What world has CBS’s Bob Schieffer been living in all his life? As the moderator of the third debate this was his first question:
Senator, I want to set the stage for this discussion by asking the question that I think hangs over all of our politics today and is probably on the minds of many people watching this debate tonight.
And that is, will our children and grandchildren ever live in a world as safe and secure as the world in which we grew up?
Schieffer was born in 1937. John Kerry was born in 1943. George W. Bush was born in 1946.
Schieffer was born in the midst of the Great Depression. For most of Schieffer’s first decade of life, war raged across North Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers were killed.
When Schieffer was 13, the US and its allies went into Korea. In just about three years, over 44,000 American troops died. Following Korea, the Cold War went into one of its greatest periods of buildup, causing the paranoia and angst that led to movies like Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove. The period of Schieffer’s late teens saw the beginning of the end of legalized discrimination, with decisions like Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and actions like the Montgomery bus boycott.
Has Schieffer really forgotten what happened in this country in the 1960s? There were riots across the country in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, and more. The US and USSR came to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Kennedy was assassinated. The US jumped into Vietnam full-force, where we’d lose nearly 60,000 troops and where more than 150,000 (including John Kerry) would be wounded before the war ended in the 1970s.
By the end of 1970, Schieffer was 33. Schieffer was grown up. Does he truly consider the world of his youth to have been “safe and secure?”