Hubert Humphrey weeping in his grave

Rick Moran has a moving article on Rightwing Nuthouse about the late Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Like me, Rick was first galvanized into his political fascination by the "Happy Warrior," a man whose purity of purpose and enormous personal charisma overhwelmed me the first time I encountered him face—to—face. I grew up in a family of Minnesota political activists, and my parents knew Hubert from the time when he first ran for mayor of Minneapolis.

His charisma did not carry well over the television screen, but in person the man was an utter dynamo, who could uplift you with his words and persona as nobody else I have ever met. By the standards of today he may seem corny, but he was precisely in tune with the manner and mode of his formative time and locale.

HHH was a pure compassion—driven liberal of the era in which modern activist liberalism was being formed. He did not foresee the ultimate consequences of the welfare state and the reverse discrimination of the civil rights legislation, some of which he sponsored and pushed through the Senate. But honesty was a basic part of his being, so I like to think he would have recognized the mistakes and fought to right them. He didn't care about his own power, he cared about doing what was right for ordinary people. He lived modestly his entire life and often put aside his personal interests for larger causes.

I often ask myself what Hubert would make of what has become of his political ideology and the unique political party he put together, the DFL (Democratic Farmer—Labor Party) of Minnesota. My guess, based in part on Humphrey's basic pragmatism and decency, is that he would disapprove. In fact, I like to think he would have joined Zell Miller as a truly principled man, and denounced the travesties that have emerged.

As conservative as I am, I still feel strangely close to the memory of Humphrey. He wanted everyone to have a shot on an equal basis. He stated that if civil rights legislation was ever used to discrimate against white poeple he would "eat his hat." Check. He wanted a strong America and was anti—Communist (and did something about it — throwing the Commies out of the Minnesota Democratic Party). Check. He believed that people could improve themselves with the freedom granted by our capitalist economic system. Check.

Humphrey wanted to be president. He was knocked out of the 1960 primary races when the West Virginia Primary went for John F. Kennedy amidst suspicions of large sums of cash being passed out by agents of Joe Kennedy. When LBJ was chosen as the veep nominee because Texas had more electoral votes and was more competitive, I am sure his heart was broken, but he soldiered on loyally.

I always thought that Lyndon B. Johnson, who made Humphrey his vice president, destroyed him with his cruelty and his contempt. By the time Humphrey ran fro President on his own I 2was alienated. When he died, I felt sorrow and blessed his memory, but did not miss him.

But as the national and Minnesota Democrats have gotten further out on the limb of the loony left tree, I have begun to think more and more about how Hubert would react. Like Rick, I think he would be weeping.

Thomas Lifson   2 17 06

Rick Moran has a moving article on Rightwing Nuthouse about the late Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Like me, Rick was first galvanized into his political fascination by the "Happy Warrior," a man whose purity of purpose and enormous personal charisma overhwelmed me the first time I encountered him face—to—face. I grew up in a family of Minnesota political activists, and my parents knew Hubert from the time when he first ran for mayor of Minneapolis.

His charisma did not carry well over the television screen, but in person the man was an utter dynamo, who could uplift you with his words and persona as nobody else I have ever met. By the standards of today he may seem corny, but he was precisely in tune with the manner and mode of his formative time and locale.

HHH was a pure compassion—driven liberal of the era in which modern activist liberalism was being formed. He did not foresee the ultimate consequences of the welfare state and the reverse discrimination of the civil rights legislation, some of which he sponsored and pushed through the Senate. But honesty was a basic part of his being, so I like to think he would have recognized the mistakes and fought to right them. He didn't care about his own power, he cared about doing what was right for ordinary people. He lived modestly his entire life and often put aside his personal interests for larger causes.

I often ask myself what Hubert would make of what has become of his political ideology and the unique political party he put together, the DFL (Democratic Farmer—Labor Party) of Minnesota. My guess, based in part on Humphrey's basic pragmatism and decency, is that he would disapprove. In fact, I like to think he would have joined Zell Miller as a truly principled man, and denounced the travesties that have emerged.

As conservative as I am, I still feel strangely close to the memory of Humphrey. He wanted everyone to have a shot on an equal basis. He stated that if civil rights legislation was ever used to discrimate against white poeple he would "eat his hat." Check. He wanted a strong America and was anti—Communist (and did something about it — throwing the Commies out of the Minnesota Democratic Party). Check. He believed that people could improve themselves with the freedom granted by our capitalist economic system. Check.

Humphrey wanted to be president. He was knocked out of the 1960 primary races when the West Virginia Primary went for John F. Kennedy amidst suspicions of large sums of cash being passed out by agents of Joe Kennedy. When LBJ was chosen as the veep nominee because Texas had more electoral votes and was more competitive, I am sure his heart was broken, but he soldiered on loyally.

I always thought that Lyndon B. Johnson, who made Humphrey his vice president, destroyed him with his cruelty and his contempt. By the time Humphrey ran fro President on his own I 2was alienated. When he died, I felt sorrow and blessed his memory, but did not miss him.

But as the national and Minnesota Democrats have gotten further out on the limb of the loony left tree, I have begun to think more and more about how Hubert would react. Like Rick, I think he would be weeping.

Thomas Lifson   2 17 06