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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Was the US Ever Truly Democratic? Jesse Owens and Hitler
Created by John Eipper on 07/02/18 4:18 AM

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Was the US Ever Truly Democratic? Jesse Owens and Hitler (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 07/02/18 4:18 am)

Lately several WAISers have shed tears on the condition of democracy in the US.

But in the US has there ever been a real democracy?

I lived for several years in Mount Prospect (Illinois), a wonderful place, where for sure it was possible to breathe democracy and well-being, but...

For a long time democracy in the US was almost like the democracy of South Africa and Israel, where there was/is democracy but only for a portion of the citizens.

Just remember the great Jesse Owens who in his biography (The story of Jesse Owens, 1970) wrote that in spite of the usual fake news he was well treated by Hitler but not by President Roosevelt.

Jesse remained a friend of his German adversary Luz Long, who suggested to him how to win. After the war Owens went to visit his family in Germany. Luz Long died in Sicily in the Massacre of Biscari, 10-14 July 1943, ordered by the war criminal US captain John Compton.

The German newsman Siegfried Mischner mentioned a handshake between Hitler and Jesse in a back room of the Olympiastadium. It is said that Jesse had a photo of this event, but no one wanted to publish it.

After 1964 we could say that there is democracy in US domestic politics but if a nation wants to be a real democracy, it should be democratic in domestic politics and foreign policy.

For sure, an imperial policy is generally not democratic. Just remember the policy promulgated by Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Yes, but he's our bastard." Such a policy has been continued up to the present.

JE comments:  Some sources say that Harry S Truman, not FDR, came up with the "our bastard" quote, in reference to Nicaraguan potentate Anastasio Somoza.  My guess is it's apocryphal, but like most invented quotes, it "needed" to be said.

Did anyone see the 2016 film Race, about Owens?  One of the subplots is the friendship between Owens and Long.

A final question:  at what point in history was the US the most democratic?  I'm going to mull this one over but in the meantime, send your thoughts.


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