In 1965, an unforgettable warning was broadcast for all to hear. Over half a century later, it's sadly come true, and it's chilling to hear.
Paul Harvey, a conservative American news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of America's most familiar voices, reached tens of millions of listeners at the peak of his career. His "idiosyncratic delivery of news stories with dramatic pauses, quirky intonations, and many of his standard lead-ins and sign-offs" made him extremely recognizable on the radio.
Although he was very accurate in his reporting, no one could imagine that his famous words from decades ago would be prophetic, describing the reality of today. Indeed, over half a century ago, the legendary ABC Radio commentator, who was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in 1918, seeming predicted how the United States is right now during a broadcast that aired in 1965.
Once most of us hear the famous line that's also the title of the speech and is repeated throughout the essay, we recognize the broadcast almost immediately."If I were the Devil," Paul Harvey famously said in 1965 before discussing issues we are faced with today. However, although Harvey's words have an undeniable truth, they may not be as prophetic as some might believe.
Yes, Paul Harvey originally wrote his famous "If I Were The Devil" essay in 1964. The broadcast of the essay aired in 1965, and it is still popular today. But, the current rendition that often circulates the internet was updated by Harvey to reflect current events throughout his life, which sadly ended in 2009. The oldest genuine Paul Harvey version of this piece we've found thus far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964:
If I Were the Devil
If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.
I'd have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.
So I should set about however necessary, to take over the United States.
I would begin with a campaign of whispers.
With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whispers to you as I whispered to Eve, "Do as you please.”
To the young I would whisper "The Bible is a myth." I would convince them that "man created God,"instead of the other way around. I would confide that "what is bad is good and what is good is square."
In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be "extreme" in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.
And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — "Our father which are in Washington.”
Then I'd get organized.
I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.
I'd threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa.
I'd infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.