I've been remiss in not talking about the death of Paul Harvey. I know it's old news, but I wanted to say something before his corpse was fully rotted away. The obituaries of Harvey were interesting; they rightly focused on his voice as a right-wing populist, but also played nice in discussing his often disturbing views. I guess Harvey deserves some credit for speaking out against Nixon after he invaded Cambodia, but if that's the sign of a thoughtful conservative, the standards are pretty low.
In many ways, I am fond of Harvey. He reminds me of visiting my grandparents. The last time I heard him was when I was moving to Texas. I was driving through southeastern Colorado and I picked up his show. I figured I'd better listen since I knew it might be the last time I ever heard him. It was typical--his unique voice was still strong, his conservatism still there, his homilies and reporting of the news still somewhere between eye-rolling and amusing.
But let's not forget what a bastard Harvey was. Let me reprint one of his talks, from either the late 60s or early 70s, from a previous series I did on Harvey a couple of years ago.
"The Cannibal Society"
America has become a cannibal society, devouring its best.
The competents, numerically outnumbered by the incompetents, are being
corralled, restrained, confined and milked like barnyard cattle.
The giants who created our skyscraper civilizations are now ordered to obey
Common men--who owe their jobs to uncommon men who create jobs--gang
together to shackle their providers.
Americans are becoming congenital dependents. Even as loafing relatives
extort a livelihood by claiming they have a "right" to your money--so today
eight million homegrown moochers, insist that you are responsible for their
Thus we subsidize promiscuous mothers and their illegitimate babies and
lazy featherbedders and goldbricking government payrollers...while we penalize
the strong, the purposeful, the productive with disproportionate burdens of
taxes, pressures, red tape.
We praise ventures which are "non-profit" and grant them tax advantages and
social acceptance, yet we damn the men who make the profits and make the
"non-profit" ventures possible.
Americans want to keep the electric lights and destroy the
What if the men of brains and initiative and industry should go on strike?
It happened once. The Dark Ages were a period of stagnation when men of
exceptional ability gave up, figured "what's the use," even went
underground--for a thousand years.
Ayn Rand, author of "Atlas Shrugged," thinks it may have to happen that way
Dr. Charles Mayo says, "I know of no individual, no nation, that ever did
anything worthwhile on a five-day week."
Already many American industrialists are turning the keys on their
corporations and going to Florida--either part-time or full-time--to become
Curiously, Russia is beginning to reward the uncommon men. Soviet scholar,
Vadim A. Trapeznikov--not without Kremlin sanction--is now referring to the
Soviet system as "obsolete." He says Russia's economy must now rely on the "more
productive profit motive."
We, on the other hand, continue to play the democratic con game which
pretends that all men are equal and that anybody who demonstrates any inequality
should be punished for it.
Any insolent beggar can wave his sores in your face and plead for help in
the tone of a threat.
You are expected to feel "guilty" for having more than he.
Any barefoot bum from the pestholes of Asia or Africa cries out, "How dare
you be rich!" and we beg him to be patient and we promise to give it all away as
fast as possible.
The economic creed of "enlightened selfishness" which made our nation the
powerhouse of this planet has been so maligned that it now sounds like heresy
when I say:
Any man who claims you own him a living is a cannibal. Whether foreign or
domestic, he is a cannibal.
If you choose to help him, that is one thing.
If he demands your "help" as his "right," he is a leech, a sycophant, a
parasite. He is a cannibal seeking to survive by consuming you.
This was Paul Harvey.