Saturday 25 July 2020

What if America this year is not 1968 but 1860?

The recent revolutionary events in the USA obviously remind us all of the riots of 1968, which culminated in the famous 'Silent Majority' electing Richard Nixon, not the Democrat Hubert Humphrey, nor George Wallace, the right-wing third party candidate.

Wallace, by the way, did not just win votes in the South. He was the most popular 1968 presidential candidate among young men and popular with blue-collar workers in the North and Mid-West. 

It may well be that a silent majority will re-elect Donald Trump from fear of the Woke movement and the riots, although the media very carefully keeps the truth about the violent riots from the public. 

But what if the best analogy is not with 1968 but with the outburst of moral fervour in the Northern states that led to the election of Abraham Lincoln and the civil war?

The putative Silent Majority are silent for fear of the consequences of expressing conservative positions.

Victor Davis Hanson is an American classicist, historian and journalist. In his latest article he compares 2020 with 1968.

The ’60s protests were for racial assimilation and integration to reify 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 non-white victims and purported white victimizers, past and present.

...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.

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