Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Disgrace of Liberalism.

American liberals spent the '60s seeing their programs and policies collapse one after the other. The War on Crime, the War on Poverty, civil rights legislation, Vietnam, all were either unmitigated disasters or textbook examples of the law of unintended consequences. The Democrats went into the 1968 presidential election as crippled as any political party in American history, choked with failure, bereft of ideas, and facing a general uprising from their own younger elements.

The Democrats' 1968 Chicago convention marked the end of FDR-style liberalism. Media coverage revealed American liberals as incapable of controlling their own constituency, much less directing a country. As delegates cowered within the convention center, Movement rioters ran wild throughout the downtown area, fighting knock-down, drag-out battles with the police. Not a single liberal figure made any serious attempt to confront, control, or even communicate with the rioters. Little more than a decade after declaring itself the "American civic creed", liberalism was on the ropes.

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