Here’s what we wrote on this day back in 2004, with only the links updated to ensure (hopefully) that they still work:
TODAY IS MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: Dwight R. Lee of Tech Central Station looks at “MLK, the Marketplace, and a Legacy of Freedom” and concludes, “We may disagree on some of the legislative and policy details that have evolved from the civil rights movement, but we should all agree that King’s legacy both enhances and is enhanced by the tremendous benefits we all realize from freedom and markets.”
And Paul Greenberg writes, “You can tell a lot about an age by the heroes it chooses. While the Malcolms and Farrakhans come and go in favor, Martin Luther King Jr. remains a light. That is a hopeful sign.”
It’s difficult to imagine such an article appearing in a liberal newspaper during Reagan’s presidency. It’s also hard to imagine a conservative celebrating Dr. King during his lifetime. But in America, political passions have a way of fading with time. Like Lincoln, both Reagan and Dr. King now belong to the ages (Reagan is still alive, but his mind is ravaged by Alzheimer’s, and he has been out of the public eye for nearly a decade). The principle of racial equality is no longer controversial, and even most liberals admire Ronald Reagan, whether or not they agree with his policies.That ought to put today’s political wars in some perspective. On Dr. King’s birthday President Bush visited Atlanta and laid a wreath at his tomb. Shockingly, some 400 people protested, as if there were something wrong with an American president paying tribute to an American hero….Perhaps in another generation, when the Angry Left has cooled down, the New York Times will carry an op-ed piece exploring the philosophical kinship between Martin Luther King and George W. Bush. Just remember, you heard it here first.
I won’t hold my breath, but yes, it is entirely possible. And that alone is progress, I suppose.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Pejman Yousefzadeh quips, “I’d like to report that The New York Times editorial page has been hijacked. Because, quite frankly, that is the only way to explain the appearance of this piece.