Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor, Mosul, And The February 5, 1973 Issue Of Newsweek

Two events occurred yesterday that should keep the entire blogsophere and cable talking heads busy for a long time. First, Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, fell to insurgents. Second Eric Cantor, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives.was defeated in a Republican primary.

If I grudgingly give in to my cynical nature, the former event makes me glad we have eliminated cable from our household because I will not have to listen to Lindsey Graham and other neocons advocate unrealistic, bellicose responses. The latter event will give me further reason to believe that the Tea Party has an Ayn Rand fetish that borders on obscene. If, after reading these compiled analyses and this comment section about another subject of controversy, I give my cynicism free rein, I might conclude that some on the far right will accept that humans cause global warming if those humans happen to be undocumented aliens living within the United States.

Today, however, I will hold on to the few remaining better angels in my nature and muse that that yesterday's big stories may cause us to miss something equally important. For evidence, I offer the February 5, 1973 issue of Newsweek.


As the cover would indicate, the issue devotes 9 of its 92 pages to the Viet Nam War's end. Lyndon Johnson's death and funeral earn 8 pages. The Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision rates 2 pages of coverage. The combined Agnew/Nixon scandals receive about 1 1/2 pages. In one week, America saw the end of one battle in the cultural war, the beginning of a new one, and the end of the New Deal era while the 20th Century's largest political scandal simmered. It was not a slow news cycle.

Given those historic events, readers should be forgiven if they missed an italicized, funny sounding word on the last line of page 61, jihad. That concept,or a complete perversion of that concepts, and American reaction to it have dominated American foreign policy, cost untold losses of blood and treasure, and given rise to an Orwellian national security state.

Perhaps yesterday's events aren't hiding a word or event that will dominate public discourse decades from now, but the February 5, 1973 issue of Newsweek ought to serve as reminders that historic events often hide the seeds of events that dominate the next generation's political and cultural zeitgeist.

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