Drum Major for Justice
January 21, 2008 - 1:53pm ET
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Looking for a way to honor Martin Luther King Day? Look no further than PBS. They're airing an outstanding documentary tonight, American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver, the liberal about whom they's talking about when they say "they don't make liberals like they used to."
The Democrats wouldn't have established themselves as the party of civil rights without Sargent Shriver.
There wouldn't have been a Peace Corps without Sargent Shriver.
He orchestrated John F. Kennedy's funeral, and brought the nation together. He captained the War on Poverty, which biographer Scott Stossel says on the show seemed at the time like captaining a "War on Gravity"—how would it be possible to make a dent? Shriver made a dent. The poverty rate was cut by a third in four years. Then he founded Legal Services for the Poor, gutsily deploying the power of the federal government to take on corrupt and bigoted local governments, courageously damning the political consequences.
The Special Olympics, thanks to his wife, were literally founded in his back yard.
Really inspiring stuff. Everyone should know more about him. Watch it tonight on PBS.
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