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The Republican Party is the party of civil rights and the four F’s: faith, family, freedom and fairness.
The Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and socialism (Quote By Author Michael Scheuer).
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Thomas Sowell: My farewell column
Sowell looks back at quarter century of writing syndicated commentary
Even the best things
come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column
for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the
usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept
at it so long.
It was very
fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us,
and to receive feedback from readers across the country – even if it was
impossible to answer them all.
I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not
only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in
During a stay in
Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies,
there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television
news program – and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful
this year, it felt especially wonderful.
This made me decide
to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding
more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).
Looking back over the
years, as old-timers are apt to do, I see huge changes, both for the better and
for the worse.
In material things,
there has been almost unbelievable progress. Most Americans did not have
refrigerators back in 1930, when I was born. Television was little more than an
experiment, and such things as air-conditioning or air travel were only for the
My own family did not
have electricity or hot running water in my early childhood, which was not
unusual for blacks in the South in those days.
It is hard to convey
to today’s generation the fear that the paralyzing disease of polio
inspired, until vaccines put an abrupt end to its long reign of terror in
Most people living in
officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable
television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have
such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue
to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have, just a
In some other ways,
however, there have been some serious retrogressions over the years. Politics,
and especially citizens’ trust in their government, has gone way downhill.
Back in 1962,
President John F. Kennedy, a man narrowly elected just two years earlier, came
on television to tell the nation that he was taking us to the brink of nuclear
war with the Soviet Union, because the Soviets had secretly built bases for
nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from America.
Most of us did not
question what he did. He was president of the United States, and he knew things
the rest of us couldn’t know – and that was good enough for us. Fortunately,
the Soviets backed down. But could any president today do anything like that
and have the American people behind him?
Years of lying
presidents – Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially –
destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office
itself once conferred. The loss of that credibility was a loss to the country,
not just to the people holding that office in later years.
With all the advances
of blacks over the years, nothing so brought home to me the social degeneration
in black ghettos like a visit to a Harlem high school some years ago.
When I looked out the
window at the park across the street, I mentioned that, as a child, I used
to walk my dog in that park. Looks of horror came over the students’ faces, at
the thought of a kid going into the hell hole that park had become in their
When I have mentioned
sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most
people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was
a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire
escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend
with gunshots flying around during the night.