Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Respect for the Office?

 

Unknown-2As a kid from a rural agricultural community, I entered UC Berkeley slightly to the right of Barry Goldwater. But I was to leave in 1970 just to the left of Eldridge Cleaver.

Those were the days.

As I knew just about everything there was to know, I challenged my grandfather, just a few days before he died in 1974, regarding his publicly cordial relations with then President Richard Nixon.

It was no secret that there had been a long running Warren/Nixon feud. This dated back to the 1952 Republican convention in Chicago, when Nixon famously promised the California delegates to Ike (even though they were committed to favorite son candidate, Warren) in exchange for the Vice Presidency.

Nixon’s behavior during the Watergate scandal only re-enforced what we already knew about his character and his normal modus operandi.

“How can you even speak to that man?” I scolded, Papa Warren.

He just smiled at my impetuosity. “It doesn’t matter who it is, you always have to show respect for the office,” was his grandfatherly reply.

Unknown-1I knew he was right because we had grown up in an era after World War II when the message to every grammar school kid was, “anyone in America can grow up to be President of the United States.” It was the goal of each one of us back then. What higher honor could there be than to become President?

After Papa Warren died, the archivists found his “Nixon file” empty. It was a mystery. What had happened to all the correspondence, memos, and personal notes that filled it?

I asked Mama Warren once this became public knowledge. “What happened? Why was the file empty?”

Her answer was simple—and so believable. “He didn’t want your children to ever know that a man like that ever occupied the highest office in the land.”

Now this is not about re-fighting the Nixon wars and trying to argue whether he was a good or bad man — or a good or bad President. It is about the office, and what it symbolizes (or once symbolized) to the American people.

Teddy White summed up how Americans felt about the office in his seminal book, A Breach of Faith. He concluded that the one unpardonable sin Nixon committed over Watergate was that he “destroyed the myth that binds America together,” the myth that “somewhere in American life there is at least one man who stands for the law, the President.”

Mr. White encapsulated what we all felt: that the office of the presidency was sacred — not one to be trifled with in any way, shape, or form.

imagesThat’s why it is so disturbing to see photographs of the current occupant of the Oval Office holding a “selfie stick” and taking goofy pictures of himself. It’s discombobulating to see him give an interview to a youngster whose claim to fame is a viral You Tube video where she climbs into a bathtub filled with milk to eat Fruit Loops. That’s what earns one an invite to the Oval Office?

These stunts trivialize the most important office in the land — once the most important in the world — to say nothing of how it affects the way a Putin or Khamenei views us.

These acts are not against the law but they demean the office. They bring shame upon a hallowed institution. How can a youngster aspire to grow up to be the leader of the world, when it now involves cavorting in such a frivolous, undignified manner?

Are these the actions of a Commander in Chief in whom one should trust the safety of his son or daughter? Do we want a man who gives interviews to publicity-seeking You Tube stars to be the one making decisions that affect the lives of our children in the military?

Can one imagine a Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan behaving in such a fashion? Even if they may have longed to do so (highly unlikely) they refrained in order to maintain the dignity of the office.

Should we, the people care? If demeaning the office becomes the norm, the next thing you know we’ll have wannabe candidates traveling our highways in vans with nicknames like Scooby Doo.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

There are 57 comments.

  1. MikeHs Inactive

    Yeah, that about sums it up nicely.

    • #1
    • April 20, 2015, at 2:06 PM PDT
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  2. SEnkey Inactive

    POTUS should be an office of gravitas. Anything that POTUS says should carry weight. Reagan’s interviews in the 80’s where he called out the horrors of Soviet Communism cheered the hearts of jailed dissidents and angered the ruling Politburo.

    It appears that our current CIC has taken the John Stewart route. Everything is a joke, so you can’t really attack anything I do. “Hey, doesn’t a man deserve a golf break? I’ve been working hard.” Even as he laughs after discussing the death of Americans abroad.

    It is disheartening.

    • #2
    • April 20, 2015, at 3:08 PM PDT
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  3. DocJay Inactive

    I guess I think your grandpa was from a bygone era unless an Obama would have changed his mind. There’s still plenty of people here on Rico who believe the office deserves the highest respect regardless of the America hating dishonest thin skinned soldier killing anti-Christian economic illiterate boob occupying it.

    I have no respect for anything associated with Obama, including his office.

    • #3
    • April 20, 2015, at 3:23 PM PDT
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  4. thelonious Member

    I blame Nixon going on “Laugh In” and proclaiming “Sock it to me!” The office is diminished by the people because we expect the president to be a pop icon instead of a leader. As long as Obama keeps his Instagram current who gives a rats behind if he knows anything about the middle east.

    • #4
    • April 20, 2015, at 3:39 PM PDT
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  5. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    SEnkey:POTUS should be an office of gravitas. Anything that POTUS says should carry weight. Reagan’s interviews in the 80′s where he called out the horrors of Soviet Communism cheered the hearts of jailed dissidents and angered the ruling Politburo.

    It appears that our current CIC has taken the John Stewart route. Everything is a joke, so you can’t really attack anything I do. “Hey, doesn’t a man deserve a golf break? I’ve been working hard.” Even as he laughs after discussing the death of Americans abroad.

    It is disheartening.

    Disheartening and has amazing unintended consequences. Teddy White was right when he wrote about the “Myth that binds America together.” We forget sometimes that politics is basically about illusions. Shatter those illusions, and the house of cards comes tumbling down.

    • #5
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:09 PM PDT
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  6. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    thelonious:I blame Nixon going on “Laugh In” and proclaiming “Sock it to me!” The office is diminished by the people because we expect the president to be a pop icon instead of a leader. As long as Obama keeps his Instagram current who gives a rats behind if he knows anything about the middle east.

    I was going to refer to the Laugh In cameo but left it out due to length. It wasn’t dignified but it didn’t glorify something as mundane and trivial as making a media star out of someone who ate fruit loops out of a bath tube. Remember, anyone can do that. It takes no skill–there is no meritocracy involved. Think of all the young kids who have worked hard, studied, prepared and delivered opinion intelligent opinion pieces on You tube and elsewhere–who get no recognition for the hard work and intelligence involved in their “performances.”

    Can we really be talking about a future president whose hand will be an inch away from the nuclear switch, who rides around in Van called Scooby Doo?

    • #6
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:15 PM PDT
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  7. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    DocJay:I guess I think your grandpa was from a bygone era unless an Obama would have changed his mind. There’s still plenty of people here on Rico who believe the office deserves the highest respect regardless of the America hating dishonest thin skinned soldier killing anti-Christian economic illiterate boob occupying it.

    I have no respect for anything associated with Obama, including his office.

    Alas, the office is not “his.” It belongs to the American people. He is just defiling it and the consequences are far bigger than just encouraging the Putins of the world to not take us seriously. Diminish the office, and you diminish the goals of trying to achieve it–which kids actually, once wanted to do. I can’t believe that today most kids want to “grow up to be President of the United States” as we all did. Very sad. Very big loss.

    • #7
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:43 PM PDT
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  8. PHCheese Member

    The current office holder and his wife can be summed up in two words, no class

    • #8
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:11 PM PDT
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  9. Kay of MT Member

    Jeffrey, thanks about this bit on your grandfather. As you know I loved him and once asked him to adopt me.

    Knew nothing about politics as a child and not much more as a young adult. I did vote for “Ike” my first time voting. In 1972 when Nixon was re-elected President, and we heard the news over the radio, I let out a big sigh. My daughter was in her early teens, asked me why the sigh. I told her we had just kept a crook in the presidency. The story of your grandfather just validated my opinion of Nixon.

    • #9
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:15 PM PDT
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  10. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Kay of MT:Jeffrey, thanks about this bit on your grandfather. As you know I loved him and once asked him to adopt me.

    Knew nothing about politics as a child and not much more as a young adult. I did vote for “Ike” my first time voting. In 1972 when Nixon was re-elected President, and we heard the news over the radio, I let out a big sigh. My daughter was in her early teens, asked me why the sigh. I told her we had just kept a crook in the presidency. The story of your grandfather just validated my opinion of Nixon.

    Thanks Kay. Always great to hear from my “sister” (or I guess you would have been my aunt). Of course, the point of this was not to criticize the former President as much as to point out the inherent dangers (especially for future generations) by degrading the Office of the President.

    • #10
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:19 PM PDT
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  11. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Jeffrey Earl WarrenAre these the actions of a Commander in Chief in whom one should trust the safety of his son or daughter? Do we want a man who gives interviews to publicity-seeking You Tube stars to be the one making decisions that affect the lives of our children in the military?

    With one son active-duty Army, another active reserve, I pray they are not put in harms way by the current CiC; and pray for those who are and their families.

    By me it’s not so much that he would talk with Glozell or whomever. They have followings that an honorable president might do well to attempt to reach since his/her policies affect them too and they’re not going to learn about it watching the Sunday Shows or keeping up with the Wankerati (H/t James Dellingpole) in the New York Times and Washington Post.

    But this president’s conduct has been despicable. The White House only needed to be fumigated after the Clinton’s left, it will need to be exorcised as well when the current incumbent leaves.

    • #11
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:32 PM PDT
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  12. Man With the Axe Member

    Selfies and fruit loops are bad enough, but remember the stained blue dress and the cigar? I found myself at the dinner table explaining to my octogenarian mother-in-law what oral sex was. Now that was disrespecting the office.
    Can’t wait to have him back in the White House.

    • #12
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:35 PM PDT
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  13. Kay of MT Member

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:

    Kay of MT:Jeffrey, thanks about this bit on your grandfather. As you know I loved him and once asked him to adopt me.

    Knew nothing about politics as a child and not much more as a young adult. I did vote for “Ike” my first time voting. In 1972 when Nixon was re-elected President, and we heard the news over the radio, I let out a big sigh. My daughter was in her early teens, asked me why the sigh. I told her we had just kept a crook in the presidency. The story of your grandfather just validated my opinion of Nixon.

    Thanks Kay. Always great to hear from my “sister” (or I guess you would have been my aunt). Of course, the point of this was not to criticize the former President as much as to point out the inherent dangers (especially for future generations) by degrading the Office of the President.

    That was the point I was trying to make with my daughter, degrading the office of the Presidency. The biggest arguments I get from my lefty family members are, “I’m not respecting the office.” I keep telling them I have the greatest respect for the “Office” but there is no way I can respect the piece of slime occupying OUR White House.

    • #13
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:43 PM PDT
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  14. Rodin Member

    While I agree with Man With the Axe that President “blue dress” set a pretty low, low in fairness this conduct was not intended to be made public. Obama is doing things very publicly that diminish the office. (Of course, he is trying to diminish American so maybe its just a scaling factor.)

    • #14
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:52 PM PDT
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  15. Kay of MT Member

    When the Clintons left the White House, they and their staff did considerable damage to the place and offices. In addition, Hillary took furniture she “claimed” were personal gifts to her. The givers said no. The gifts were not entered into the registry, which sound a familiar trick of hers. Foster’s papers found in her office 2 years after requested, other documents found in her private section of the living quarters. Will the people of the United States put this pathological liar and thief into the White House to do more damage?

    • #15
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:02 PM PDT
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  16. AUMom Member
    AUMom Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Man With the Axe:Selfies and fruit loops are bad enough, but remember the stained blue dress and the cigar? I found myself at the dinner table explaining to my octogenarian mother-in-law what oral sex was. Now that was disrespecting the office. Can’t wait to have him back in the White House.

    I had to explain (or explain away) what it was to my 8 year old because I had no clue news at the top of the hour on the radio would be something he couldn’t listen to.

    • #16
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:18 PM PDT
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  17. Man With the Axe Member

    Remember when Obama cut the line at the Franklin Barbecue in Austin? The line was hours long, but he and his secret service agents cut in front of everyone. That is using the office of the presidency as if he is a mafia don and his agents are gun thugs.

    I know he’s a busy man, but he could have gone someplace without a line, or left one of his agents to wait in line for him. But he acted like a thug, and that, to me, disrespects the office. If I were in the line I would not have allowed him to cut in front of me without a fight.

    • #17
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:31 PM PDT
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  18. Kay of MT Member

    An excellent article today by Bruce Thornton.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/bruce-thornton/a-foreign-policy-primer-for-obama-and-rand-paul/

    • #18
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:42 PM PDT
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  19. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Nick Stuart:

    Jeffrey Earl WarrenAre these the actions of a Commander in Chief in whom one should trust the safety of his son or daughter? Do we want a man who gives interviews to publicity-seeking You Tube stars to be the one making decisions that affect the lives of our children in the military?

    With one son active-duty Army, another active reserve, I pray they are not put in harms way by the current CiC; and pray for those who are and their families.

    By me it’s not so much that he would talk with Glozell or whomever. They have followings that an honorable president might do well to attempt to reach since his/her policies affect them too and they’re not going to learn about it watching the Sunday Shows or keeping up with the Wankerati (H/t James Dellingpole) in the New York Times and Washington Post.

    But this president’s conduct has been despicable. The White House only needed to be fumigated after the Clinton’s left, it will need to be exorcised as well when the current incumbent leaves.

    It must be terribly difficult for you but thank you for raising such fine sons who are willing to put their country ahead of their own personal goals for the time being. Not only are they hero, but their parents are the bravest people I know. We are all blessed to have folks like you in our orbit.

    • #19
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:42 PM PDT
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  20. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Man With the Axe:Selfies and fruit loops are bad enough, but remember the stained blue dress and the cigar? I found myself at the dinner table explaining to my octogenarian mother-in-law what oral sex was. Now that was disrespecting the office. Can’t wait to have him back in the White House.

    Did you notice the first Picture in the article? Apparently, Mr. Obama read from Mr. Clinton’s playbook. Thanks for taking the time to write.

    • #20
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:44 PM PDT
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  21. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    AUMom:

    Man With the Axe:Selfies and fruit loops are bad enough, but remember the stained blue dress and the cigar? I found myself at the dinner table explaining to my octogenarian mother-in-law what oral sex was. Now that was disrespecting the office. Can’t wait to have him back in the White House.

    I had to explain (or explain away) what it was to my 8 year old because I had no clue news at the top of the hour on the radio would be something he couldn’t listen to.

    I realize I’m old and out of it, but what you mention is a disgrace. We never had to grow up that way. Why do our kids and grandkids?

    • #21
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:45 PM PDT
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  22. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    PHCheese:The current office holder and his wife can be summed up in two words, no class

    People can agree or disagree with various policies of various presidents. One can be for labor or for management. One can be for expansionism or isolationism. One can be a hawk or a dove. One can be center left, or center right–or extreme left–or extreme right. But would ever have thought that one would lack class? Agree or disagree with various policies, In our life time, this is the first time this has ever happened.

    • #22
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:48 PM PDT
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  23. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    MikeHs:Yeah, that about sums it up nicely.

    Thanks Mike. I wish it weren’t so

    • #23
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:49 PM PDT
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  24. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Rodin:While I agree with Man With the Axe that President “blue dress” set a pretty low, low in fairness this conduct was not intended to be made public. Obama is doing things very publicly that diminish the office. (Of course, he is trying to diminish American so maybe its just a scaling factor.)

    A point very well taken. We may not approve of the private peccadillos of presidents–or we may wink at them–but at least they were just that: Private.

    Mr. Obama does things in public that would make previous Presidents turn over in their graves. Though I’m no Nixon fan, remember when Nixon didn’t challenge the Chicago votes? He was almost certainly right, but he felt it was bad for the country. A very selfless and classy move.

    • #24
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:52 PM PDT
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  25. DocJay Inactive

    Jeffrey, I understand the concept of the people’s office but compare it to a pedophile Cardinal, a rapist cop, a murderous doctor, or a Benedict Arnold General. He should be impeached but it’s not possible. He ceases his title and morphs to tyrant. It’s all very depressing to me.
    Ian a patriot. I love my country. My family has and is serving. I am viewed as an enemy by this administration without ever doing anything bad.
    How is one to respect it all ?

    • #25
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:10 PM PDT
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  26. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:

    Rodin:While I agree with Man With the Axe that President “blue dress” set a pretty low, low in fairness this conduct was not intended to be made public. Obama is doing things very publicly that diminish the office. (Of course, he is trying to diminish American so maybe its just a scaling factor.)

    A point very well taken. We may not approve of the private peccadillos of presidents–or we may wink at them–but at least they were just that: Private.

    Mr. Obama does things in public that would make previous Presidents turn over in their graves. Though I’m no Nixon fan, remember when Nixon didn’t challenge the Chicago votes? He was almost certainly right, but he felt it was bad for the country. A very selfless and classy move.

    Well, Obama does not view the office as a place of dignity. It’s about the power and control, as well as the perks. I work in academia, and this is the behavior of a high-level University administrator who has no fear of losing his position. Obama perfectly encapsulates the internal bullying and outward submission that so many administrators practice. Add in the standard denial of American Exceptionalism, and you have no reason not to abuse the office and not care about your job.

    • #26
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:53 PM PDT
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  27. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:It was no secret that there had been a long running Warren/Nixon feud. This dated back to the 1952 Republican convention in Chicago, when Nixon famously promised the California delegates to Ike (even though they were committed to favorite son candidate, Warren) in exchange for the Vice Presidency.

    Nixon’s behavior during the Watergate scandal only re-enforced what we already knew about his character and his normal modus operandi.

    Realizing that Earl Warren did apologize for his actions, he was complicit in the internment of the Japanese when he was California Attorney General in World War II.

    That kind of trumps a third rate burglary in the bad actor department.

    It’s one thing to defend and praise your grandfather, it’s another to start comparing him to other people.

    I’m not going to defend Watergate, but overall, Richard Nixon was a patriot (as was Earl Warren) and had the character to be ashamed enough to resign the presidency. And there was also the 1960 election where he chose not to challenge the results in Illinois.

    As for their domestic politics, I didn’t agree with either of them.

    • #27
    • April 20, 2015, at 9:31 PM PDT
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  28. Al Sparks Thatcher

    thelonious:I blame Nixon going on “Laugh In” and proclaiming “Sock it to me!” The office is diminished by the people because we expect the president to be a pop icon instead of a leader. As long as Obama keeps his Instagram current who gives a rats behind if he knows anything about the middle east.

    Except that Richard Nixon wasn’t president then. At the time, he didn’t hold elective office.

    • #28
    • April 20, 2015, at 9:34 PM PDT
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  29. Kay of MT Member

    Al Sparks: I was born before WWII and remember living through some pretty harrowing stuff. I asked my mother about the Japanese internment in later years. Both she and my dad were employed at McClellan Air Base. The internment was done with nearly the full support of the populous. The Japanese were sending fire balloons into CA, and other nasty little acts. The Japanese were lining up at the post office to send money to Japan. We were at WAR, and the government did exactly what it felt it had to do to protect the US. I was 6 years old watching a burning plane fly over my yard, low enough for my mother to identify the pilot. She stood there screaming. The plane had been shot up over the Pacific and the pilot wanted to get back to the air base before crashing.

    In retrospective maybe we should have trusted our Japanese citizens, but there were also the stories of the Massacre of Shanghai.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_massacre_of_1927

    You have no call to criticize Earl Warren for making decisions he felt was necessary in a time of war. Second guessing comes easy as well as making moral judgements. The vast majority of the citizens of this country had nor have now any idea of how close WWII was on our shores. The Japanese of the West Coast, and the Germans sinking our ships right off the East Coast.

    • #29
    • April 20, 2015, at 10:07 PM PDT
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  30. Jeffrey Earl Warren Contributor
    Jeffrey Earl Warren

    Al Sparks:

    Jeffrey Earl Warren:It was no secret that there had been a long running Warren/Nixon feud. This dated back to the 1952 Republican convention in Chicago, when Nixon famously promised the California delegates to Ike (even though they were committed to favorite son candidate, Warren) in exchange for the Vice Presidency.

    Nixon’s behavior during the Watergate scandal only re-enforced what we already knew about his character and his normal modus operandi.

    Realizing that Earl Warren did apologize for his actions, he was complicit in the internment of the Japanese when he was California Attorney General in World War II.

    That kind of trumps a third rate burglary in the bad actor department.

    It’s one thing to defend and praise your grandfather, it’s another to start comparing him to other people.

    I’m not going to defend Watergate, but overall, Richard Nixon was a patriot (as was Earl Warren) and had the character to be ashamed enough to resign the presidency. And there was also the 1960 election where he chose not to challenge the results in Illinois.

    As for their domestic politics, I didn’t agree with either of them.

    The internment was based on  Executive Order 9066, carried out by the Attorney General of California. Roosevelt ordered it. That being said, are you aware that there were 14 attacks on US shipping off the coast of California by Japanese submarines in the three months following Pearl Harbor (Google it). Also, were you aware that 10’s of thousands of Japanese were interned in Canada and all of South America.

    Were you aware that British Subjects were interned in France once it was occupied by Germany–and the same true in Italy?

    This is what they did back then and did in the first world war as well. Everyone–in each country–was worried about 5th column subversives. Churchill was probably the biggest proponent of  Executive Order 9066 as he feared that it was with column activity which caused the fall of France.

    Read your history before you condemn those that did what they felt was right to keep our country safe in a time of extreme tension and doubt.

    • #30
    • April 20, 2015, at 10:38 PM PDT
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