Ben Domenech Defends our Namesake

The parent company of Ricochet, as many readers may know, is named “Silent Cal Productions.” The love for Calvin Coolidge runs deep around these parts. That’s why we’re delighted to see our own Ben Domenech, in response to an anti-libertarian piece by Michael Lind at Salon, defending the 30th president from charges of racism over at RealClearPolitics. An excerpt:

Lind has now responded by yelling about racism at the top of his lungs through a cardboard tube contraption of his own devising. The bulk of the piece is not worth reading, but I would draw your attention to the very last portion, in which Lind attacks Calvin Coolidge, about whom many libertarians have very positive feelings, cherrypicking a quote to transform Coolidge into an early stage Pat Buchanan.

This goes beyond the offensively stupid, which is Lind’s typical oeuvre, and enters the realm of sheer revisionist fantasy. Considering the world it operated in, the record of the Harding-Coolidge administrations is one of the most racially progressive in the 20th Century. Harding opened his presidency with a clarion call for anti-lynching bills, giving speeches in the Deep South criticizing the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Coolidge continued the practice, again and again raising anti-lynching laws which were repeatedly filibustered by Southern Democrats (in 1922, 1923, and 1924). Both men appointed African Americans to senior positions and ran segregationists left over from the Wilson administration out of power.

Read the whole thing here.

  1. billy

    Ben Domenech is one heck of a writer. And if you don’t regularly listen to his podcast, you should.

  2. Misthiocracy

    It’s a sign of a good article when it has more followers than comments.

  3. Colin B Lane

    Is Ben 35 yet?

  4. Douglas

    Guys like Michael Lind are why the very concept of a “public intellectual” is mocked and snickered at in America. Yes, an Ivy League English degree is enough to expect the country to marvel at your intellect and wisdom.

    While I have a great deal of criticism of Libertarianism, much of Lind’s piece was just snotty leftist pap.

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