When did we quit talking, or even thinking, about peace?
Published 11:49 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015
It took a parody Twitter account to shake me by the shoulders, slap me across the face and bring my attention to something we’ve all been missing. A week ago, Dick Nixon, an ongoing act of performance art worth a follow if you’re into that sort of thing, tweeted a word that has fallen out of our lexicon almost entirely.
Obviously there’s an irony to that word even being uttered by a parody account of a dead president Hunter Thompson once described as a kind of evil only someone who believes in the physical reality of the Devil could understand. Nixon was not a peaceful person, and his presidency was not peaceful, either.
But it was a word the real Nixon unironically used often, either when promising “peace with honor” in our withdrawal from Vietnam, or in his last memoir, “Beyond Peace.”
Peace then was something people wanted.
His predecessor, Lyndon Johnson wasn’t afraid to speak of peace, either, even in his infamous attack ad against Goldwater, who he portrayed as a dangerous soul who might lead us into nuclear combat.
In the ad, the little blond girl counts the petals of a daisy before being obliterated by a nuclear fireball.
“These are the stakes,” Johnson says in the voiceover. “To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.”
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