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Al Smith’s candidacy gave bigots and xenophobes a perfect demon. In 1928 the crude impulses that had earlier ignited the rapid growth of the Ku Klux Klan now exploded among those “Pure Americans” who saw themselves as losing their nation to the Irish and the Italians and all the other foreigners crowding the big cities. Rev. Bob Jones made frequent use of a starling call to arms that year: “I would rather see a saloon on every corner than a Catholic in the White House.” If this didn’t make his feelings sufficiently clear, Jones’s alternative option certainly did: he declared that he would prefer “a nigger president” to the Catholic Smith.

Classy. Of historical interest perhaps, there have been exactly the same number of Catholic Presidents in the United States as there have been Black Presidents of the United States.

One Response to “We Are Losing Our Nation To …”

  1. chuck martel says:

    It wasn’t “bigots and xenophobes”, it was the ideological descendents of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans, the same maniacs that followed Cromwell in the “Great Rebellion” of 1642. This conflict produced the division that led to the Revolutionary War of the American colonies, the War of 1812, and the War Between the States. Remarkably, a relatively small number of people gathered around the educational institutions along the Charles River have managed to hoodwink over 300 million souls into believing that they are an intellectual elite qualified to determine the future for the rest of the nation. While the religious tenets of Increase Mather and his fellow Puritans are no longer observed by the general population, their morality and values continue to hold a conspicuous place in American culture that includes an abhorrence of the Roman church. Doesn’t it seem odd that there are daily media reports on the sexual improprieties of Catholic priests but practically never a mention of similar transgressions by Protestant clergymen, an unbelievable statistical anomaly?

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