I won’t try to pretend that when I was a child growing up in the 60’s and 70’s that I understood everything that was happening on my family’s TV screen. But some things were obvious as far back as I can remember. I did not need to be told that the words and actions of many Southern whites were wrong, I could see that they were being mean.
To a child, nice people are nice,and bad people are bad, it is that simple. I liked the Flower Power movement because they were nice. I did not like the people who were angry and making other people upset and afraid (Ranting Righties and violent Lefties). I always had this stubborn opinion that the one who started the fight were probably the bad guys.
My folks were conservative, but never discussed “grown up” stuff in front of my sister and I. Somethings they did speak out; about landing on the Moon, Munich, Apollo 13, raised fists at the Olympics.
I remember all of those, and my reactions even then were pretty much the same as now; Wow, ASSHOLES, why the negative message.
In the 70’s I never liked the Black Panthers, their anger and hatred and violence made me dislike them as much as I was drawn to the words of Martin Luther King.
I did like the way the fun stuff from the 60’s was being incorporated into daily culture (a la The 70’s Show).
The Nixon scandal was another case of the mean showing themselves to be mean; whatever brilliance Nixon had had he had sold it for a mess of politics. To a youngster Gerald Ford was just amusing, but, the only good things I remember about the Carter administration were Schoolhouse Rock and a sincere attempt to put all that Miles/Feet/Pounds garbage behind us and get on with the Metric System. I wish that those two things had been kept; I hate the fact that I think miles feet in daily life but use metric for all real measurements that involve calculations, and my entire generation knows how a Bill becomes a Law and what a conjunction is. Can that be said of any generation since SR went off the air?
In the later 70’s people were starting to have a more positive attitude again after the post-Vietnam malaise; new trends, inventions, media and fashions caught people’s entrepreneurial spirit again after the Malaise of the crash and burn of the 60’s. Then Disco and the Moral Majority showed up, and everything went to hell… at least on the cultural scene.
All the progress that had been made toward making nudity and sex things that were not evil in themselves, but just there turned into Madonna prostituting her body to bring attention for her otherwise adequate talents (for music fans, Madonna was the Anti-Kate Bush) and Falwell and his ilk trying to drag human bodies back under the blanket of a 1900’s “sex, what sex?” mentality.
Meanwhile both sides of the spectrum kept taking turns racheting up the partisanship; a major casualty – after 1974 the environmental movement was pretty much dead- a zombie under the control of political Leftists who DID nothing while gathering as much poltical power as possible while “saving the Planet.”.
Leftists will tell you the 60’s were ruined by Right-wing bigots and Imperialistic greed; and in part they are right, they just do not tell the whole story – like who started most of the conflicts the Right-wingers handled badly (shades of McCarthy).
Right-wingers harp on the fact that the reins of control for the peace movement ran to Moscow, and how the violence and purges were just kept out of the public eye behind a wall of flowers. And they too are right; but they miss the fact that most of the *people* on the ground in the 60’s were, for the most part, good hearted souls who just wanted everybody to stop FUCKING with others in cheap power that solved nothing – it is a hard stance to argue with, except that we live in a world where the other guy may decide he LIKES being mean and we have to get aggressive in defense of what we cherish. It was naive but, it was sincere for the majority of them.
The 90’s were a pretty good time for most of the country. But, the wealth gap kept increasing and more and more people became more and more upset at the witch hunts by the Republicans against Clinton; Whitewater produced nothing after years, until the Revenge of Linda Tripp debuted in DC.. Partisanship ratcheted up one more notch, and axes were ground all across the Left.
We all remember the joy of the Bush Years; Liberalism in the US seemed to have fully morphed into Left-Wing attack politics; RIP Feminism, Race Relations, Environmentalism and Freedom of Religion being Liberal movements Rather than cynically deployed political tools.
At the same time those on the right took pride in stripping themselves of any perceived “Liberal” taint in their move to finally throw real Conservatives into the background of their Neo-Con, Right-Wing and often Theocratic power structure.
But Virginia, all is not lost! Even as their hubris takes the country to the brink we see that their very excesses have begun to waken the American voters to the truth of their anti—American partisanship.
Bush II began it, Religious Christians realized they had been used, and used badly in the election and began to withdraw much of their support for partisan politics from the pulpit. Now Obama is working hard to put the final nails in the coffin of PC politics with HIS excesses and obfuscation. Is there any group but the DADT opponents that he hasn’t betrayed? I hear his latest is to instruct the Fed to aggressively attack the Ca medical Marijuana situation… a 180 degree turn around from his election position.
I put my faith in the American Public, the fools on the radical ends are nothing but self-serving bags of hot air!