Skip to main content

Way back in the the 1960s, there were young liberals that were strongly energized by the victories obtained via nonviolent direct action of the Civil Rights movement and university protests. A very small number of these young people became radicalized during the later 60s anti-war movement, and engaged in every behavior that would anger their square elders.

Thus the 60s radical was born.

And conservatives saw this, thought that it was good, and have used it to bring themselves up from the ashes. Thanks to 60s radical, they could paint their positions as sane and grown up.

40 to 50 years later, The ghost of the 60s radical still haunts us. It still haunts even progressives and liberals.

I have good news to tell you:

liberals today are pragmatics

At least most of them. There are still some radical cranks here and there, but they have always existed.

Most people in DK fall in the pragmatic camp. Most successful bloggers that I read are pragmatic liberals.

Some people will disagree with this, but consider the following: the recent discussions on the health care reform bill have really centered on policy, negotiation, and 2010 midterm electoral returns.

If there are people who are angry about the exclusion of the public option, it is not because it was a holy grail(it wasn't) but because it was the compromise they had settled for and now it was going to be taken away.

Way am I stating the obvious then?

Because I feel that our aged congressional Democrats are still fighting hard against being clumped up with the 60s radical.

Because people who are making entirely rational and pragmatic arguments get accused of being the 60s radicals. They won't call them that, but the meme of the morally pure idealistic but impractical person finds many ways of manifesting themselves.

Because many liberals still feel the need to qualify with identity as liberals by slapping the name "pragmatic" after it.

And specifically, the divide between those who support the health care bill and those who oppose it, and those who support Obama and those who are disenchanted with him is between two different pragmatists with differences of opinion, all who happen to be liberal.

Let's drop this old stereotype that only truly applied to a small number of people anyway.

Yes, we still have radical today, but they are different. They are still angry, but now they are conservative and wear hat with hanging tea bags. And they don't really come to DK in any case.

Originally posted to Hugo Estrada on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:15 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  I'm not an expert or anything (7+ / 0-)

      But I'm pretty sure that those 60's hippies accomplished a few things. And they would have accomplished more had their hero not been stopped by an assassin's bullet on June 6, 1968

      "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." ~Thomas Paine

      by xcave on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:21:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  RFK was the last politician (5+ / 0-)

        who had the ability to unite working people across class and ethnic lines. It was wonderful to watch his evolution as a person and a politician.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:32:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Radicals, not hippies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper

        Many 60s liberals accomplished many nice things, and many have dedicated their lives in service to others.

        I am not talking about those. I am talking about the ones who scared a generation into the GOP. The terrorists kind, the radical purists who would destroy good institutions because they wouldn't meet their purity tests.

        People familiar with the Berkeley Co-Op end will know well the kind that I am talking about.

        •  Do you have any proof of that statement (4+ / 0-)

          I am talking about the ones who scared a generation into the GOP.

          The Vietnam fiasco. The stagflation of the Carter years. The Clinton sell-out to Reaganism and the neo-libs. That's what drove people away from the Democrats.

          Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

          by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:41:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, the move was before (0+ / 0-)

            The big shift was with Reagan, and I would say in 1984.

            Carter losing in the 1980 election was to be expected since he had the decency to actually tell the truth to Americans. But more importantly, the late 70s  inflation was the reason why he lost.

            So the fact that they elected Reagan wasn't that surprising. The reelection and apotheosis of Reagan was the big shift.

            Something that I just thought that may have been a major issue was that the economic hardship of the late 70s was used by the right to fuel the anti-tax movement. Governor Brown from California wanted to tap into those sentiment and give tax relief, but the rest of the party in CA wasn't with him, so the right took over and passed prop 13, which destroyed the state.

            But the biggest shift to me was the 1994 revolution, when a whole generation of people in the 40s embraced strongly their conservative identity.

            •  Clinton presented himself basically (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              as Republican lite. He essentially accepted the Reagan dynamic, that governement was part of the problem. Given that, it isn't surprising that the real anti-governemnt party would gain votes. And don't discount the viciousness of the propaganda.

              When 2000 arrived, Clinton's policies couldn't be distinguished from mainstream Republicanism of the 60s. Add to that the scandals and the fact that Gore basiccally ran away from Clinton's accomplishments (yes there were some), plus the electoral fraud, and the result was Captain Bunnypants.

              Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

              by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:12:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hugo Estrada

              was thought of as the party of special interests (minorities), in part because it was. It was big on identity politics but made no real effort to stop the exodus of white men to the Republicans - we practically waved goodbye to them. Crime was soaring and when people brought it up they were called racist. School busing and the end of the neighborhood school were enormously divisive. The middle class was moving from the cities in droves, leaving cities with huge welfare rolls and inadequate tax bases. The entry of women into the workforce in huge numbers made the whole premise of AFDC untenable: that any single woman could get and stay on welfare for decades as long as she had children under 18, while working families got no help at all. Globalization was already affecting us. The women's movement, the sexual revolution and loosening of divorce laws led to huge social changes.

              People always think of the 60s as the decade of social change, but a whole lot of social and economic change happened in the 1970s, a lot of which was bewildering to those living through it. And the Democrats appeared to be oblivious, saying the same things over and over like a broken record. We were responsible to a great degree for our own defeat.

              My take on it, anyway. I lived in Manhattan during this time and it felt like the collapse of civilization sometimes - fear, filth, decrepitude, group hatreds, economic decline and widespread depression and despair. This usually seems to be overlooked when we look back for what led to Ronald Reagan.

              "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

              by denise b on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:50:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Same can be said of certain Dems today (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alstradamus

          There are certain Dems today who would have working and middle-class families pay a large enough energy tax so that the price is US$ 5.00 a gallon of gasoline.

          Want to ensure that the GOP seize control of Congress?  Pass a bill with a significant energy tax.

          Did we forget the BTU tax fiasco in 1993?  Indeed, many believe that it was the BTU fiasco, and not HillaryCare, which cost us the House in 94.

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

                Veteran members of both parties vividly remember when many House Democrats, in the early months of the Clinton administration, reluctantly backed a proposed B.T.U. tax — a new levy on each unit of energy consumed — only to see it ignored by the Senate and seized as a campaign issue by Republicans, who took control of the House the next year.

                "A lot of Democrat members got burnt on that vote," warned Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, who called the climate change measure the defining vote of this, the 111th, Congress.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

          by PatriciaVa on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:43:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like the ones making bombs to fight war. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hugo Estrada

          Those were the ones who ruined the peace movement.

      •  Yeah they turned the country over to Nixon. (0+ / 0-)

        "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

        by lordcopper on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:47:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Those weren't hippies (0+ / 0-)

        The hippies were too stoned to vote.

        "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

        by denise b on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:18:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Increasing Taxes on MiddleClass not Pragmatic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg

      And that's what the Senate version of the HCR bill would do.

      Candidate Obama called it the....

      LARGEST MIDDLE-CLASS TAX HIKE, EVER.

      Wait until the GOP begins airing those spots next fall.

      I know some of you believe President Obama's approval ratings will increase once any HCR is passed.  I find it hard to see how this will happen, once the GOP begins airing ads targeting the tax hikes which will negatively impact working and middle-class households.

              http://transcripts.cnn.com/...
                       
                                        BLITZER: Hold on, wait a second. I have a new ad that Obama's putting out on this specific point, going after John McCain's health care program, and I'll play a clip.

                                                           PFOTENHAUER: OK.

                                                           (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

                                                           UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McCain would impose a new tax on health benefits, taxing your health care for the first time ever. It's a multi-trillion-dollar tax hike, the largest middle-class tax increase in history. You won't find one word about it on his Web site, but the McCain tax could cost your family thousands.

                                                           (END VIDEO CLIP)

                                                           BLITZER: That scares a lot of people when they see that.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:37:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow I get it a pragmatic Liberal is a Republican (0+ / 0-)

      NOT!

      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

      by Bobjack23 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:41:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I heard Abbie Hoffman rant (6+ / 0-)

    When he came to our campus.  And you are right, Hoffman's extremist angry rhetoric now comes from the right.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:20:04 PM PST

    •  My esteemed history teacher (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karma for All, Hugo Estrada

      went to college with both Hoffman and Ruben. Didn't have nice things to say about Abbie, and said very ugly things about Ruben and his motives.

      The irony is it was Karl Rove and his teacher (can't remember) who picked up on, and perfected, the Yippies tactics. They went further because they could hook up with the broadcasters as allies.

      Manipulating people's emotions is always just bad, no matter what noble cause is claimed for doing it.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:30:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Older folks are always more "pragmatic" (5+ / 0-)

    When you got nothin' you got nothin' to lose.

    The youth still want radical change.

    here come da triumph...

    by Coss on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:20:04 PM PST

    •  Not this one. I grew up in the sixties and was (10+ / 0-)

      one of those radicals they speak of.  Then I had kids and had to raise a family, do what I had to do, but my radical streak never left me.  Now that I'm older, after seeing the shit the last 10 years, I aint pragmatic believe me!  

    •  Most of the generation that grew up under Reagan (6+ / 0-)

      Wanted to make money and to hell with anyone or anything else.  And, every time I say this here I get attacked, but most of my fellow baby boomers who were demonstrating, and in some cases rioting, against the Vietnam War were only interested in saving their own necks.  Once the war and the draft went away, so did all their pie in the sky peace and love and making the world a better place rhetoric, and it became looking out for number one.

      And I said most, not all.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:24:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  BOOM! (0+ / 0-)

        here come da triumph...

        by Coss on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:28:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I agree. One of the disappointments I have (4+ / 0-)

        with my generation.  An example is marijuana.  If you would have asked me in 1972 that it would be legal in 2009, I'm sure I would have said yes.  Little did I know I was smoking with a bunch of people like Clinton who didn't inhale!  Fuckers.  But in the end, true radicals will always be a small minority.  

      •  I was a kid during the Reagan years (4+ / 0-)

        And that is basically the only message that one got. So I think that you are right on that one, but there was also a lack a leadership from adults.

        Besides, once many liberal boomers got into PTAs, they pushed for community service hours, and it helped to raise a very nice generation of service-oriented young people, who unfortunately are now being demonized as slackers because they had the bad luck of graduating in this economy.

      •  As a boomer I have to agree (3+ / 0-)

        I occasionally feel the need to apologize to today's generation. Look at the two boomers who were elected president. Clinton - mediocre at best. Bush - the worst president in US history.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:36:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but Bush wasn't elected in 2000 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Navy Vet Terp, CMYK

          Gore was. And he's a Boomer, though he's the very opposite of the stereotype of the self-absorbed Boomer: committed to public service, fascinated by technology and science, and always looking to the future.

          This may be an unfair oversimplification, but I hypothesize that when the Boomers looked at Bush they saw a guy who really knew how to party. When they looked at Gore they saw their parents. And their choice was made to a great degree on that basis.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:12:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Point taken about the election of 2000. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CMYK

            Maybe 2004 too.

            I saw the elections of both 2000 and 2004 as based on class. Those with vested intersts in the system voted to maintain their priveledge. Unfortunately the lower classes didn't see the Democrats as protecting the interests of working folks and many stayed home.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:18:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Falling in love and having children (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Coss, blueoasis, alstradamus

        made a lot of people sign up for the establishment. And once in there, with all the old alliances scattered into family-world, people tried to do their best from where they were.

        It was definitely with Reagan that a certain message of self-interest and other-abuse became the permanent feed in the mass-media, and that exacerbated the worst tendencies.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:46:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course (4+ / 0-)

        It was inevitable, and I don't know why so many people think of it as a moral failing of one generation. Why wouldn't we fight against being sent off to kill and be killed in a pointless war? And why wouldn't we make our adult responsibilities our highest priority after we stepped into them? It's the way it goes in life.

        Very few people in any generation are going to remain lifelong committed activists. I can only think of one person I know who did. That's why we always look to young people to take the lead in these things - because they can.

        The day we invaded Iraq in 2003 I walked through protests down Market St. in San Francisco on my way to work. People - primarily young people - were lying down in the street, and I thought very hard about doing it. It seemed surreal that we were starting a war based on lies and I was going to go to work as though it were just another day. But in the end I couldn't do it. I was 54 years old. I might have lost my job if I got arrested, and I didn't think I could ever get another one in my field. It could potentially be a downward spiral that I would never recover from. Selfish? No, I don't think so; but I wasn't prepared to be a martyr. And I knew this would have no impact on the war at all.

        "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

        by denise b on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 11:21:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The youth wants iPods. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hugo Estrada, lordcopper, alstradamus

      And phones with maps or apps or some such nonsense. Give me a victrola any day, these whippersnappers I tell you! What were we talking about?

    •  Padawan, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hugo Estrada, alstradamus

      To a 60s person, pragmatic and radical are two names of the same thing.

      Bring all the troops home. A pragmatic idea, or a radical one, to end our wars?

      A Manhattan-project scale alternate energy drive  A pragmatic idea, or a radical one, to address many perils?

      Like so. Now. Travel through time, Padawan, but moment by moment, and may each bring you more insight and good.

      PS Just love that quote "when you ain't got nothin'...". That's Lady Gaga, right?

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:37:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, is being anti-HCR, Pragmatic? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hugo Estrada

      Just asking.

      Because the internals of any HCR poll clearly indicate that seniors oppose HCR more than any other demo.

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/...

      Senior citizens are more pessimistic than younger voters. Just 16% of seniors think they’ll be better off if the legislation passes while 59% have the opposite view.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:48:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And "old folks" actually vote. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Coss, PatriciaVa

      "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

      by lordcopper on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:50:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ever was, ever will be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Coss

      "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

      by denise b on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:53:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hugo, I have to strongly disagree with you (8+ / 0-)

    What is being done to the American people by the corporatist Oligarchy that has taken over the country is indeed radical.  It's criminal, and oppressive, and it's only going to get worst.

    The Left and Progressives (and people of good will) need to present a very powerful front against the criminal class running the country today.  If this does not happen soon, the American people will be further manipulated, subjugated, and turn against each other until there is no will to raise up and challenge the nascent oppressive and corrupt state.

    Let me clarify that I'm not talking about violence.  There are very effective ways to challenge the corrupt system, but it requires a level of bravery and principled leadership that is sorely missing.

    •  I don't see where we disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordcopper, Luis Mendoza

      I was going to include a section on how many 60s radical became conservative and then truly worked on destroying the country, but that was taking away from my main point, which is that most liberals today are pragmatic, not violent or hopelessly idealistic.

      •  I see your point. I'm writing a diary right now (0+ / 0-)

        On this topic.  Maybe you'll see areas where we may agree (and some where we may not).  Either way, thanks for writing this diary.  It's a good topic.

      •  That is why I consider myself more of a radical. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        In my era, a liberal and support for a war or occupation was an oxymoron.  At least in the true sense of the word.  Today, everyone and their brother calls themself a liberal and half don't know what they're talking about.  Rule no 1 back in the day, you aint no liberal if you support the war.

        •  Liberalism and war (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure how old you are, but back in the heyday of American liberalism, there was no contradiction at all between war and Liberalism.

          One of the Left's main critiques of Liberals was that they were staunch militarists.  Johnson ("Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?") and Humphrey were consummate post-war liberals, and completely committed to pursuing the Vietnam War.

          Go listen to "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" by Phil Ochs to get a flavor.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:01:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  55. And back then just as now, the liberal (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, CMYK

            label was hijacked, which was my point, I evidently make well.  The definition of liberal is considering the human being first and foremost.  Liberlism is continuously hijacked to dilute it. That's why I prefer radical to liberal.

            •  Just to be clear, then (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hugo Estrada

              that you're saying that LBJ and Humphrey weren't Liberals, right?  Also, Truman, I suppose.

              I mean, you can call them what you want, but they called themselves Liberals and virtually everyone in the US at the time would have called them liberals.  A discussion of postwar American Liberalism that defines LBJ and Humphrey as not being liberals seems completely pointless to me.  It's like having a discussion of postwar American conservatism, and denying that Goldwater and Reagan were conservatives.

              "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

              by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:07:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  FAKE liberals brother, FAKE. (0+ / 0-)

                I can't say it any clearer.

                •  So this is just a "no true Scotsman" situation (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Meteor Blades

                  You can call them "fake" til you're blue in the face, and insist that the only "true Liberals" are really, I dunno, British Whigs circa 1850, whose closest analogue today would be Ron Paul or someone.

                  But that definition has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with history.  Americans used the term "liberal" all the time in the 20th century.  And the people that called themselves liberals, and whom everyone else called liberals, argued over and over again in favor of the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and saw those wars as essential parts of the Liberal vision.

                  I mean, you could just as easily say, "No true American would support imperialist war" but you thinking that doesn't mean that LBJ and HHH weren't Americans.

                  "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                  by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:17:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's no different from Axelrod claiming to (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CMYK

                    be progressive.  It's just a label.  You can get caught up in what the politicians "call themselves", it doesn't matter to me.  They can call themselves liberal, just as many on this site do, but it doesn't make it so.   The same dynamic you are referring to with Vietnam and Korea is playing out today.  Whether for purposely diluting true liberalism, or from being confused, the liberal label is and has been misused by ignorance or for political purposes.  

                    •  Right, so LBJ and Humphrey weren't Liberals (0+ / 0-)

                      According to your definition, the era of Liberal dominance, and the Great Liberal Ascendancy was, strangely, nearly devoid of actual Liberals.

                      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                      by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:29:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hugo Estrada, CMYK

                        I'm a Vietnam Era Vet *USN 73-76), I'm antiwar, I'm for equality and justice for all.   Now, tell me, what am I doing wrong in your mind?

                        •  You made a factual assertion about history (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          blueoasis

                          that is about as wrong as it can be:

                          In my era, a liberal and support for a war or occupation was an oxymoron.

                          In the 1940s and 1950s, Liberals supported the Korean War.  In the 1960s, Liberals supported the Vietnam War.  Postwar American Liberalism was deeply rooted in an aggressive Cold War policy.

                          I think it's ridiculous to say that being a pro-War Liberal during that time was an oxymoron.  I think if you'd said that to anyone involved in politics in, say, 1965, they would have thought you were nuts.

                          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                          by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:42:24 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  Some turned (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, CMYK, alstradamus

        But most sixties radicals stayed true to their values. Actually there was a study done on this but I can't find it and don't have the inclination to do an extensive search.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:47:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sixties radicals didn't turn the country ... (7+ / 0-)

    conservative. That old dog won't hunt. Liberal failures led to conservative ascendency, along with Democratic abandonment of working people. Throw in conservative organization and vicious propaganda which wasn't countered.

    Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

    by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:25:30 PM PST

    •  But turning away from working class people (0+ / 0-)

      was in part because suddenly the party became frightened of being labeled as inciting class warfare?

      They probably used this accusation before the 60s, but it seems that it was only after the 60s that Democrats seemed scared of giving the appearance that they were engaged in class warfare.

      •  I don't think so. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pesto, blueoasis, CMYK, alstradamus

        I believe that the Democrats never have been totally for working folks. (FDR, the best Democrat of the lot, reacted to leftist pressure IMO) I would suggest that the heavy influx of big-business money has increased since the sixties and the that has been the most influential in the increasingly corporate outlook of the Democratic hierarchy.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:03:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's all about the (5+ / 0-)

    benjamins baby!

    That's all it's about today.  Back then people had conscience and a different morality.

    'If we lift our voice as one, there's nothing that can't be done' MJ

    by publicv on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:29:05 PM PST

  •  Extending Medicare is popular (6+ / 0-)

    and voting for bailouts is unpopular.

    So what kind of pragmatic electoral politics is this?

    And I don't think the Afgan war is very popular either.

    All this looks to me like out and out corruption and rot.

  •  yes, what have you done for the people lately? (0+ / 0-)

    we are not pragmatic. we're cranks, and proud of it. :)

  •  Bad old 60s radicals! (12+ / 0-)

    Aren't we glad their environmentally enlightened views were defeated? I mean really. Who needs enlightenment?

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Save the Internet!

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:31:52 PM PST

    •  This is part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

      The civil rights activist, the environmentalist, the peace activist, and the feminist, all get clumped together with the radicals who embraced Maoism, terrorism, and other stuff like that.

      It is even hard to separate the different kinds of liberals when discussing this :)

      Personally, I have a lot of respect for the first group, and in particular to the environmentalists.

      •  What you know about 60s radicals and a quarter... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, happy camper, rogerdaddy, CMYK

        will buy you 25 cents worth of jack shit.  How 'bout you study up and know who you're insulting before you hit 'publish'?

        "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

        Save the Internet!

        by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:53:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have actually studied it a lot (0+ / 0-)

          And many liberal activists from the time ended up being my professor, and many were the parents of kids I taught. As a teenager, I often wished I had been born a couple of decades before.

          I frankly don't see how what I have said is insulting.

      •  Okay, if you define "60s radicals" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, blueoasis, rogerdaddy

        as "the SLA and other assorted terrorists" then what's the point of this diary, exactly?

        This is part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

        The civil rights activist, the environmentalist, the peace activist, and the feminist, all get clumped together with the radicals who embraced Maoism, terrorism, and other stuff like that.

        Well, those folks all got their heads bashed in together in Chicago in '68.  They all got teargassed on Sproul Plaza together.  And many of them would have defined themselves as "radicals", not Liberals like LBJ and Humphrey, at the time.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:04:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, those are the people I am talking about (0+ / 0-)

          and those are the ones that were used by the right to scare people. If you listen to some conservatives, they still talk about them as if they were still active. In fact I even heard a young conservative in his 20s talk about those dangerous liberal radicals as if these organizations were still active.

          •  They clumped themselves together, Hugo (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, blueoasis, CMYK

            Let's look just at SDS.  Were they all "radicals" according to the term as you're using it here?  Or were they all Liberals except for the faction that broke off to form Weatherman?

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:24:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, I found the problem (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alstradamus

              Okay, first, all of these people were liberals. There is no denying that.

              Second, the negative stereotype of the radical liberal would be the Weatherman. This was the kind that lives on in popular culture.

              As for the term radical, I mean those people who embraced terrorism and the ones who undermined liberal and progressive movements because these didn't meet their purity tests.

              I know that  civil rights activists, peace activists, feminists, and environmentalist called themselves "radical", and at the time they were, but I put them in a different category because the majority of those people kept on building with their activism.

              •  Keep on Trucking Hugo :) (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hugo Estrada

                And thanks for the diary.

              •  I really don't see what your point is here, then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Meteor Blades

                Okay, first, all of these people were liberals. There is no denying that.

                Well, I deny it.  I deny it because they denied it, and didn't see themselves as Liberals.  Look at the Port Huron Statement, SDS's 1962 manifesto, and the easiest starting point for 60's radicalism.  Some excerpts:

                Unlike youth in other countries we are used to moral leadership being exercised and moral dimensions being clarified by our elders. But today, for us, not even the liberal and socialist preachments of the past seem adequate to the forms of the present.

                snip

                It has been said that our liberal and socialist predecessors were plagued by vision without program, while our own generation is plagued by program without vision. All around us there is astute grasp of method, technique--the committee, the ad hoc group, the lobbyist, the hard and soft sell, the make, the projected image--but, if pressed critically, such expertise in incompetent to explain its implicit ideals. It is highly fashionable to identify oneself by old categories, or by naming a respected political figure, or by explaining "how we would vote" on various issues.

                SDS didn't see themselves as Liberals.  The whole point of the statement is to move beyond Liberalism.  They saw themselves as radicals.

                What's more, Liberals saw them as radicals, and conservatives saw them as radicals.  And Liberals and Conservatives in the 1960s were excoriating those radicals long before Weatherman started blowing shit up.

                But by your definition, they were all Liberals, and racists who were murdering voting-rights activists in the South were "radicals" because they used violence?

                I know that  civil rights activists, peace activists, feminists, and environmentalist called themselves "radical", and at the time they were, but I put them in a different category because the majority of those people kept on building with their activism.

                So again, I'm not sure what the point is, here.  That it's too bad that Manson killed all those people, or that the SLA kidnapped Patty Hearst?  That it's too bad that Tom Harkin can't get over it already and tell Harry Reid he's filibustering if there's no PO?  That it'll all work out in the end because, years from now, the GOP will be as embarrassed by the Teabaggers as Russ Feingold is by Weatherman?

                "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:09:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you a veteran? Did you serve there Pesto? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hugo Estrada

                  I hope I'm wrong, but I bet you didn't.  I won't call you a chickenshit until I confirm.  If you served, I stand corrected.  If not, fuck off.

                •  Arrow. Zing. Bullseye. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 12:13:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  But these people were on the left (0+ / 0-)

                  And in the US, liberal is used as a synonym for people on the left.

                  When I stated that they were liberals, what I meant was that they were not conservatives, and I wasn't making any statement trying to deny that they had links to the US left.

                  Also, there is a pragmatic dimension to this, which was part of the point that I make. Many of these radicals wanted dramatic changes to happen so quickly that it was unattainable, thus the drift of some towards violence and purity tests.

                  My point is that the SLA kidnapping and the Wethermen made liberals scary.

                  And documents like the SDS Port Huron Statement made liberalism made appear immature and unrealistic.

                  And, like it or not, it has made many liberal politicians run away from actually talking about economic problems because it would associate himself with "60 radical."

                  And the meme is still alive and well. 40 years after the 60s conservatives ran a campaign against Kerry were part of  the accusation against him was that he was one of those 60s radicals. I mean, he has been in the senate for years. How radical can you be if you are a millionaire senator?

                  And even within DK the meme shows up. With the HCR discussions, those who opposed the bill are being painted as the pie-in the sky liberals when the reality is that most are pretty pragmatic in real terms and most wouldn't even be identified as radicals by the real 60s radicals back in the 60s.

                  Most people in DK would be seen as those lame liberals the Port Huron Statement found so lacking. I would say even the younger version of people who actually participated in SDS who are with us today would find themselves lacking (with a few exception of course) :)

              •  You can't just get to choose ... (5+ / 0-)

                ...what labels to slap on people for the convenience of your argument. Many of us radicals fought against the Weathermen when they took over the leadership of the organization. They were never more than 100 of them at the outside. There were thousands of us radicals. What you've done is taint us by accepting the mainstream media's characterization of us.  

                Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 12:12:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes! That is the issue (0+ / 0-)

                  And that is why talking about what happened at that time is so hard.

                  The media and the popular image of the 60s radical is the Weathermen whether we like it or not.

                  And it is the Weathermen-like people that have been used to scare people into the right, and that is the negative stereotype that conservatives used so many times.

                  Even many 60s liberals distanced themselves from that image at some point in their lives. We still hear that today when they qualify their liberalism.

                  I really wish we had a term to separate the Weathermen kind of radical, the destructive kind, from the rest of the far leftists of the era, many who went on to build nice organizations, projects, or went into teaching.  It would make the discussion a lot easier.

                  Okay, let me ask you, since you obviously ran into this crowd at SDS. What did you call the people like the Weatherman who came in, took over, and destroyed the work that you and others had been working on for years?

                  •  It's not as simple as you are portraying ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pesto, rogerdaddy

                    ...the Weathermen didn't come in and take over. They had been part of the organization all along and were the bulk of the national leadership of SDS at the time of the break-up. I knew several of them quite well since I had been a regional SDS "agitator." They took the mailing lists, everything. Read Mark Rudd's mea culpa about this. You can find it on line.

                    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 09:23:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What would you call them, then? (0+ / 0-)

                      You have a deep understanding of what I am talking at because you were there.

                      You also understand what I am saying when I talk about the destructive (nihilist?) radical.

                      You yourself made a reference to them when you described how you and others founded New American Movement with these words in the diary cited below:

                      "New American Movement, a kind of spin-off, if you will, of Students for a Democratic Society after the Weatherman and Progressive Labor factions shattered that organization in 1969."

                      http://www.no-one-owns-me.dailykos.c...

                      Interestingly enough, you made the point that I was trying to make in that diary, although you were better at doing it than I was:

                      If you buy into the notion - as do Glenn Beck, Chuck Norris, and maybe reporters from The New York Times - that socialists are wild-eyed bomb-throwers, or if your association with socialism in the past comes from arcane texts where "stodgy" isn’t a harsh enough description for people who seem to be trying to apply 19th Century political philosophy to 21st Century reality, I think you’ll find the series enlightening.

                      What I have been trying to get at is a very similar point that you are making about socialists, although I was including all leftists in my statement.

                      Hmm, I should have used "wild-eyed bomb-throwers", although I still believe that there should be a specific name to describe this crowd.

                      Thanks for the correction on how the events happened, and I will go ahead and read the book you mentioned. :)

    •  Opening up America to foreign cultures (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks, One Pissed Off Liberal

      and perceptions, don't forget they bear that blame. Fuckin' cappachinos, chipotles, and Ravi Shankar. And if not for their meddlesomeness, would we be talking about a President Obama today? I think not.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:52:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sexual liberation too. And informal outfits (0+ / 0-)

        In 1960 a man was risking an indecent exposure arrest if he left the house without a tophat.  Today I get to wear sneakers and a t-shirt pretty much everywhere, unless it's a funeral in which case I might have to bust out a polo shirt and some loafers.  

        Can you imagine how life would suck in this realm had it not been for the radicals pushing the envelope?

        As late as 1965 they couldn't even show a hint of pubic hair in Playboy.  Nowadays you can walk out of the house and practically and see whose starfish needs to be bleached.  Can you imagine how life would suck in this realm too had it not been for the radicals pushing the envelope?

        My new policy: I don't respond to pie fight requests, only to respectful comments where the goal is dialogue. Together we can make DKos better.

        by fizziks on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:21:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Studs Terkel quoted Joan Nestle as saying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      "The '60s is a favorite target of people who take delight in the failure of dreams."

      It's one of my favorite quotes.

      Though I disagree with Mr. Estrada's main thesis (radicals did not push the country to conservatives), still you have to remember, old friend, that even in the sixties, folks like us were still in the minority. Albeit a larger minority than today and certainly more influential.

      Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

      by slatsg on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:32:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, another problem spotted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, alstradamus

        I will leave that statement there because it wouldn't be correct to take it out now, but I do regret that I didn't qualify it enough.

        I didn't intend to mean that radicals all by themselves push the country to the right. Probably the biggest single factor was the Civil Rights victories from the 50s and 60s, together with an organized efforts from the right, and the economic hardships from the 70s. The 60s radical as a concept is an important meme that helped, but not the single reason.

        I must admit that I failed at making that clear. Sorry for that.

  •  after eight years of Bush, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alstradamus

    it's inevitable that a new generation of radicals would be created.

    Just looking at the insanity we've been through since the stolen election of 2000 and then 9/11 and the Irag and Afghan wars and Katrina and now the revelation that Congress is totally in thrall to corporate interests and religious fundamentalists...how could any sane, aware person not be at least a little radicalized?

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:39:25 PM PST

  •  Pragmatic (7+ / 0-)

    seems to mean whatever the user wants it to mean like so many other words today.  Out of context to any specific issue or action, it has no meaning except as a buzzword.

    I'm an idealistic moderately radical single issue agnostic universalist and I'm going to start a movement to convert the Democratic Party to this position.

    •  That's a handfull! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robert Davies, blueoasis

      But I like it!

    •  And you're off to a great start! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Predictor, alstradamus

      really a great comment,  blue.

      LOL - I wonder how many will get it -

      that via combines of  conflicting catchall's,
      candidates can claim to be anything to anybody...

      Very well played,blue,  and I'll certainly sign up!
      I thinnnk you represent me somewhere in there!

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance
      and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Robert Davies on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:51:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, there are clearly pragmatic actions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordcopper

      Actually trying to get people elected is pragmatic.

      Discussing policy is pragmatic.

      Negotiating is pragmatic.

      Creating schisms because people fail to pass your purity test is not pragmatic.

      Actively working on destroying organizations because they won't embrace your platform is not pragmatic.

      Refusing to vote in an uncoordinated manner because you don't believe in legitimizing the system is not pragmatic.

      •  This is like listening to someone (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Predictor

        who says, "I'm non-ideological."

        That's such a ridiculously skewed way to define the two camps that it reduces your credibility nearly to zero.  It would be like saying, "Fighting to improve people's lives is pragmatic.  Selling out your ideals and betraying your constituents because you want to suck at the exploitative teat of corporate Amerikkka is not."

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:11:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is the problem with what I said? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alstradamus

          I think you are misinterpreting what I am saying. What exactly do you think my point is?

          •  You're characterizing those who disagree with you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, blueoasis

            as dangerous nutballs.  Or, you might be choosing to ignore radicals who do discuss policy and who do negotiate because it's more useful for you to just dismiss them all as loonie extremists who have no interest in policy or the real world.  "Purity test" is your term, not theirs, so it's a deeply dishonest way to describe their position, if you're going to maintain a pretense of objectivity.

            It's a totally biased description, and turns the entire diary into a one-sided polemic.  Just like my "exploitative teat of corporate Amerikkka" bit would be.

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:35:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  There's another word in this ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pesto, blueoasis, Predictor, alstradamus

      ...diary that seems to mean whatever the user wants it to mean, too: radical.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 12:05:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  tides turn (4+ / 0-)

    the 1920s were an age of excess and of unrestricted concentration of wealth into a few hands. Individualism and the profit motive ruled all.

    With the Great Depression, the bankruptcy of this philosophy became evident and conservatism was sent into retreat by the New Deal liberalism of FDR. Economic equality, social justice, and the public good became the conventional wisdom of the day.

    The GOP was forced to become more moderate in order to survive politically, but the conservative movement resented this and worked hard to return to ascendancy.

    Eventually the tide turned again, and liberalism was sent into retreat as the Democratic coalition split over Vietnam and civil rights. Economic populism was replaced with cultural populism--"values voters" who voted based on issues such as abortion and religion. With the election of Reagan, individualism and the profit motive once again became the ruling philosophy.

    We have now come full circle to the same situation of the 1920s, where the overwhelming concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few threatens to rupture the country.

    Now it's time for the tide to turn once again.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:51:04 PM PST

  •  Bizarre. Insipid idiocy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks

    Are you a recent convert?

    Do you have any clue of what the fuck you are writing?

    Most people in DK fall in the pragmatic camp. Most successful bloggers that I read are pragmatic liberals.

    You are neither pragmatic, a liberal, nor have any clue about what this site is.  Do yourself a favor and

    STFU.

    •  too harsh (0+ / 0-)

      but rec'd for extreme correctness.

      My new policy: I don't respond to pie fight requests, only to respectful comments where the goal is dialogue. Together we can make DKos better.

      by fizziks on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:22:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I must have a clue about the site (0+ / 0-)

      Since my ID number is a lot smaller than yours. And I don't really see what is the point that you are making about my not being a liberal.

      What basis do you have to make that statement? :)

      •  Something's a lot smaller than mine. (0+ / 0-)

        Liberal's tend not to be idiots.

        •  The liberals I hang out with (0+ / 0-)

          know how to debate ;)

          Come on. Explain yourself with ideas, not with insults. :)

          •  I cringed and left one diary all about this myth (0+ / 0-)

            of pragmatism  in HCR only to run smack into your very hastily written stereotype of the history of the modern left and "libruls" and "60's radicals" and - what else - Sonny and Cher?

            Not a good time to go into it with someone as polite as you with your smiley faces and good cheer.

            I apologize.  Nothing personal.  I take it all back.  I'd hide rate myself if I could.

            •  No problem (3+ / 0-)

              The funny thing is that I believe that we are on the same side of the diary that triggered me writing this one: I also oppose the Senate HRC bill.

              I consider myself very pragmatic, but pragmatic doesn't mean the same as just capitulating to the right. I see it more as getting as much as you can under the circumstances. I believe that we should be able to get a lot more with our numbers in Congress, and if I Obama actually put pressure on the Senate to get something better done.

              And I feel that Clinton circa 90s and the DLC were the people who used "pragmatic"  as a way to distant themselves from the left.

              Hmm, maybe tomorrow I should write a diary defending the concept of being pragmatic is not the same as being Republican lite or a wimp at negotiating ;)

              Good night. I got to work tomorrow :)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site