. This latter group is your basic nativist amalgam of people of the wrong color, recent immigration, or incorrect religious persuasion. At the beginning of the cold war, ”fellow travelers“ and ”pinkos“ were added to the list. (Communists being historically beyond the pale.) Mr. Nixon contributed ”effete intellectuals“; Mr. Reagan’s secretary of the interior, James Watt, threw ”cripples“ into the pot with Jews and blacks, and this president [H.W. Bush] and his men have consigned to perdition single parents, gays and lesbians, and a ”cultural elite,“ by which they mean not only the college-educated, cosmopolitan (Jewish and their fellow-traveling) residents of both coasts who write or work in publishing, films, or television but really any person in any region of the country who is articulate enough to compose a sentence telling them what a disgrace they are.”

— E.L. Doctorow, “The Character of Presidents,” 1992

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Posted at 09:50 AM on Fri. Sep 07, 2018 in category Books  

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