Blast From the Past: Adlai Stevenson

by Michael Sean Winters

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The Republican Party’s obstructionism on unemployment benefits, which ultimately failed, and on climate change legislation, which ultimately succeeded, brought to mind a funny passage from Adlai Stevenson’s address to the 1952 Democratic National Convention, welcoming the delegates to Chicago, an address that launched him into the nomination by the end of the week. He began by recalling the Republican convention which had been held in the same hall a few weeks prior.

“For almost a week, pompous phrases marched over this landscape in search of an idea, and the only idea they found was that the two great decades of progress in peace, and of victory in war, and of bold leadership in this anxious hour, were the misbegotten spawn of bungling, of corruption, of socialism, of mismanagement, of waste and of worse….After listening to this everlasting procession of epithets about our misdeeds I was even surprised the next morning when the mail was delivered on time. I guess our Republican friends were out of patience, out of sorts, and need I add, out of office.”

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