Monday, June 30, 2003

Weekend at Thurmonds:Strom finally gave up the ghost last week, and here in the South everybody noticed. Most people I know either hated him passionately for his past or liked him but were afraid to say it. I'm a big believer that you have to judge people, at least in part, based on where/when they lived. You also have to expect them to help change their world for the better, even if that means giving up old views and traditions. For instance, I don't hold it against Thomas Jefferson that he was a slave owner. I've always been disappointed, though, that he never fought for emanciaption, despite his recognition of its illegitimacy. So I don't hate Strom for his racist past and I was pleased that he changed with the times, however imperfectly. I can understand those that had trouble accepting a politically correct Strom; I'm sure he had trouble accepting the way the world changed around him over 100 years. He wasn't a simple man to understand and I expect his will be a difficult biography to write. It will be difficult to read, too, for many. But I bet there would be lot to learn from it.

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