The Stirring 1973 Canadian Radio Commentary: "The Americans"
Thanks to a tip from National Review's "Washington
Bulletin" e-mail report, which provided a link to the text, today's
CyberAlert relays a reprint of Canadian radio broadcaster Gordon
Sinclair's famous 1973 commentary, "The Americans."
Snopes.com, which describes itself as the
"Urban Legends Reference Page," determined the legend of the
"stirring, pro-American" radio commentary was true and provided
both a transcript and four-and-a-half-minute RealAudio version of the
original broadcast. To access both, go to: http://www.snopes2.com/quotes/sinclair.htm
The transcript you'll see in the pink frame
is incomplete and inaccurate, so scroll down the page, past the
interesting "Origins" background information about the
commentary, and click on "Text of Gordon Sinclair's editorial"
for a complete transcript. You'll also see links to the "RealAudio
recording of Gordon Sinclair's 'The Americans'" and to a bio for
him which includes a photo. Sinclair passed away in 1984.
Below is a reprint of that transcript of
Sinclair's "Let's Be Personal" commentary as aired on CFRB-Radio
in Toronto on June 5, 1973. Please note that the ellipses are not gaps in
the text but denote a radio announcing pause. (Snopes.com credited
Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. for the script and audio.) Here it
The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and
British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in
West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian
thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and
possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth.
As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I
read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Who rushed in with men
and money to help? The Americans did.
They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and
the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water
and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a
lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by
the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions
in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its
remaining debts to the United States.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the
Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and
swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States
that hurries into help...Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent
examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened
by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.
The Marshall Plan...the Truman Policy...all pumped billions upon
billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those
countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.
I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the
erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.
Come on...let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a
plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas
10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except
Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider
putting a man or women on the moon?
You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about
German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American
technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several
times...and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans
put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the
draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets,
most of them...unless they are breaking Canadian laws...are getting
American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here.
When the Americans get out of this bind...as they will...who could
blame them if they said 'the hell with the rest of the world.' Let
someone else buy the Israel bonds. Let someone else build or repair
foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down
through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania
Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old
caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the
Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.
Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans
in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San
Our neighbors have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned
tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with
their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose
at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.
I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug,
self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at
its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.
This year's disasters...with the year less than half-over...has taken
it all and nobody...but nobody...has helped.
In the age of Airbus his reference to American
domination of the commercial jet industry is a bit dated, but otherwise
Sinclair's rousing affirmation of the USA's greatness is just as valid
today as it was 28 years ago.
-- Brent Baker
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