erik lundegaard

Why a Patriotic WWII Film Starring Frank Sinatra Would Get Booed by Modern Republicans

I was going to include “The House I Live In,” a short, cornball, patriotic film starring Frank Sinatra and made in the middle of World War II, in my earlier post about what Seattle means to me. Then I watched it and realized it was a post of its own.

The first thing you notice about the film is that Sinatra looked good. You finally understand what all those bobbysoxers were screaming about. Plus I love his jacket.

Then in the middle of the film (4:22), he delivers a lesson on religious tolerance to tough neighborhood kids who've been beating up on another boy of another religion. He tells them this:

Listen, fellas. Religion makes no difference--except maybe to a Nazi or somebody who's stupid. Why, people all over the world worship God in many different ways. God created everybody. He didn't create one people better than another. Your blood's the same as mine, mine's the same as his. Do you know what this wonderful country is made of? It's made of a hundred different kinds of people, and a hundred different ways of talking, and a hundred different ways of going to church. But they're all American ways.

It's kind of stunning to hear in 2012, and it's indicative of how reactionary the far-right in this country has become. A cornball patriotic film, with Frank Sinatra, made nearly 70 years ago, in the middle of World War II, is a bastion of tolerance compared with their rhetoric. If someone said the above at a Tea Party rally, they'd probably get booed off the stage.

So I guess the question Tea Party folks have to ask themselves is: Are you a Nazi, or are you stupid? Frank is waiting for your answer.

Here's the film:

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Posted at 02:17 PM on Sat. Jun 30, 2012 in category Politics  


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