By Brian C. Joondeph
“The Man” was the left’s bogeyman in the 1960s and 70s, representing establishment authority and oppression, from the Viet Nam war to the civil rights movement.
As the Urban Dictionary defines the term,
“The Man is the head of ‘the establishment’ put in place to ‘bring us down’. Though nobody has physically seen ‘the man’, he is assumed to be a male Caucasian between the ages of 25-40 and is rumored to have a substantial amount of acquired wealth, presumably acquired by exploiting those whom his ‘establishment’ is keeping down.”
Decades ago, The Man represented authority figures like Nixon, Kissinger, Hoover, and McNamara. In those days, Democrats and the left railed against The Man in music, protests, and activism.
But a funny thing happened in the 1990s as those Baby Boomers once protesting against The Man came of age, assuming prominent positions in society and government, in essence becoming The Man, the monster they once despised and railed against.
Looking back through history, the Nixon administration and its footnote the Ford administration was considered The Man, especially after the Viet Nam War and Watergate. The left tasted power during the Carter years, but also got a mouthful of fecklessness and misery. The country said “enough” and elected Ronald Reagan to two terms, and George HW Bush to a single term although his “kinder and gentler” approach to governance was more Carter than Reagan.
Then came Bill Clinton, the first Baby Boomer president. Clinton was against the Viet Nam war, dodging the draft, writing a letter in 1969 to an ROTC leader discussing “loathing the military”. From fighting The Man to becoming The Man as president, this was the turning point.
Hard core leftist activist actor Ron Silver inadvertently exemplified, revealed, and explained this transition during Clinton’s first inauguration,
At Clinton’s first inauguration, he saw military jets flying over the Lincoln Memorial, and was disgusted. Then he thought, “Those are our planes now.”
Instead of fighting the establishment and authority, the left became that which they were fighting. They now controlled the levers of power, including the evil CIA, FBI, DOJ, military, and other oppressive government agencies.
Democrats and the left had transitioned from standing up to The Man to becoming The Man.
One could argue that the George W Bush presidency put the brakes on this transition, but only superficially. His reaction to the left’s now complete transformation into The Man shows that he was a mere place holder between the Clinton and Obama administrations.
As Don Surber observed,
As Durham’s Report exposes the lies about RussiaGate and the truth about Obama using the FBI as his personal police unfolds, there is one silence that roars above the white noise of denial. George Walker Bush has not said a word. Not one darned word. He has been one silent lamb while the Democrat Party ran roughshod over our political institutions — weaponizing the IRS, the FBI, FISA, the media, the courts and the border.
It seems Bush, another Baby Boomer president, was simply Clinton/Obama-lite, coming of age when his generation protested The Man but happy to assume that role when his generation came to power.
Sundance of Conservative Treehouse described this transition as occurring in 2008 when Obama came to power, but I believe it was actually 16 years earlier when Clinton was elected. Obama simply floored the accelerator. As Sundance explained,
In 2008, the ‘activists’ took control of government.
In January of 2009, the leftists, community organizers and activists took control of the systems they had opposed for the preceding 50+ years.
In January of 2009, and inflection point took place; an inflection point that no one realized in forethought, scale or consequence.
Starting in 2009, all of the systems of federal government were now under the control of the people who previously fought against the systems of federal government. Everything since is an outcome of that inflection point; that’s why everything flipped.
All true, but the first “activists” to control government were Bill and Hillary Clinton. Hillary was no less a radical than her husband. Her undergraduate thesis was entitled, “There is only the fight…An analysis of the Alinsky Model.”
George W Bush gave us the Patriot Act, where federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies were now weaponized against the American people.
Obama took Bush’s gift and pushed the limits, allowing the IRS to target Obama’s political opposition. This culminated in RussiaGate where his administration and agencies, using fabricated evidence, spied on a presidential candidate, transition, and administration by using the full weight of the FBI, DOJ, and CIA illegally as in a banana republic dictatorship.
Former watchdogs against government overreach by The Man, namely the media, happily went along. Many corporate media anchors and executives are the same Boomers who, like the politicians, transitioned from standing up to The Man to becoming The Man, now controlling the levers of power through traditional and social media.
Trump was aware, but powerless to stop it, as the cancer had metastasized far and wide into virtually all government agencies, media, tech, finance, sports, and most of the corporate world.
Biden let the process continue to gain steam, to the point that the current generation of The Man is brazen in their tyranny, weaponizing their government against all political opposition, from January 6 protesters and parents challenging local school boards, to even the former president and his associates.