Robert Scheer interviews Gore Vidal on his recent tour of Cuba
I’ve been reading the American press for 70 years, is it, now? It seems like longer. And I have never read a story favorable to another country. Oh, yes, the Swedes have better medical care, better education, better day-care centers for working women ... but they’re all alcoholics. And they commit suicide. No, no, no! Yes. And I often ask sometimes when I have a dumb member of the press with me: “What is disturbing to you about Sweden? It bothers you that people aren’t dying of various diseases, they’re not starving to death? That they are looked after with a good education system and so on? Do you think they’re so bored then that we have to just jazz them up with poverty and plagues, the things that make our lives so exciting here at home?”
You can’t get an answer because it is so deep-rooted, it is lumping Protestantism from the very dawn of our country. And instead of dying out as it looked to be doing by 1945 when we all came home from the war, others were fanning it just for political gain, particularly in the South. So the solid South, which had been solid Democratic for a long time, shifted over, and that changed everything, and that may have had something to do with the demonizing of Cuba.