To the editor:
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's recent public utterances -- he opined that the United States would have been better if the then-segregationist Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond had won back in 1948 -- put me in mind of Dr. Strangelove's involuntary reflex in times of stress: the spastic raising of his right hand in a salute and the hilarious attempt of his left hand to suppress the right's spasm.
Lott apologized by saying his comments were a "mistake of the head and not of the heart." Judgments that arise from the heart are considered to be reflective of one's sincere feelings or sentiments. Judgments that arise from the mind are deemed to be reflective of practicality, pragmatism or necessity.
When Lott says that his words of praise for Thurmond's 1948 platform -- maintenance of racial segregation was its salient feature -- were a mistake not of the heart, he is saying that in his own heart he believes Thurmond was correct on that issue back then. When he says that they were a mistake of the head, he is saying he does not regret that he holds the sentiment, but rather that he was so impractical as to voice it publicly.
I have long felt that conservatives love their country and hate its people. The more one listens to them, the more it becomes obvious. Every time Lott opens his mouth, he hastens the day when his kind will no longer be in the catbird seat in this country.
D. STERRETT MILLER