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The Partisan Side of Quigley



Background: GU Philosophy Department chairman Tom McTighe had been an early supporter of Sen. Eugene McCarthy in his campaign to win in 1968 the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in opposition to the expected effort of then President Lyndon Johnson's to run again.

Many Democrats that year had urged Sen. Robert Kennedy to lead the resisters to anti-Viet Nam war in opposing a Johnson re-nomination, but Kennedy chose to hold back and only McCarthy made the effort.

Then, when McCarthy came very close to beating Johnson in the early New Hampshire primary, Kennedy re-considered and decided to enter the race - taking much of the wind out of the sails of McCarthy's movement.

McTighe wrote an article in The HOYA urging anti-war Dems to stick with McCarthy and said some negative things about Kennedy's last minute decision to run.

Quigley, ever a strong Kennedy family man, responded with this letter:



Thursday, May 2, 1968 THE HOYA

Letters to the Editor...



To the Editor:

   In a democracy every citizen has the right to have and to express his political opinions. It is, however, incumbent upon teachers, and, especially upon those who call themselves philosophers, to practice self-restraint in the exercising of these rights. By that I mean no professor, especially when he is advising students, and above all when he is a philosopher, should allow himself to appear in print when he is in a state of purely emotional reaction on a subject which he is obviously ignorant. Professor McTighe’s article in THE HOYA of 4 April, was written, he says, while he was boiling with anger (for a week!). His personal remarks on Senator Kennedy are both non-philosophical and ignorant. The Senator’s personality is nothing like what Professor McTighe seems to believe. The professor may know nothing about the Senator’s personality. If so, he should recognize that fact and keep quiet on a subject on which he is ignorant. The professor also knows nothing about the Senator’s views on the issues and says, "About all he has come up with are tired generalities and absurd accusations blaming Johnson for all the ills of society.”


   Professor McTighe should be told that no person mentioned today for the presidency has given his views on more issues and in more detail over the past five years that Senator Kennedy. If Professor McTighe ignored these statements, that is his right, but, when he made the decision to ignore them, he should also have made the decision to refrain from public statements on matters on which he had decided to be ignorant. The worthy professor asks, “Has Senator Kennedy anything solid to offer on the agonizing problem of Viet Nam?” I am astonished. Does he not know that the Senator has offered detailed plans on this? As one who has read millions of words on this subject, I am prepared to say that the chapter on Vietnam in Senator Kennedy’s book, To Seek a Newer World, published last year, is the best brief statement (in 30 pages) on what went wrong in that area and what should be done about it. On this and other matters, the Senator’s knowledge of specific detail and his willingness to express frank opinions on his views are matched by few public figures in this country. It is a shame that Professor McTighe has not been paying attention and does not know this.


Carroll Quigley

Professor of History


Scan of original article


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