Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A Watershed Event 

Could the 2004 presidential election be a final exorcism of Vietnam pathologies and the romanticism of Sixties style activism from American popular culture?

At first blush, it might appear as though the Bush presidency and the invasion of Iraq served as a catalyst for the opposite outcome, awakening long sedated 60's activists and providing them the call to action they have been waiting for all these years. Their awakening has manifested itself not only in peace marches and other physical acts of protest, but in an outpouring of leftwing commentary not seen since the early 70's (John Ashcroft's "shredding of the constitution" notwithstanding), and the early success of Howard Dean's anti-war candidacy. Slowly building over the past two years, it will all come a head in New York next week, with uncertain consequences. Will new generations of Americans be inspired or disgusted by what they see?

A related issue is well discussed over at Belmont Club today, focusing on the Democratic party's attempt to present itself, via the Kerry nomination, as serious and capable of waging war, when it is in fact the case that the party wants nothing to do with war.

John Kerry's troubles have largely been forced on him by the Democratic
Party platform. He has been given the unenviable task of presenting it as the
War Party when in fact it is not, nor does it want to be. The Democrats could
have chosen to become a real anti-war party, in which case it would have
nominated Howard Dean or it could have elected to become a genuine war party and
chosen Joseph Lieberman. Instead it chose to become the worst of all
combinations, an anti-war party masquerading as the war party.

If any proof were needed that the Sixties were dead, the subterfuge of the
Democratic Party would be Exhibit A. Instead of running under their own colors,
or barring that, changing them, they have decided to sail beneath a false flag,
as if under a cloud of shame. That in itself is tacit admission that they can no
longer walk in their own guise; and what is worse that they cannot look
themselves in the face, nor go into battle daring to win nor willing to lose in
their own name, as is the mark of men.

The point is well made, but will the ghosts of the Sixties die with a Kerry defeat, or will it take a Kerry victory and a lifting of the Democratic veil to finally drive stakes through their hearts?


By Blogger Thomas, at Tue Aug 24, 04:39:00 PM:

Great site, you've been added to my blogroll.  

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