Politics: 1960 Flashback

I picked up an old McCall’s magazine yesterday out junking with my partner in crime, Lynn W. The date? March 1960. Cosmic, because now its March 2012. I bought it for the fashion layouts which will be very cool reference material for my vintage clothing passion for fashion.

In strolling through the magazine I found a “Busy-Day Lemon Cheesecake” recipe which I am dying to try and if its as good as it looks, it will wind up in my blog as well. On the facing page there is an article called: “Policy on Politics, 1960.”

Some things never change…here it is reproduced for your reading pleasure in its entirety. The parentheses are my own comments.

1. The wife of this house is entitled to work for the party of her choice. But if it doesn’t happen to be her husband’s party, a good hot dinner MUST be on the table when he gets home. (Okay, that part has changed-a lot.)

2. The words “Democrat” and “Republican” are not to be injected into arguments involving other sensitivies. The fact that Mother is on the other side doesn’t mean she can’t spend Easter vacation here.

3. In partisan discussions, the one who shouts first and loudest is not to be the first to say, “Now let’s be civilized about this when the other person finally gets a chance to rebut.

4. The words, “conservative” and “liberal” are permissible. Off limits, “radical”, “reactionary”, “fellow traveler”, “facist”, “egghead”, “stupid.” (Interesting how the selection of insults has changed since then).

5. No child under ten has any right to disccus campaign issues more learnedly than his or her parents. Campaign buttons may be worn in quantities of up to six at a time, provided they do not make holes in clothes. ( I just bought a Johnson-Humphrey button myself, I’m looking backwards.)

6. Dimples in the chin cannot be used as a legitimate political argument. Neither can prowess on the playing field.

7. Upon the acceptance of item #6, the phrases, “just like a woman” and “just like a man” will be eliminated from all discussions.

8. “Inside dope”-unauthenticated slander from such highly placed authorities as taxi drivers, the laundryman, a fellow at the office, and a cousin with friends in Washington-is to be stricken from the record. (does this include Rush Limbaugh and his icky ilk? Talk about inside dopes…)

9. “Let’s play charades”. When guests are present and voices and tensions rise, it is time for both the host and hostess to come to the aid of their own party–and change the subject.

10. Politics should never make estranged bedfellows. If husband and wife are irrevocably opposed, it is wise to suspend all political discussion at a strategic point in the evening. (Still true.)

11. What neighbors think, what the Russians think, what the boss thinks, or even what one’s loved one thinks is not quite so important as finding out-after careful reading, listening, sifting and weighing of facts and issues–what one oneself thinks. Political argument is part and parcel of democracy. But its essence should be light not heat–facts, not prejudices. (Wow. I love that part, it should be light not heat. Well said Editors’s of McCall’s Magazine 1960.)


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