New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Desert Dichotomy

January 19, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

Will It Be Force … or Discourse?

by Randall Amster

In that fateful supermarket parking lot in Tucson, two drastically different forms of politics were on display, and the contrast couldn’t have been more starkly evident. On the one hand there were ordinary people meeting with their congressional representative, ostensibly to get to know one another and share concerns about important issues. On the other there was an alienated and disturbed individual armed with a deadly weapon, seemingly bent on making a statement of his own while brutally silencing others in the process. The fact that this transpired in beleaguered Arizona, known widely for its invidious policies, lax gun laws, and blunt politics, has served to heighten the contrast and arouse the nation’s conscience in the process. (more…)

Got MLK?

January 15, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Politics, Randall Amster

Remembering King as an Antiwar Icon

by Randall Amster

Martin Luther King, Jr., obviously is recalled as a champion of racial justice and civil rights. Equally fervent, yet less invoked, was King’s focus on economic justice and ending poverty. King understood the multi-layered relationship among these issues, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

Still, despite a peace award, even far less remembered today is King’s deeply-held belief that “war is not the answer” and his outspoken opposition to the conflict in Vietnam. In retrospect, he appears as a sophisticated antiwar crusader, and had been so throughout much of the 1960s. He didn’t come late to the issue, either, after public support for the war eroded and it became safe to stand against it; and as the war escalated so too did his critical rhetoric, often to the consternation of some of his civil rights allies.

Looking back at excerpts from King’s key anti-war speeches, they remain equally relevant today, beginning with his Nobel acceptance speech in December 1964: (more…)