Saturday, January 3, 2015

The alliterative man: repost

The quote in my header above belongs to the 39th Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew.  During the socially chaotic 1960s Agnew served in the administration of President Richard Nixon.  He was a Republican and the touted head of what became known as the 'Silent Majority'.  He was at continual logger-heads with the press and the student movement agitating against the Vietnam War.  Aside from becoming quite a popular politician before resigning in 1973 for bribery, tax fraud, conspiracy and extortion, he was also a colourful speaker.  He had two speech writers, and although he is remembered for his stunning alliterations, he was often not the author of some of the best zingers.  William Safire and Pat Buchanan penned such masterstrokes as 'nattering nabobs of negativism', 'hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history' and 'pusillanimous pussyfooters'.  I heard the 'impudent snobs' line as a young man and instantly fell in love with its absolute ridiculousness.  If you want to hear the man himself, please listen to him here (Spiro) as he rails against the youth movement and damns them for the perspicacity to provocate his vice-presidency :)

Agnew with former president Johnson at Cape Canaveral observing the lift-off of Apollo 11

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