Forever 1968

The social and political forces unleashed that year are acting on us still.

My two literate and thoughtful sons complain that I’m always invoking the sixties to explain today’s pathologies. I hope they now see that events have caught up with the argument. The headlines in the New York Times on the morning after the first evening of the GOP convention exclaimed, IN TRUMP’S VOICE, IT’S A NEW NEW NIXON. The “News Analysis” piece quoted Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort explaining that Nixon’s 1968 acceptance speech “is pretty much on line [sic] with a lot of the issues that are going on today.” Imitating Nixon, Trump has billed himself as “the law and order candidate” who represents “the silent majority.” But Monday night’s WWF-style introduction of the candidate had a campiness that would have made Nixon cringe.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Way back when I was in college, I studied a great history book, “The Strange Death of Liberal England,” an account of events on the eve of the Great War that doomed the Liberal Party and led to the rise of Labour. There is a very similar parallel as to what happened in the 1960s that transformed the Democratic Party of FDR and JFK into the party of Carter and the Clintons. The history of this strange death of classic liberalism has yet to be written. At this point, I am too old and lack the time and research patience to do the job, but whoever would do so will perform a lasting service to our country.

    • xavier

      What’s your hunch? To me it was the parents’ silence of the horrors and privations they endured. In Europe, the continental victors didn’t clean house enough against the collaborators and quislings of both fascists and communists and that led the kids to conclude all were lies and would make the world better