“A Texan Looks at Lyndon”, Robert Caro, and the Illegitimacy of Mainstream Intellectualism
While those in the research community are open to many uncomfortable truths behind our country’s hidden history, primarily political assassinations, most mainstream academics and historians patently reject conspiracy in the assassinations of the ’60s, especially the killing of JFK.
However, recently a couple of friends who are respected academics – one a dean at a small liberal arts college and the other a chair at a major private university – read mainstream historian Robert Caro’s series of in-depth biographies of LBJ. They both came away fully believing that LBJ was capable of all of the crimes and murders attributed to him over the years, especially the possible complicity – either explicit or tacit – in the assassination of JFK.
Since 1963, the subjects of my film – researchers of political assassinations – have known all of the facts expressed in mainstream histories of those events, and have included those facts in publication after publication over the years. Regarding LBJ, the 1964 book, A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study in Illegitimate Power, by J. Evetts Haley, revealed every single fact about LBJ that Caro used. But Haley was an average citizen, not a mainstream academic like Caro. Independent researchers like Haley have suffered ridicule and have been pushed to the intellectual margins of American society; that should be unacceptable to each and every one of us.
My larger point should be clear: mainstream academics accept facts of only fellow mainstream academics, and mainstream media only accepts agreed upon facts by other mainstream media sources. We’ve seen this over and over again. Why do we rely on publications like the NY Times, the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal as final arbiters of accepted thought? Why don’t we trust research methods over blind institutional acceptance? I fear that until we consumers of information re-evaluate the sources upon which we rely to interpret our collective history, we are doomed to repeat it.