John Wayne’s America

Michelle Bachmann in Iowa yesterday said she wanted to live in “John Wayne’s America.” 

I guess what she means is that she wants to live in a way that follows the actor, who was a well known bigot, serial adulterer, and war evader.

This country is going to hell faster than ever when a supposedly educated member of Congress lives in nothing but a fantasy land – with perhaps a majority of her fellow citizens.

Various tidbits about the puke, uh, Duke, below

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In an interview with Playboy magazine published on May 1, 1971, Wayne made several controversial remarks about race and class in the United States. The interview became a hot topic and many stores had trouble keeping the issue in stock.[44] He noted that, as someone living in the 20th century, he was not responsible for the way people who lived one hundred years before him had treated Native Americans, stating:

I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that’s what you’re asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves…. Look, I’m sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in our country can’t be blamed on us today. I’m quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation… seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave…. What happened between their forefathers and our forefathers is so far back — right, wrong or indifferent — that I don’t see why we owe them anything. I don’t know why the government should give them something that it wouldn’t give me.[45][46]

Wayne responded to questions about whether social programs like Medicare and Social Security were good for the country:

I know all about that. In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself — but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man’s responsibilities, he finds that it can’t work out that way — that some people just won’t carry their load…. I believe in welfare — a welfare work program. I don’t think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I’d like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can’t understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim.

In the interview he previously had discussed race relations, including his response to Angela Davis’s assertion that her removal from a position as an assistant professor in the UCLA philosophy department on the grounds that she was an active member the Communist party was actually because she was black:

With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.[47][48]

When asked how blacks could address their perceived lack of leadership experience and the inequities of the past, Wayne replied:

It’s not my judgment. The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven’t passed the tests and don’t have the requisite background…. By going to school. I don’t know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I’ve been. Even if they don’t have the proper credentials for college, there are courses to help them become eligible. But if they aren’t academically ready for that step, I don’t think they should be allowed in. Otherwise, the academic society is brought down to the lowest common denominator…. What good would it do to register anybody in a class of higher algebra or calculus if they haven’t learned to count? There has to be a standard. I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I’m not condoning slavery. It’s just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can’t play football with the rest of us. I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man. I wish they’d tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.[44]

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By many accounts, Wayne’s failure to serve in the military during World War II was the most painful experience of his life.[42

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice.  Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich that lasted for three years.[51] In the years prior to his death, Wayne was romantically involved with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995).[14] She wrote a biography of her life with him, DUKE: A Love Story(1983).

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