Emerson uses several words that are not in common use today.
A the time of his death on August 2,Roy Cohn was 59 and a generation had come to adulthood knowing of no senator named Joe McCarthy. But people born in the s or earlier remember Cohn and his master performing on television.
But exactly what was the subversive menace that Cohn investigated? Today the United States, alone among the major democracies, has no Communists, no socialists, no anarchists, no left-wing political groups except in microscopic numbers.
The purging of American society in which Roy Cohn took such a conspicuous part in the early s may seem like a gratuitously malevolent lunacy. Both were sometimes public, sometimes clandestine organizations ideologically connected to a foreign power.
The fact that these smart, tough men and women often did not identify themselves as Communists gave non-Communists a permanent case of the jitters. Citizens were taken before commissions, subcommittees, grand juries, courts and other instruments of inquiry. They were asked, by Roy Cohn and others, that terrible question: He hosted parties in Washington; he was a lawyer with famous friends and rich, rich clients.
He was a figure very tough and in on things, a champion of the underdog, though definitely running with the overdog pack. He nested on the nighttime radio call-in shows; he spread his wings over Koppel on Nightline. He appeared to be able to avoid all taxes and all penalties, maybe because he was connected, or on the A list, or known to the headwaiters and hostesses of New York.
But just as his Communist foes hid their secret beliefs, Roy Cohn hid his private life as a homosexual. When AIDS killed him in the bloom of the Reagan years, the public discourse had turned to family values and Americanism.
The triumph of patriotic kitsch must have pleased Cohn, for he himself reveled in little flag-waving displays. A friend recalled going home early one summer evening, and, on inquiring the next morning about the rest of the night, being told, "We all stood around the piano.
I was living down in Texas, reading about the McCarthy era and was appalled, since I was a very liberal kid, raised in a liberal tradition, and I thought he was just the devil incarnate.
But after I came to New York and was a little more cynical myself I got a big kick out of watching him operate here. This New York was really his dominion.
Provincetown was readying itself for another night of dancing and partying, for this was the last holiday of the season. He was 20 years younger than Roy, but misfortune had come to Russell first. At one time or another Russell had done everything for Roy but get into bed with him.
Gay people, straight people cottoned to Russell. Years ago he was supposed to have been wicked, the mean kind of man hustler. The cottage was jammed with holiday people.
It was a small place: Upstairs Peter Fraser and Roy shared the big bedroom, Sue and Russell were in the small one, and downstairs more casual friends came and went.Notes: 1 PWA - person with AIDS..
2 There has been one state that has passed an exception to this rule. In July of , then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a bill sponsored by HIV-positive State Representative Larry McKeon allowing HIV-positive people to will their organs to others infected with HIV.
THE CAMPAIGN AIDS Protester Provokes Clinton's Anger The New York Times Late Edition By ROBIN TONER 27 March Gov. Bill Clinton, impassioned and angry and hoarse, defended his political character and his record on AIDS yesterday in an emotional exchange with an AIDS protester at a midtown supper club.
This is the full text of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, ashio-midori.comn uses several words that are not in common use today.
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