War, Liberalism, Trust in Government: The Many Casualties of LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Johnson Fifty years ago, on August 10, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed what is known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. It is a day that should live in infamy.

On that day, the President gave himself the power “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed forces,” to fight the spread of communism in Southeast Asia and assist our ally in South Vietnam “in defense of its freedom.”

Or as former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it decades later, it gave “complete authority to the president to take the nation to war.” Continue reading War, Liberalism, Trust in Government: The Many Casualties of LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism

From the July Fourth season through the fall election, the American people will be hearing nothing but uber-patriotic rhetoric coming from their politicians and national leaders.

They will be telling us how America is a great nation and how Americans are a good people, and they will be lathering praise on us as hard-working, self-sacrificing, charitable, fair and just.

I don’t know about you, but all of this cheerleading and backslapping rhetoric strikes me as a bit ingratiating and self-serving. Flattery is not patriotism. Continue reading Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism