A warning was transmitted in 1965 that has remained etched in people’s minds. Unfortunately, more than fifty years later, the warning has become a reality, and it is unsettling to witness.
Paul Harvey was a well-known American news commentator and talk-radio innovator who, with his distinctive staccato style, captured the attention of millions of listeners at the height of his career. His delivery of news stories, characterized by dramatic pauses, peculiar intonations, and his signature lead-ins and sign-offs, made him a recognizable voice on the radio.
Despite his precise reporting, no one could have foreseen that his famous words from several decades ago would turn out to be prophetic and accurately describe today’s reality. Back in 1965, during a broadcast on ABC Radio, the legendary commentator, born as Paul Harvey Aurandt in 1918, seemingly predicted the current situation in the United States.
The speech titled “If I were the Devil” by Paul Harvey, which features a famous line repeated throughout the essay, is widely recognized by most of us. However, while his words hold a certain level of truth, they may not be as prophetic as some people think. Harvey originally wrote the essay in 1964, and the broadcast version aired in 1965. The current version that circulates the internet has been updated by Harvey throughout his life to reflect current events. The oldest authentic version of the speech that has been found so far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964:
A 1996 newspaper version of Paul Harvey’s “If I Were the Devil,” which appears to be what’s heard in the video above, is frequently heard today and wrongly identified as the same work from the 1960s. There are, nevertheless, significant distinctions.
Although it retained the original essay’s theme and structure, the 1996 edition expanded the substance to cover current events at the time. Nonetheless, this version is nearly two decades old and incredibly relevant to what our country is going through right now:
Whether in 1965, 1996, or another rendition, Paul Harvey’s remarks have never been more appropriate. He was an outstanding man with even more insight. But perhaps another Harvey remark better explains how he could seemingly foretell what America would look like today decades ago.
“In times like these, it’s helpful to remember that there have always been times like these,” Paul Harvey said. Whether or not you believe his comments are prophetic, they are certainly powerful, and they represent a warning to our country that we should finally begin to hear. Rather than assuming that we will always have “times like these,” perhaps it is time to right our ship and cast the Devil overboard for good.