In the 1960s and early ’70s, the U.S. was convulsed by massive protests calling for radical changes in the country’s attitudes on race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. The Vietnam War and widespread college deferments were probably the fuel that ignited prior peaceful civil disobedience.
Sometimes the demonstrations became violent, as with the Watts riots of 1965 and the protests at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Terrorists from the Weathermen (later called the Weather Underground) bombed dozens of government buildings.
The ’60s revolution introduced to the country everything from hippies, communes, free love, mass tattooing, commonplace profanity, rampant drug use, rock music, and high divorce rates to the War on Poverty, massive government growth, feminism, affirmative action, and race/gender/ethnic college curricula.
The enemies of the ’60s counterculture were the “establishment” — politicians, corporations, the military, and the “square” generation in general. Leftists targeted their parents, who had grown up in the Great Depression. That generation had won World War II and returned to create a booming post-war economy. After growing up with economic and military hardship, they sought a return to comfortable conformity in the 1950s.
A half-century after the earlier revolution, today’s cultural revolution is vastly different — and far more dangerous.
Government and debt have grown. Social activism is already institutionalized in hundreds of newer federal programs. The Great Society inaugurated a multi-trillion-dollar investment in the welfare state. Divorce rates soared. The nuclear family waned. Immigration, both legal and illegal, skyrocketed.
Thus, America is far less resilient, and a far more divided, indebted, and vulnerable target than it was in 1965.
Today, radicals are not protesting against 1950s conservatism but rather against the radicals of the 1960s, who, as old liberals, now hold power. Now, many of the current enforcers — blue-state governors, mayors, and police chiefs — are from the Left. Unlike Democratic Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley in the ’60s, today’s progressive civic leaders often sympathize with the protesters.
The ’60s protests were for racial assimilation and integration to actualize Martin Luther King Jr.’s agenda of making race incidental, not essential, to the American mindset. Not so with today’s cultural revolution. It seeks to ensure that racial difference is the foundation of American life, dividing the country between supposed nonwhite victims and purported white victimizers, past and present.
In the ’60s, radicals rebelled against their teachers and professors, who were often highly competent and the products of fact-based and inductive education. Not so in 2020. Today’s radicals were taught not by traditionalists but by less-educated older radicals.
Another chief difference is debt. Most public education in the 1960s was bare-bones and relatively inexpensive. Because there were no plush dorms, latte bars, rock-climbing walls, diversity coordinators, and provosts of inclusion, college tuition in real dollars was far cheaper.
The result was that 1960s student radicals graduated without much debt and for all their hipness could enter a booming economy with marketable skills. Today’s angry graduates owe a collective $1.6 trillion in student-loan debt — much of it borrowed for mediocre, therapeutic, and politicized training that does not impress employers.
College debt impedes maturity, marriage, child-raising, home ownership, and the saving of money. In other words, today’s radical is far more desperate and angry that his college gambit never paid off.
Today’s divide is also geographical in the fashion of 1861, not just generational as in the 1960s. The two blue coasts seem to despise the vast red interior, and vice versa.
Yet the scariest trait of the current revolution is that many of its sympathizers haven’t changed much since the 1960s. They may be rich, powerful, influential, and older, but they are just as reckless and see the current chaos as the final victory in their own long march from the ’60s.
This is a “revolution” out of desperation. That desperation was expressed yesterday in the Democrat House Judiciary Committee ambush of Barr. They know Trump has the power to destroy them. Note how they tried to extract a pledge, under oath, out of Barr to suppress any information out of Durham’s report until after the election. Why not? Don’t they have confidence that Durham couldn’t find any wrongdoing committed by Democrats?
They are desperately trying to destroy Trump before he destroys them… and destroy them he will. They are corrupt.