Everything old is new again
by Kevin_Foley
 Politics Progressive
January 16, 2014 10:35 AM | 1634 views | 4 4 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I watched a fascinating documentary on the PBS program “American Experience” chronicling the momentous events of 1964.

I turned 11 years old that year but I remember much of what happened like it was yesterday.

As 1964 began, the accidental president, Lyndon Johnson, consoled a nation still grieving over the assassination of the beloved Jack Kennedy; the Beatles arrived in America and made us smile; Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston and then he became Mohammed Ali.

In 1964, white college students from the North descended on Mississippi to register blacks to vote during Freedom Summer and the Ku Klux Klan murdered three of them. The nation was appalled and demanded action.

In 1964, race riots broke out in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood after a policeman shot and killed a black teen. Rejecting Martin Luther King’s call for non-violence, Malcom X began speaking about achieving freedom “by any means necessary,” giving rise to the Black Power movement.

In 1964, LBJ lobbied hard for the Civil Rights Act and won its passage; students in Berkley challenged the University of California administration’s attack on their free speech rights and won, setting the stage for the Cultural Revolution that would follow; LBJ used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to escalate the conflict in Vietnam.

In 1964, the Republican presidential candidate was Barry Goldwater. The Arizona senator was an unapologetic right wing extremist who promised small government and opposed the Civil Rights Act. He also seemed a little too eager to launch a nuke at the Soviet Union.

Listening to Goldwater’s speeches, I closed my eyes and heard 2014 tea partiers.

Goldwater cast every New Deal reform including Social Security as failures (remember, this is only about 30 years after FDR took office) and demanded states be left alone by Washington to conduct their affairs as they saw fit.

Then, as now, Social Security saved millions of elderly Americans from poverty and states like Mississippi couldn’t be trusted to guarantee and protect the rights of all their citizens. It was up to the federal government to step in and do it.

In 1964, Americans rejected Goldwater’s brand of radical conservatism the same way they told Mitt Romney to hit the road 48 years later. LBJ crushed Goldwater in a in a landslide.

It was a remarkable year.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Kevin Foley
January 22, 2014
@ Lib - Yes. As easy as invading Iraq and telling Americans we'll be greeted as liberators and the oil will pay for the war.

BTW, they do have a solution for everything: Tax cuts for the wealthiest.
Lib in Cobb
January 21, 2014
Kevin: The GOP is aware of their problems, they are aware that solutions must be found, a plan of action is needed, but they have done nothing. They wonder why we Progressives continue to question them on their impotence.

For example, I have asked DA King multiple times for a rough guideline involving a solution to the immigration situation. To date, nothing from him or his supporters. I was taught, if you have a complaint, you should have suggestions to improve that problem. The GOP does not like The Dream Act, and they are quick with criticism, their kneejerk solution is mass deportation. Deporting 15 million people should be an easy task, right?
Kevin Foley
January 18, 2014
Lib - The good news for progressives is that the GOP has learned nothing since 1964. The nation has moved forward and will continue to do so, dragging conservatives along kicking and screaming "STOP!".
Lib in Cobb
January 17, 2014
Sounds like the GOP has not developed anything new since Goldwater.

I believe I read where the GOP was re-branding themselves after the Mitt loss in 2012.
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