Richard Nixon Foundation: Pat Buchanan- 1968: The Year The Silent Majority Was Born

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I believe you have to understand the 1960s and 1967-68 especially to understand the great political comeback of Richard Nixon and the rebirth of the Republican Party. Once you know what this time was and what it was about and how it benefited Richard Nixon you’ll also understand how brilliant of a politician and political strategist that Nixon really was. Nixon is in the same class as Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt, when it comes to great politicians in American history. Perhaps smarter than all of then including FDR and Bill Clinton.

Where I agree with Pat Buchanan is that in 1967-68 America did feel like it was falling apart. The whole country seemed like it was pissed off. Riots and protests all across the country. Dr. King’s nonviolent civil rights movement seemed to be going out of style even within the African-American community with the rise of the militant socialist Black Panthers. Millions of Baby Boomers of all races and ethnicities coming of age in the 1960s and seeing an America they didn’t want and stood up to demand change across the country. People who tended to agree with Dr. King on the issues that his movement was addressing, but were primarily campaigning against the Vietnam War and what they saw was a self and racist American capitalist economic system.

By the time we get to 1968 the late 1950s is only ten years before 68 and yet America was and looked completely different as a country and not just because of color TV, but the music was not recognizable from the 1950s, the movies and the language and culture in the movies was completely different. Protesting and especially rioting in the streets and doing it in big cities like Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, just wasn’t done in 1957 or at any point in the 1950s for the very most part. But you also didn’t have a huge generation of angry Americans ( the Baby Boom Generation ) who were angry and wanted a different country and different system.

And during this whole period in the 1960s you had one political party in charge in America and in most of the country. Similar to what we have today but with large majorities in Congress. A Senate with 64 Democrats in 67-68, 243 or Democrats in the House, a Progressive Democrat as President in Lyndon Johnson. But with the angry Baby Boomers of all racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds and the angry African-American community for good reasons, you also had the parents and grandparents of the Baby Boomers who were also angry, but they weren’t angry at America. Just the leadership and party in power, as well as the new Counter Culture that seemed to be taking over America.

What we would call Reagan Democrats in the 1980s and today, were Nixon Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s. Southern and Midwestern Democrats who voted Democratic most of their lives until 1966, 67, and 68 came around when they were looking for different political leadership. Back in 1968 the Republican Party even with their big gains during the 1966 Congressional midterms when they won 45 seats in the House and 4 in the Senate, was still primarily a Northeastern party, with some support in the Midwest and conservative-libertarian West.

And to get to why Richard Nixon was such a brilliant not just politician but political strategist which is just as important. Nixon understood that for the Republican Party to come back they were going to have to make gains in the Democratic Dixie South, while holding their ground in the Northeast, Midwest, and Mountain West. They were going to have to win over right-wing Southern Dixiecrats who opposed the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

It started in 1966 with Congressional Republicans winning back over 40 seats in the House and a lot of them in the South and winning back 4 seats in the Senate allowing Congressional Republicans along with Dixiecrat Democrats, to block partisan progressive legislation that was proposed by President Johnson and the Congressional Democratic Leadership. And in 1968 thanks to the Vietnam War and the socialist New-Left that emerged in the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party was a huge house that was hugely divided and their grand political coalition that kept them in power since the Hoover Administration in the late 1920s when they won Congress back finally broke.

With Richard Nixon again being the great politician and political strategist that he was being there to take advantage of that. Richard Nixon is a big reason why the Republican Party is southern and rural based in America. He’s also a reason why Republicans struggle to win in big cities and big metro areas, because they’re base is so dependent on right-wing Fat-Right in many cases Southern Anglo-Saxon Protestant aging men. But pre-1966 the Republican Party simply wasn’t big enough to compete nationally with the Democrats and Richard Nixon changed that.

Richard Nixon Foundation: Pat Buchanan- 1968: The Year The Silent Majority Was Born

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The Atlantic: Opinion- David Frum: Conservatives Must Save The Republican Party From Itself

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Source: The Atlantic

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I agree with David Frum’s video here but I would put it differently. American politics works best at least in the past and perhaps now we would be better off with 4 party system instead of a two-party system, but back in the day American politics was at it’s best when you had two strong political parties.

A Center-Left Democratic Party that believed in both private enterprise and even property rights, with a commonsense regulatory state and a safety net for people who truly needed it. As well as civil liberties, personal autonomy, personal freedom, civil and equal rights.

And a Center-Right Republican Party was a strong fiscally conservative party that believed in fiscal responsibility, as well as a private market that was pretty much unfettered other than some environmental and safety regulations. But that also believed in a level of personal autonomy and even personal freedom.

The Center-Left Democrats would lean on the side of personal freedom and civil liberties. While pushing for the safety net. The Center-Right Republicans would push for economic freedom, as well as a conservative culture, but wouldn’t try to force that way of live on every American through government force.

Both party’s were actually cold warriors and anti-Communists. Every American President that we had during the Cold War was an anti-Communist. American voters could count on Democrats to protect their civil liberties and personal freedom. American voters could count on Republicans to protect their economic freedom and property rights.

The old American political way of doing things wasn’t a marriage made in Heaven or even an effective partnership. But two opposite sides there to protect what Americans truly wanted and needed. The right to be left alone and be able to live their own lives. Without big government trying to steal their wallets or bank accounts. Or breaking into our private homes because they don’t like what we’re doing there or who consenting adults were sleeping with.

That has all been blown up not just since Donald Trump moved into the White House, but going back to when George W. Bush moved into the White House. Not because of President Bush himself who was actually fairly moderate and Center-Right as President when it came to the Cultural War issues. As well as economic issues like education and immigration. But the parties have changed drastically. They’ve both become big government parties but in different forms.

In 2016 a Democratic Socialist almost won the Democratic nomination for President. The Democratic Party hasn’t had a major Far-Left presidential candidate since Senator George McGovern won the Democratic nomination in 1972. But Senator Bernie Sanders came close. In 2016 the Republican Party not only had a major right-wing Far-Right Nationalist with authoritarian leanings, but Donald Trump is currently President of the United States. By beating a Center-Left pragmatic Progressive Democrat in Hillary Clinton.

What I’m saying here isn’t so much what David Frum is arguing about the Republican Party should still matter and be saved by the Christian-Nationalists in the party. But really about how much the two major political parties have changed and that they no longer represent the mainstream so much as their fringes in the party who always threaten to either challenge their leadership and even leave the party, when a Democrat or Republican doesn’t give them exactly what they want. Leaving 40% of the electorate saying that they’re not either a Democrat or Republican, because neither party represents what they really want and believe in.

Americans don’t like big government, period by in large. Either trying to manage our economic affairs for us and even try to run our businesses. Or in our personal lives trying to manage how we live and what we do in our privacy. Which is why I believe if there is a time when both major parties could become not just weak, but perhaps irrelevant and maybe we do see two new major parties emerge with one being the old Center-Right Republican Party leaving the Republicans with just the Nationalists and Christian-Right. And leaving the Democrats with just the Socialists, both Democratic but thanks to ANTIFA Communist, that time is now. Unless the establishment’s and leadership’s of both party’s reclaim their party’s and start to take on their fringes. Even if they risk losing their positions in their party.

The Atlantic: David Frum- Conservatives Must Save The Republican Party From Itself

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Hip Hughes: Keith Hughes- Who Were The Black Panthers? US History Review

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Source: Hip Hughes

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The way I look at the 1960s when it came to these political revolutionary movements within the African-American community, was that there were three movements there.

You had the non-violent social democratic Martin L. King civil rights movement.

You had the Malcolm X power movement that wasn’t about violence, but self-defense and self-empowerment of the African-American community.

And you also had a militant wing of this community that was was about empowering the African-American community, but was way to the left of Dr. King and Minister Malcolm X. People who were not just Socialists but in some cases self-described Communists.

I don’t believe I put the Black Panthers in the same class as the IRA in Britain as well as Ireland, or Hamas in Israel and Palestine, as far as group that was not only a radical political organization, but also a terrorist organization. Or even The Weather Underground and Symbionese Liberation Army in America. But they did have a military wing in it and would use violence if they thought it was appropriate. But they were a Far-Left socialist-communist political organization that wanted a new economic system and perhaps even form of government in America. They weren’t as Far-Left as The Weather Underground who were literally trying to overthrow the U.S. Government. That was literally one of their goals, but they did share similar politics as The Weather Underground when it came to economics.

Hip Hughes: Who Were The Black Panthers? US History Review

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David Von Pein: Q&A With President John F. Kennedy- April 19, 1963

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The first questions in this presidential news conference asked to President Kennedy, was about Cuba. With someone actually asking President Kennedy did his administration have any plans to invade Cuba. As if President Kennedy would ever reveal to his plans or no plans to invade another country in public. Imagine if JFK said, “sure, we’re going to invade Cuba. And we’re going to do it Thursday afternoon at around 12PM coming from Miami. And we’re going to send in a dozen fighter jets and a big Naval ship headed to Havana to take out the Castro Regime and anyone who tries to get in our way. So President Castro and your military, get ready for us because we’re coming to get you.” No responsible President in his right mind would ever make his military plans public before they were executed.

Tax cuts and economic policy generally, was a major part of the Kennedy Administration’s agenda in 1963. Tax reform and lowering taxes across the board in exchange for eliminating tax loopholes to avoid deficits ( unlike a recent tax cut plan passed and signed into law ) since the American economy was till growing slowly in the early 1960s after getting out of the recession from the late 1950s. The top tax rate in 1963 was 90%. The lowest rate being 20-25% and if you’re making what would be in today’s dollars 40,000 dollars a year and you’re paying 20-25% in Federal income taxes, plus 3-4% in Federal payroll taxes, plus state and local taxes, even with the tax loopholes back then you’re still paying a lot in taxes on a very modest income. The tax reform plan that President Kennedy wanted, was finally passed out of Congress in 1964 under President Lyndon Johnson.

So-called Conservatives today ( borrow and spend supply siders, to me more accurate ) like to point to Jack Kennedy when they promote their tax cut and tax reform ideas. The difference being that JFK wasn’t a supply sider. He didn’t think a trillion-dollar tax cut would pay for itself because of the economic growth that it would generate. Especially on top of huge increases in Federal spending. He believed tax cuts if they were targeted right and encouraged spending in the economy could generate economic growth, but that those tax cuts should be paid for. JFK was a Liberal Democrat in the real sense and believed in fiscal responsibility as well as using government to encourage more independence, not discourage it. Which separates him from the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialists today. And that tax cuts and Federal spending, needed to be paid for to avoid high budget deficits.

In case you don’t own a calendar or have one on your cell phone and perhaps even don’t have the time on your phone and have been using the same cell phone since 1997 or something, or have been vacationing in Mongolia, it’s President’s Day. Which is why I’m posting this piece about Jack Kennedy because he is my political hero. And when it comes to his politics and how he governed he’s also my favorite President. I don’t believe he’s the best President of the United States, but he’s my favorite in the sense of what he stood for and believed in. Which was liberal democracy and individual freedom for all. Not just for people who were born to wealth or have European ancestry, especially English ancestry who also happen to be male and Protestant.

David Von Pein: Q&A With President John F. Kennedy- April 19, 1963

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CNN: Special Preview- The Radical Story of Patty Hearst: Story of The Symbionese Liberation Army

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Source: CNN

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I believe to understand the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army, you have to understand the 1970s especially the early and mid 1970s. I don’t want to sound overdramatic but America was at a breaking point at this point with a whole generation of Baby Boomers who were pissed off at America and the American system and wanted something different as far as our culture, way of life, and even form of government.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s you had this Marxist-Socialist terrorist group called The Weather Underground and Students For a Democratic Society. They go out of business by the early 1970s and this new far left-wing group of Communists emerges in California called the Symbionese Liberation Army. Who believed wealthy people especially wealthy Caucasians and wealthy Caucasian men and wealthy corporations owned and managed by these men, were keeping poor Americans of all backgrounds, as well as minorities down. And they decided they would fight back and use violence to accomplish these political objectives. Which was to force wealthy Caucasian people to give money to the poor and feed the poor.

Patty Hearst the daughter of Randolph Hearst who owned a media empire in San Francisco, California which included the San Francisco Examiner newspaper and some TV stations, was the first major target and capture of this Marxist-Communist revolutionary group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. ( Or SLA ) The SLA kidnaps Patty Hearst in February, 1974 in order to get her father to give up 10s of millions of dollars and spend that money feeding the poor in Berkeley, California and other parts of Northern California. Kidnapping especially depending on how you treat your hostages, is about as radical and in some cases violent of a terrorist action that you can commit against anyone. But the SLA was as radical and violent of a political terrorist organization that we’ve seen in America.

The late 1960s and the 1970s back then, doesn’t look much different from the radical left-wing groups that we see today with the so-called ANTIFA movement and these political correctness groups. Back then you had a very large generation of Americans who were pissed off at society and the government and wanted something radically different. With the so-called ANTIFA group now who also use terrorism to accomplish their Far-Left political objectives, you have a generation of Millennial’s who are also pissed off at America and hate our form of government. What has changed is the media and the ability for radical groups to get their message out there and to get noticed.

CNN: Special Preview- The Radical Story of Patty Hearst

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Politics & Prose: David Frum- Trumpocracy

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

David Frum’s Trumpocracy argues that thanks to President Donald Trump and perhaps other people and other things our liberal democracy and liberal democratic form of government is at risk. That Donald Trump represents a right-wing nationalist populist movement that puts their political and cultural values over everyone else and everything else. Including the U.S. Constitution. The one clue that you need to know about the Trump Nationalist Tea Party populist movement is not conservative, is that they’re not traditionalists. They don’t believe in conserving the status quo. They want to blow up the system and the Washington way of doing things and replace that system with their own political system which wouldn’t be democratic.

Just as political and current affairs junkie, I hate it when political commentators and reporters, call people Conservatives when they’re not conservative. The tax bill and budget that the Republican Congress passed in the last two months that will add trillions of dollars to the national debt and as a result we’re looking at a deficit of over a trillion-dollars next year which would be our first trillion-dollar deficit since 2012. Conservatives don’t borrow and spend and they don’t blow up tradition and the status quo. They protect and conserve the system that they’re part of because it works and they helped design it. Donald Trump represents an anti-conservative movement that is nationalist, tribalist, and authoritarian, that believes their movement are the real Americans and everyone else are Un-American.

Donald Trump by himself I don’t believe is as scary as people want to believe. As much as a wannabe nationalist dictator that he wants to be the problem is he operates in a system with checks and balances and still is part of a liberal democratic form of government and there real limits to what he can do by himself and he like no other President in American history is above the law. If he’s guilty of anything illegal or impeachable we’ll know about it and Congress will have an opportunity to act on that.

What people should really worry about are the people and voters that Donald Trump represents and the prospects for those people coming to power in America. Not just at the Federal level but the state and local levels which is more important, since a lot of members of Congress come from state and local government. And establish regimes that pass laws that make it close to impossible for members of the opposition to even vote. That is what we should worry about as people who believe in checks and balances and liberal democracy.

Politics & Prose: David Frum- Trumpocracy

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C-SPAN: Molly Worthen- Lectures in History: 20 Century Fundamentalism

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Source: C-SPAN

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

According to Wikipedia:

A fundamentalist, “is a person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture in a religion.”

That could cover any religion anywhere in the world but generally its’s Protestants in America and Muslims in the Middle East and South Asia, parts of Africa who carry that label. Because they’re not only religious fundamentalists, but people who are very political and use their religious fundamentalism as their political philosophy. You have countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia which officially is a monarchy, but they’re also a theocracy and Islamic theocracy. As well as Iran that is official called the Islamic Republic of Iran. Before America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 because the Afghan Government was harboring terrorists who are partially responsible for the 9/11 attacks, Afghanistan under the Taliban Regime was an Islamic state.

You move to America and we see Christian fundamentalists who are Protestants and tend to be Southern or rural as well as Anglo-Saxon with their ancestors coming over here from England in the 16 1700’s. America is obviously a federal republic as a well as a liberal democracy with a strong separation of church and state, but if fundamentalist Evangelicals had their way in America they would create their religious theocracy, at least the fringe wing of the Christian-Right in America and establish a fundamentalist Protestant-Christian Anglo theocracy in America. Where women’s place in America would be a lot different and a lot more restrictive. Homosexuality and pornography, would obviously be illegal. Certain types of speech when it comes to entertainment but also how people communicate in America would be illegal. Cursing to use as an example. And the argument for these restrictions would be that God wouldn’t approve.

There fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups like Al-Quada and ISIS in the Middle East and Africa, that are looking to take over territory and countries to establish their own religious theocracy. But there also fundamentalist Protestant terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan in America, that commit their racist terrorism in the name of God. As well as non-violent fundamentalist Protestant organizations on the Christian-Right in America that would like to see their religious and cultural values become law in America. Where everybody would be forced to live under those values. The Family Research Council would be an example of that. There was a famous Alabama Senate candidate last year whose governing political philosophy was what he called God’s Law. His fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible is Roy Moore’s governing political philosophy.

Religious fundamentalism doesn’t have any one particular owner. Not one religion or religious faction owns religious fundamentalism. Whether it’s the Islamic-Right in the Middle East or the Christian-Right in America, or other religious factions in the world. They’re just people who believe so strongly in their religious and cultural values and take the literal text of their religious books so literally and believe in those values so strongly and believe they’re so great and right, that everyone else should not only live under those same values, but in some cases when it comes to theocrats believe that people in their communities and country’s should be forced to live under the same religious and cultural values.

C-SPAN: Professor Molly Worthen- Lectures in History: 20th Century Fundamentalism

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