By any standard, Kate Smith makes an unlikely villain. She was a talented woman who parlayed her gifts into a successful career as an entertainer, and her former neighbors fondly remember her kindness and generosity. In May of 1945, in reaction to what the world had just experienced of evil, she observed:
“We read in the papers every day about conferences on the best way to keep the peace. Well, I’m not an expert on foreign affairs – and I don’t pretend to know all the complex things that will have to be done for a lasting peace. But I am a human being – and I do know something about people. I know that our statesmen – our armies of occupation – our military strategists – may all fail if the peoples of the world don’t learn to understand and tolerate each other.
Race hatreds – social prejudices – religious bigotry – they are the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace. Unless they are exterminated it’s inevitable that we will have another war. And where are they going to be exterminated? At a conference table in Geneva? Not by a long shot. In your own city – your church – your children’s school – perhaps in your own home.
You and I must do it – every father and mother in the world, every teacher, everyone who can rightfully call himself a human being. Yes, it seems to me that the one thing the peoples of the world have got to learn if we are ever to have a lasting peace, is – tolerance. Of what use will it be if the lights go on again all over the world – if they don’t go on … in our hearts.”
In contrast to Joe Biden, the other dusty relic thrust this week into our reluctant consciousness, there is no evidence that Kate Smith ever tried to exploit anger and resentment for her own benefit. Nor has anyone accused her, like Biden and the equally insufferable John Kerry, of exploiting high status to feather her own nest. Unlike Biden and Kerry, Kate Smith never took a formal oath to serve the public interest and defend the Constitution of the United States. She never needed to. She was a patriot, and in her own way, as John F. Kennedy said of Winston Churchill, she “mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” Like the British Prime Minister, “the incandescent quality” of her voice “illuminated the courage” of her countrymen. Moreover, Kate Smith never failed Americans, never created nor perpetrated anyone’s misery, never threatened liberty here or abroad, and never wasted potential or opportunity as did the malignant policies and patent lies Biden espoused in the service of the destructive presidency of Barack Obama.
I imagine that it will be hard to find a Baby Boomer who can honestly say they were a fan of Kate Smith growing up. Her presence and the timbre of her big, uncomplicated voice definitely spoke to an era we were leaving behind. They were then going the same way as the little houses and the optimistic nation that nourished us and, even from this distance, retain their ability to warm our hearts in memory.
We now live in different times, and the ways of the past have become the crimes of the present. Kate Smith cannot be forgiven for what I can’t help suspect is her real offense in today’s eyes: sincerely invoking the blessings of The Almighty on the country and people that she, and our elders, loved. I suppose those of us for whom it matters can take grim comfort in the fact that Joe Biden, too, has not been pardoned. Anita Hill, a certified martyr and Oracle of Wokeness, has reviewed Joe Biden’s cheap, pro-forma appeal of past sins and denied it decisively. Both now await the broader judgment of history, and my money is on Kate Smith.
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