Conservative Book Club

Red Kennedys: Honoring Commies in JFK's name

by: daniel clark | published: 01 07, 2010

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One of the five artists honored at the Kennedy Center last month was Bruce Springsteen, whose signature tune Born in the U.S.A. describes life in America as basically being like hell without the red pajamas. To people who have never made the effort to understand his garbled lyrics, the refrain gives the impression that it is a celebration of American patriotism, when it's really a mockery of it. Nevertheless, the 60 year-old musician has done little to dissuade those who shower him with admiration and money based on this misunderstanding.

Springsteen is a protege of Communist folk singer Pete Seeger, to whom he has paid tribute with an album entitled The Seeger Sessions. At President Obama's inauguration, Seeger and Springsteen appeared together in front of the Lincoln Memorial, which they defiled with a performance of Woody Guthrie's Communist tantrum "This Land Is Your Land," complete with its oft-omitted verse condemning property rights.

The Kennedy Center might as well have cut out the middleman and simply honored Seeger directly. Oh, wait a minute, it did. Seeger, once a registered member of the Communist Party, received that recognition in 1994. You don't have to go back 15 years, however, to find some of Bruce's fellow pinkos among the honorees. The 2005 list included Robert Redford, who is to banana republic revolutionaries as Pepe Le Pew is to painted cats. A year earlier, Warren Beatty, star and director of Reds and Bulworth, was honored alongside the Commie husband-and-wife team of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

So what's the big deal, you might wonder. The Kennedy Center Honors are about art, not politics. A majority of the honorees are publicly apolitical, and the small number who have been outspokenly conservative have not had it held against them. Even most of the left-wingers have been garden variety liberals, and not hard-boiled Marxists like Springsteen. So why should a few people's Communist beliefs exclude them from being decorated for their artistic achievements?

The answer is in that the center's entire name is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, named after the president who was the Democratic Party's last significant anti-Communist. When it was dedicated, the purpose was that it should serve a dual purpose, as a performing arts center, and a national monument to the former president. It cannot effectively be used to honor both him and some Commie musician simultaneously.

It was President Kennedy, after all, who ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion, butted heads with Khrushchev over the Cuban Missile Crisis, and deployed the first American troops to Vietnam. Regardless of all the deranged oliverstonerry to the contrary, he was ultimately assassinated by lifelong Communist agitator Lee Harvey Oswald, who had actually lived for a few years in the Soviet Union, before returning to America and becoming a fervent supporter of Fidel Castro.

Imagine what the late president must think of an award being given in his name to Redford, for producing a cinematic tribute to Castro's right-hand man, Che Guevara, in The Motorcycle Diaries. Ditto that for Davis, who in 1967 wrote an article for a Communist publication called the New World Review, in which he celebrated the 50th birthday of the Soviet Union. To bestow Kennedy Center Honors on those who share the ideology that murdered JFK makes about as much sense as giving awards to segregationists in the name of Martin Luther King.

Everybody knows that would never happen, because there's no social stigma against recognizing somebody as a racist. By contrast, decades of propaganda from our media and academia have conditioned Americans to assume that it's wrong to call somebody a Communist, especially when it's true. Springsteen could have shown up wearing a Karl Marx beard, and claimed the other honorees' medals on behalf of The Workers, and his hosts would have politely disregarded his behavior, just as they might ignore a dinner guest's using the wrong fork.

There may be more at work here than misplaced manners, though. The Kennedy Center is a bureau within the Smithsonian Institution, which evidently has its anti-American elements. Remember the Smithsonian's Enola Gay exhibit, which characterized the United States as the aggressor in the Second World War. "For most Americans, it was a war of vengeance," it said. "For most Japanese, it was a war to defend their unique culture against Western imperialism."

Considering that precedent, it's a wonder that the Kennedy Center has never gotten around to honoring Michael Moore. Of course, there's always next year.

-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While earning an M.A. in English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the mid-90s, he had weekly opinion and sports columns published in the independent student newspaper. In 1999, he created a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, for which he has written on a wide array of topics, but with a particular emphasis on the need to return to a literal interpretation of the Constitution. He is now a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.



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