For the Democrats
In the mid-1960’s I became interested in politics. It began with the assassination of JFK- then RFK, MLK- and my first serious girlfriend introduced me to her family and their world. They were east European Jews, who fled the persecutions. My own WASP origins went back to the Mayflower. In 1966 I gave an anti-war speech at graduation the local paper wouldn’t print. The place I grew up was “conservative”, famous for the Robeson Riots. Religion was divided by thirds- Protestants, Catholics and Jews. RFK was our Senator.
In 1970, the year I got my BA, the Vietnam War was still going, and it was a recession. LBJ, a Democrat, was the president. That spring was the first draft lottery- and wealthy white youth were now being drafted to fight alongside the black and poor against the “communists” in a bloody and losing struggle in the jungles of Vietnam. Everyone was protesting at once. The anti-war, the women’s liberation movement, the Civil Rights movement, the environmentalists, the gays…joined in overlapping protests which sometimes turned into riots, arson and looting.
The protests, the unemployment, the drugs and the “War on Drugs”, the “Law and Order”, The Pill and evolving sexual and political attitudes created a culture-war which was midwife to the Libertarian movement. At the same time, the Civil Rights legislation signed by LBJ caused the “Dixiecrats” of the Jim Crow South to become Republicans- causing a political shift which persists today. And above all, the corruption at the heart of government continued unchallenged, and government kept getting bigger, more intrusive and more corrupt.
Government is so corrupt today, they don’t even call it corruption any more. They call it the “status quo”. The Libertarian idea has started to take hold. Big government is the problem, not the solution.
Other factors, like the AIDS epidemic, drug addiction and deaths from overdoses, the Republican South and reaction to the “anarchy” of the 1960’s caused America to swing conservative. Once Nixon resigned, the draft ended and the Vietnam war came to an end- the Libertarians lost much of their impetus, and most of them took their Libertarian and “contrarian” ideas to the Democrats. The “culture wars” turned Republicans and Democrats into armed camps, and there was little room for a contrarian third party.
Those which remained were conservative, and today the Libertarian Party is known for being “Conservative”. Most of the time Libertarians vote Republican. The Libertarian party, today, is little more than ballot access for amateur politicians who’ve been rejected by the Republicans, and become a Republican “Farm Team”. A few semi-successful Libertarians from the South became “Tea Party Republicans” in reaction to the black president Obama, and at its heart was bigotry.
At the same time, a neo- Libertarian insurgency led by Bernie Sanders began to emerge in the Democratic Party, but it was smothered by the corruption of the Hillary Clinton coalition. In 2016 both the Democrats and the Republicans were so splintered the presidency was won by a “populist” wild-card Donald Trump- a surprise to everyone… including Donald Trump, who thought he was promoting his brand-name and a new TV show, never expected to win. He was seen to be the only alternative to a corrupt status-quo.
He made no plans for governance, never considered divesting himself of his foreign assets as the Constitution requires, had no support from either party establishment and is unable to find appointments for the thousands of government jobs- and the holdovers from the Obama years have only his demise as their ambition. Totally unprepared and without any support team- he yielded completely to corruption almost immediately upon inauguration, and his hopeful supporters were first to be betrayed by his instant Plutocracy.
America is headed into a time of great turmoil and uncertainty, at a time when American leadership
is crucial to holding the Free world together- facing another losing war much bigger than the little skirmish in Vietnam in the Islamic World, where most of the free world’s oil supply is held. The half- century fight over oil is finally being lost.
Obama won his first election promising to end the conflict, which he inherited from the Republicans- calling it a “dumb war”…. two terms later this wild-card president inherits it from him, massively larger and more dangerous- refugees leaving the conflict by the millions, causing distress all across the free world- while Russia and China wait and watch as America loses another conflict- a much bigger one, one which might bankrupt america, one which could easily escalate to include the whole world. At a time when “alternative energy” is becoming more practical as an avenue to world peace, Trump is doubling down on oil. Clinton’s and Bush’s ties to Saudi oil demonstrate the importance of oil and war for oil on the fortunes of America’s political dynasties.
A completely new political order is needed in America. A New Libertarian idea is coming which is what the original Libertarians who joined the Democrats in the 1970’s sought and didn’t find in the Democratic “Party of the Clintons”- characterized more than anything else by corruption. Bernie Sanders was too old and tired to mount any real resistance.
The Democrats who lost famously in 2016 are doubling down their losing bet on women, the wrong strategy. What the Democrats need to do is attract men, white working-class men and their traditional wives who wanted traditional marriage and family- and their children- who were deprived of educational and job opportunity early in life by the “affirmative action” movement, feel degraded by political strategy aimed at “empowering” anti-motherhood single working women without regard for them. The Democratic answer for them should be subsidized adult education, expanded job opportunities, free health care- and a destigmatization for being poor. Minorities didn’t show up for the Democrats in 2016. Why not? Because they saw the Clinton Democrats had betrayed them.
We’re going to give new candidates the tools to succeed as New Libertarians in the Democratic party primaries, and become the New Democrats as the decadent and corrupt “old order” washes out with the tide.