Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible on DVD
Besides being vice president of the United States, who was Hubert H. Humphrey? According to the PBS documentary, Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible, he may have been the most influential politician of the twentieth century, and one of the most effective. He was largely responsible for getting civil rights through congress, something he fought for long before he became vice president.
Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible is a warm recollection—a tribute—to Hubert Humphrey that exposes his commitment to peace and human rights. In so exposing these qualities, the film also confirms that LBJ was as big a [fill in the blank] as everyone thought, and Richard Nixon might best be described as a treacherous traitor who sacrificed thousands of American lives to his political ambition.
Archival news footage of the inhuman treatment of civil rights marchers and the infamous goings-on at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago remind us of what a volatile era the sixties were. Watching these films again, after all these years, will still make boomers uncomfortable, no matter where they stood on the sociopolitical divide.
Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible also exposes how evil people who believed in their cause were able to approach America with the most soulless contentions, and recruit followers. It’s a strange experience to watch southern politicians (like Strom Thurmond) stand before crowds of people and news cameras, and declare that the passage of civil rights legislation is an unfair burden, that the south would be crucified on the cross of civil rights. They implied nothing; those who thought that African-Americans were inferior had no qualms about expressing their feelings (or their fear and greed).
I’ve never given much thought to our vice presidents (sorry, Joe) and viewed them as those guys who endorsed and reinforced presidential follies and were sent to semi-important functions and funerals. Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible reveals why someone might feel that way as it sheds light on political secrets (aka “politics as usual”), and shows what happens to someone who doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid.
Also included on the recently released DVD is a 1976 conversation between Bill Moyers and Hubert Humphrey.