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PARALLEL UNIVERSE: R.I.P. Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick 1926-2006: One of My Heroines

Posted by kinchendavid on December 12, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Hinton, WV   – Let’s pause for a minute to remember a woman the Wall Street Journal says makes outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton look like Little Bo-Peep by comparison, Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick, who died at the age of 80 of congestive heart disease on Dec. 7, 2006.

Jeane Kirkpatrick was still a Democrat – a Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy Democrat – when President Reagan nominated her as the U.S. ambassador to the UN, the first woman to serve in this position. She served from 1981 to 1985 and definitely was no Little Bo-Peep! Jeane Kirkpatrick is one of the people responsible for me rejecting Jimmy Carter in 1980 – I voted for Carter in 1976, to my eternal regret – in favor of Reagan. I never told my mother, who died in 1984, about my Reagan vote. It would have led to an earlier demise! I returned to the fold in 1988, but strayed to third party candidates like Ross Perot and various Libertarians until voting for Kerry-Edwards in 2004.

Why the explanation of one guy’s voting pattern? Because I didn’t leave the Democratic Party – it left me. For the record, I’m still a registered Democrat, with libertarian leanings, rather than neocon ones. I don’t have the faith in the human spirit that true neocons possess. A birthright Democrat from Duncan, OK, Jeane Kirkpatrick finally left the party in 1985, becoming a Republican.

Kirkpatrick was a brainy – she earned a doctorate in political science from Columbia University in 1968 – outspoken, strong figure who inspired many disillusioned Democrats who were dismayed at the hard left turn of their big tent party – including the present writer.

Like many neoconservatives, Kirkpatrick started out as a lefty: As a freshman at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1945 she joined the Young People’s Socialist League of the Socialist Party of America. She was influenced, she wrote, by one of her grandfathers, who was a founder of the populist and socialist parties in Oklahoma. It must have taken guts of steel on the part of the young Oklahoman to join the YPSL in deepest conservative Missouri.

At Columbia University, her principal adviser was Franz Neumann, a revisionist Marxist. In 1967, before earning her Ph.D, she joined the faculty of Georgetown University. She became a full professor of political science in 1973.

Sad to say, the hard left wing of my beloved party is still focused on the “Blame America First” position Kirkpatrick described in the mid-1980s. Her comments about “San Francisco Democrats” at the 1984 GOP Convention ring loud and clear with the upcoming coronation of U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA as Speaker of the House. Baltimore native Pelosi is from San Francisco.

For an appreciation of Kirkpatrick, see this link:


For the Wall Street Journal Editorial, see:


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