Mississippi Mud

General Douglas MacArthur did not come out for Senator Taft in his Mississippi speech last Saturday, although such an endorsement was both needed and expected by the Ohio Republican. Instead, the General chose to deliver a thirty-seven minute cry of doom and denunciation that reached a new level of bitter political partisanship and may herald an independent bid for office.

The theme in this particular oration was that the Administration is leading America toward the Communist state as if Stalin & Co. were planning the moves. Playing tunefully on the chords of taxation, spending, human liberty, and sharing the wealth, General MacArthur bewailed how well the "blueprints of Marx and Lenin" were being implemented here. He turned the flail of generalization on foreign policy with the powerful, if inaccurate, charges that our foreign aid has not gained any converts and that we are leaving our boys in Korea to die while the enemy goes unpunished. The wildness and lack of documentation in these accusations lends them a boomerang effect, but they certainly indicate a willingness on MacArthur's part to give political battle. And significantly, he also committed himself on the heated issues of civil rights ("purely local social problem") and tidelands oil rights (which should go to the states).

If MacArthur has decided to start pushing his own bandwagon, his choice of propellents is regrettable. For while the bitterness and partisanship of his orations have increased ever since The Return, his support has been dropping. As the speeches become more hysterical, the General's stature decreases in proportion.