Recently Talking Points Memo posted a 1960s coloring book sent in by a reader, who found it among her grandmother’s things. The coloring book, New Frontier, mocks John F. Kennedy and a number of his policies.
What’s fascinating is how closely some of the arguments in it match rhetoric in the presidential debate today. There’s concern that the President’s programs — in this case, Medicare — will negatively affect the quality of medical care, inserting the federal government between patients and doctors:
And an association with Harvard advisors was worthy of scorn then, too:
Another accuses Kennedy of attacking business at the expense of dealing competently with external national security threats:
It’s an interesting reminder that many of the attacks we see against President Obama today aren’t new; there’s the newest round in an ongoing struggle about social policies and political priorities.
pduggie — May 23, 2012
woah, and I thought all the criticism was racism.
Well, at least the coloring book didn't put Kennedy in a bowler hat and vest
MPS17 — May 23, 2012
It's interesting to see -- so stark in the second photo -- the tension between academia and business. I think there is a lot of plain old status rivalry in this: businesspeople have the status currency of money, academics have the status currency of intellect, and they compete for social status by denigrating each other's asset: academic culture frowns upon greed and material excess and looks down on businesspeople as relatively ignorant, business culture frowns of esotericism and "eggheadedness" and looks down on academics as out of touch with the real world and lacking "street smarts" or "initiative" and so on. Actual debate are held at a higher level, using evidently reasoned arguments, but at least at times those reasons are post-hoc rationalizations of attitudes stemming from the underlying status rivalry. Anyway it's around today but I did not know it was around back then too.
John Hensley — May 23, 2012
As with the COINTELPRO Black Panther coloring book, the last thing on the propagandists' minds seems to have been making these pages colorable or reaching children with a political message in any way. Instead you have images for adults in a particular nostalgic style.
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