December 08, 2006

That was some dame.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, ex-ambassador, dies

I have long harbored great admiration for this woman, and for her contributions to promoting freedom. She was tough, blunt, unashamedly pro-American, and let's face it--darned sexy.


You might think I'm joking, but I'm not--I'd rather have one of her than a roomful of Britneys. (Unless there was some way to do a brain transplant from Jeane to Britney or something, then I'd probably reconsider. Maybe.)

Hard to believe that the woman so identified with Reagan's anti-Soviet views started out her political life as a Marxist, according to the article. As for her later views, they are probably best put forward in her address to the 1984 Republican National Convention in San Diego:

[...] I am grateful that you should invite me, a lifelong Democrat. On the other hand, I realize that you are inviting many lifelong Democrats to join this common cause.

I want to begin tonight by quoting the speech of the president whom I very greatly admire, Harry Truman, who once said to the Congress:

"The United States has become great because we, as a people, have been able to work together for great objectives even while differing about details."

He continued:

"The elements of our strength are many. They include our democratic government, our economic system, our great natural resources. But, the basic source of our strength is spiritual. We believe in the dignity of man."

That's the way Democratic presidents and presidential candidates used to talk about America.

These were the men who developed NATO, who developed the Marshall Plan, who devised the Alliance for Progress.

They were not afraid to be resolute nor ashamed to speak of America as a great nation. They didn't doubt that we must be strong enough to protect ourselves and to help others.

They didn't imagine that America should depend for its very survival on the promises of its adversaries.

They happily assumed the responsibilities of freedom.

I am not alone in noticing that the San Francisco Democrats took a very different approach. [...]

And 23 years later, they seem no different, other than to be even more stridently anti-American. As she so famously said then, "But then, somehow, they always blame America first."

We've lost a wonderful and courageous American, but her words and ideas and influence will, hopefully, live on for many more years.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at December 8, 2006 11:59 AM

Thanks for this post--excellently written. Yes, Jeane Kirkpatrick was a great lady, in the same class as Margaret Thatcher. Too bad some of those in the same class as Britney probably don't even know who either of these great women were.

Posted by: Stan at December 8, 2006 01:35 PM