Recently published on Foreign Policy magazine’s online blog was an article entitled “When Presidents 'Recreate,' the World Falls Apart.” The article discussed international crises that occurred when U.S. presidents were on vacation. The author, Park MacDougald, focused on four presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
For President Reagan, MacDougald chose the tragedy of KAL Flight 007, when four Soviet fighter jets intercepted and shot down Korean Air Lines flight 007, which was carrying 269 passengers including Representative Larry McDonald of Georgia, over Sakhalin Island, on September 1, 1983. At the time, President Reagan was at his personal California retreat, Rancho del Cielo (Spanish for “Ranch of Heaven”).
In providing a description of the event, MacDougald could not resist letting his political bias be known via a reprehensible sly remark about passenger Larry McDonald. MacDougald writes, “All 269 passengers, including 61 Americans and one U.S. congressman (Larry McDonald, president of the John Birch Society and fan of Rudolf Hess) were killed in the subsequent crash, provoking a series of bitter recriminations between the Soviet Union and the United States.”
Of all the things that could be said about the five-term Georgia congressman, MacDougald choose to highlight a trivial comment, taken out of context, McDonald said during a debate in order to paint the mental illusion of McDonald as a Nazi supporter. MacDougald’s shabby sense of journalism showcases his ignorance of history and the Left’s continued predilection for portraying constitutional conservatives, such as The John Birch Society and its members, as sympathetic to the views of Nazism.
Lawrence Patton McDonald, former chairman of The John Birch Society, was not a fan of Rudolf Hess, the man who served under Adolf Hitler as the deputy führer of Nazi Germany. The younger cousin of distinguished World War II U.S. Army General George S. Patton, Larry McDonald devoted his legislative career to the restoration of the House Committee on Internal Security for the sole purpose of exposing the reemergence of extremist anti-Semitic neo-Nazi groups in the United States in addition to communist, Marxist-Leninist, and Trotskyite subversive groups and individuals.
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