Posted: 11 Jul 2010 09:56 PM PDT
Chairman's Message, July 11, 2010
American Hero Joins the A3P Effort
When I was a child growing up in the 1950s, I had two heroes. One was the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. I remember wearing a T-shirt with his image on it. Regarding my other hero, I remember eating many breakfasts with his face and physique on the Wheaties cereal box in front of me. I also remember watching his motivational films at school. This hero was Bob Richards, the world's only two-time gold medalist in the pole vault. (He won Olympic gold medals in Helsinki in 1952 and in Melbourne in 1956. He won the Olympic bronze medal in London in 1948. He also won gold medals at the Pan Am Games in Buenos Aries in 1951 and in Mexico City in 1955. In addition, he was an Olympic decathlete.) In the 1950s he was among America's most prominent sports figures and for fifteen or twenty years he was America's number one motivational speaker. Forty million school children and adults watched his motivational films and countless others listened to his 15,000 public speeches.
Bob Richards has joined our cause. This is how it happened.
Approximately two months, I sent Bob Richard a letter (excerpted below):
Dear Rev. Richards,
Please give serious consideration to this request; your opinion is so important. I really want to hear from a man who has accomplished so much in his life and has lived by such high standards. Your views are so important. I want to record them for posterity.
William D. Johnson
Mr. Richards read the letter, called me on the telephone and spoke with me for forty-five minutes. At the start of our conversation he said that he has stopped making speeches. Then at the end, he said that our cause is so important, he would meet with me to discuss what can be done. Yesterday morning met him at his home in Texas.
When I arrived in Texas, I called him from my hotel ( the evening before our meeting) to inquire when I should come by. He said "I am up by 6:00 a.m. feeding the horses so you can come anytime. " I said "how about 6:30 a.m. then?" Bob said: "That's kind of early." "Okay", I said, "how about 7:30?" "That's still kind of early, but okay" he said.
I arrived at his gate at promptly 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning and called his cell phone. He answered and said he would come out to guide me. I waited about ten minutes and then he came by with a Range Rover and motioned for me to follow him. We went through his gate. His driveway seemed to go on forever. We passed by lawns, pastures, big earth moving equipment and a lake. A herd of about 10 horses (including foals and colts) meandered across our path; another herd of about 8 horses did the same thing further on. A flock of wild turkeys raced past us. We finally reached his home.
Out of the Range Rover hopped a spry, well-built (buff really) man in his eighties, dressed in safari tan. We shook hands and I said "I've never seen a mile-long front yard before". Bob replied, "actually, it's two miles long." His Texas ranch is thousands and thousands of lush, green acres.
He took me into his home for coffee and serious discussion. He introduced me to his wife who was still in her housecoat. He then went off for coffee. I shook Mrs. Richards' hand and said I was sorry for coming so early. She said "it is early." (Later my wife told me, never go visit someone at 7:30 in the morning). At that moment, even the impatient man that I am felt I started out on the wrong foot by intruding at such an early hour. I said to Mrs. Richards: "I have horses too and alpacas." She called out to her husband: "He's alright Bob. He's an animal lover too." (Mrs. Richards raises horses as a business and one of her show horses has won 11 national championships)
Bob and I sat down for the most enjoyable three hour chat I have ever had. It is obvious why he was so popular as a motivational speaker. He was absolutely captivating. I can't detail much of our exhaustive discussion, so I will just hit a few of the highlights.
At the outset, he said that he was reading biographies of Eisenhower and Kipling and Plato's Republic. I said "what a coincidence. Every week in church for the last month, I have been slipping a copy of Plato's Republic into my hymnal and reading it during the sermon." He laughed and said, "well you know how it ends don't you?" I said, "something about philosopher kings". He said, "Plato stressed that societies are doomed to failure unless their leaders are philosophers who care about their people rather than kings who only care about themselves."
We went on to lament the current condition of America and Western Civilization. He outlined some of his ideas regarding eliminating the Federal Reserve and taxes and bringing our boys home from war. He lamented the about the predatory practices of Wall Street, bankers and big business. He expounded upon the Hegelian and Spencerian concepts of society (which went over my head). We talked a lot about Ron Paul and how he is right in that we need a peaceful Revolution (with Love in it).
Mrs. Richards would come in and out of our sitting room and participate in our conversations for a while and then leave it to take care of her affairs. I wasn't sure of her views on some of the more controversial A3P positions (or Bob's views really), so I waited until she was out of the room for me to broach the topic of race relations in America. When Mrs. Richards came back in, Bob said: "Guess what honey? Their political party is pro-white." She said "That's great. We need this. White America and the Western World is in perilous times." Bob interjected: "You know, when the British Empire was near collapse, parliament called in their poet laureate to recite a poem and it was the greatest poem ever written. Do you know what it was?" I racked my brain and recalled that he said he was reading a biography of Kipling, so I said: "Lest we Forget–lest we forget". Bob said "that's right". He then stood up and recited in a booming voice all of it from memory. I quote only a portion of it here:
God of our fathers, known of old–
If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Mrs. Richards then asked me: "What are the beliefs of the American Third Position". Bob did not let me answer. He interjected: "They are exactly the same as ours."
Bob said several times: "What is the key? What is the key to save America and Western Civilization?" I remarked as follows:
"I have been reading Ralph Waldo Emerson lately and he expounded on the attributes of Napoleon. Emerson said an extraordinarily driven man like Napoleon comes along only once in a very long while—one who has a unique attribute that enables him to change the world. And do you know what the unique attribute is—according to Emerson?"
Bob said: "No. What is it?".
I said: It is the very same attribute that was attributed to George Washington and it is an attribute totally alien to us today. It really shocked me when Emerson said it was the single most important attribute that allowed Napoleon to change the world—and Washington to change it too.
Bob said: "What is it?"
I said: "Emerson attributed Napoleon's success to his ability to ride a horse for 16 hours a day for weeks on end, meeting and marshalling his supporters and troops. And this is the same attribute Washington had. He was the best horseback rider of his generation."
Mrs. Richards beamed.
I continued: "Why was horseback riding the key to their changing the world? It is that horseback riding was the mass communication of the 1700s. The only way to communicate face-to-face with the masses was to ride a horse from dawn to dusk for weeks on end. Napoleon did it; Washington did it and they changed the world. And you know what the mass communication was for the 1800s and early 1900s before electronic broadcasting? It was the man whose voice could carry in a room of 3000 people or from the back of a train in the open air to the throngs. That is why William Jennings Bryan controlled the Democratic Party for 30 years. His was a voice that everyone could hear in any room or in any throng.
"The mass communication for today is the internet. We must harness it like the horse of the 1700s. "
Bob Richards and I talked long and hard for two more hours on various subjects, with Bob singing two songs in a wonderful, clear baritone voice. He spoke at length about Emerson. I brought up the name first, but Bob had studied him for 60 years.
In the end, this is what we decided to do:
One drawback is that Bob Richards knows the heavy hitters but he does not have regular contact with them so it will really be a cold call on his part. He said that he will do his best to line them up to speak. We must find the contact numbers for them.
I asked Bob if I could summarize what we have decided to do in my Chairman's message. Bob said that we will be attacked no matter what, so we might as well be up front about it and tell everyone now.
Finally, I said to Bob: "This is a big task. It will take time. What time frame should we shoot for? How about holding the forum in six months?"
Bob said: "Heck. Our country is dying. Six months is way too long. Let's do it right away."
There is one gracious gesture at the end that I must relate. As I was saying farewell to this great man in his driveway, I saw a golf cart come up from the distance. It was Mrs. Richards. She said: "I was feeding the horses with my son and I saw that you were leaving, so I had to break away to catch you to say goodbye and to thank you for coming." What a gracious lady.
This is a big project. We will need all of your help. Those that can help, email me at chairman@american3p
Dalton's Holocaust Radio Debate on April 24, 2010:
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Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton