The Book of the Week is “Political Woman, The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick” by Peter Collier, published in 2012.
Born in 1926 in Oklahoma, Kirkpatrick and her family moved to Illinois when she was twelve. Although her father had higher hopes for her younger brother and gave him more opportunities in life because he was a boy, she became a career academic– teaching, publishing and lecturing in the area of political science. Although she was a Democrat, she was not amused by president Jimmy Carter’s actions; in fact, she was glad she had not been hired to work in his administration. By 1980, she was leaning Republican.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Kirkpatrick to a high government position– ambassador to the United Nations, beginning in February 1981. She got more attention than otherwise for being female. But for her gender, her name would have faded from the public’s memory by now.
Nevertheless, Kirkpatrick turned around the United States’ standing as a doormat, in the United Nations (UN). Voting blocs of UN members enjoyed ganging up on the United States (U.S.) via resolutions the way high school cliques bully each other. However, there were serious human rights abuses in many Third World countries run by brutal dictators, and oppression as usual in the former Soviet Union.
Of course there was hypocrisy galore. The Arabs launched a campaign to oust Israel as a member, but Kirkpatrick foiled their plot by threatening to withhold U.S. funding from the UN if they did so.
Kirkpatrick clashed with secretary of state Al Haig, who sabotaged her via “… infighting and backbiting and damaging leaks” because he needed complete control of American foreign policy.
Seems there’s nothing new under the sun.
And now, breaking news, this just in, and shocking revelations!
But first, a Presidential Candidate Application Form
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
Please answer the questions below without waffling, and include inconvenient facts. Or else.
How would you best describe yourself?
( ) A long-winded, exaggerating speechmaker
( ) A sexy alpha male with boyish good looks
( ) An egotistical attention whore
( ) A Twitter junkie
( ) Two or more of the above
Do you have any detectable vestige of presidential qualifications, besides your assets, contacts, attorneys and public relations team inherited from your daddy; or besides your assets and contacts resulting from your abuse of elective office?
( ) YES ( ) NO
Would it bother you to be the target of unrelenting hatred?
( ) YES ( ) NO
“I can’t wait to be a patronage pig, nepotist and profiteer as president.”
( ) YES ( ) NO
How many times have you declared business bankruptcy, and how many times have you been disciplined by law enforcement for illegal activities you committed in any public office you’ve held?
Do you hate or love illegal immigrants?
( ) HATE ( ) LOVE
List three ways you would deal with them.
Choose an appropriate nickname for yourself:
( ) Slick
( ) Tricky
( ) Crooked
( ) Sleepy
( ) Racist
( ) Dictator
Choose an appropriate image for yourself:
( ) Religious right-wing libertarian crazy
( ) Obese
( ) Law-and-order, xenophobic, corrupt hypocrite
( ) Little discernible brain activity; hate reading
( ) Socialist, bleeding-heart-liberal, global-warming political hack
( ) Two or more of the above
GOOD LUCK with your propaganda war. Remember, plausible denial and willful ignorance are your friends!
One more hint for winning, especially for the incumbent:
Charisma wins the day, regardless of what you did. It might be recalled that when president Ronald Reagan’s naughty behavior was exposed, his charisma mitigated his culpability. Besides, he got away with the senility defense because he was telling the truth when he testified that he remembered nothing, at the Iran-Contra hearings. Previous presidents who got into trouble remained lucid and sane, to their detriment. Pesky facts got in their way, but their charisma too, mitigated their culpability!
And now, the real SPOILER ALERT.
IN GENERAL, the United States’ current political situation resembles that of the waning months of the Nixon administration. The president has become toxic like Nixon, or else the Republicans wouldn’t be throwing in with the Democrats. The Republicans HATE the Democrats. They should be fighting the Democrats’ alleged tyranny tooth and nail, as usual. Instead, they are keeping all past president-related actions under wraps.
The Republicans know the incumbent can’t be reelected because he can’t win without mudslinging, and there’s way, way too much mud on him.
ALL of the government’s leaders might say they don’t want the current president to engage in any more dirty tricks that could lead to a total dictatorship before a new president comes to power. However, it is becoming apparent that a nationwide lockdown was actually completely unnecessary. The Republicans went along with it only to save face because it kills them to admit that they never liked the president, but they know it’s time for him to go.
The two ways the president has squelched practically all bad publicity in connection with his wrongdoing include: paying people to shut up and go away via nondisclosure agreements; and labeling government documents “classified” because they relate to national security matters and allegedly might reveal state secrets if publicized. The president might not resign, but his reign will end sooner than he would like.
Now, back to the regularly scheduled Book of the Week.
In later years, fans of Kirkpatrick tried to draft her to run for office, as she favored the Equal Rights Amendment, was pro-choice and was strongly pro-Israel. She became wealthy from speaking and writing, although her 1990’s writings contradicted her previous UN attitude.
Kirkpatrick, pursuant to her neoconservative ideology, was worried that America would be “… drawn into ever more ‘expansive, expensive’ global projects, along with fear left over from the 1970’s, [– as] rushing to impose utopian values on the world usually wound up adversely affecting America’s interests.”
She harshly criticized president Bill Clinton for his attempts to help achieve peace in the world’s hotspots through working with the UN rather than sending in American troops and aid the way Reagan did– and she approved of everything Reagan did.
Read the book to learn of Kirkpatrick’s views and actions in connection with her loyally following Reagan’s policies in Central America, the USSR and Grenada; and her flip-flopping on her hawkishness in the Clinton era, the period just after 9/11, and long after.