Skip to comments.Hugh Hewitt: The End of the Sixties (Bush's victory marks the end, finally, of the '60s)
Posted on 11/03/2004 9:17:06 PM PST by RWR8189
More than a win for conservatism, Bush's victory marks the end, finally, of the '60s.
THE SIXTIES ended on September 11, 2001, but they were interred on the morning of November 3, 2004, when a senator from Massachusetts played the reverse role of another senator from Massachusetts 44 years earlier.
In November of 1960, John F. Kennedy had received a call from Richard Nixon, conceding the election, an act of statesmanship that still redounds to Nixon's credit. Nixon's chances of successfully waging a recount of Illinois and Texas votes were higher than Kerry's of contesting Ohio's votes from Tuesday, but both would have been long-shots, and both would have strained the country's reserves of civility. Both men chose well, and John Kerry's final act of Campaign 2004 was by far his best.
When the first JFK won, it set in motion events that would pummel America and its politics right through this just-completed campaign. The triumph of Jack Kennedy elevated style, new money, and a new elitism into the mainstream. It launched a war that would divide the country as none before--excepting the Civil War--had. It led to the credentialing of a media elite just now beginning a long overdue mass retirement. And it set in motion a swirl of cultural change that would culminate in the bipolarization of the political world into red and blue.
WHEN JOHN KERRY played Nixon to Kennedy's Bush, it brought the curtain down on this long-playing drama. Bill Clinton was the second, farcical Kennedy, and John Kerry was trying to be the third Kennedy--a serious, old European version of Camelot grown up. Vietnam was Kennedy's adventure, and it framed the Kerry campaign, if not the election. Bush and red state America were talking about a nearly completely different set of issues and priorities, divorced from the dramas of the '60s that still consume much of the left. Scratch one of Kerry's angry supporters and you'll find one of the old guard still organizing. What is MoveOn.org and the Michael Moore crowd but SDS grown up and using video cameras instead of bullhorns--gone gray and with bad knees, but still amusing the middle class with the rhetoric of rage against the backdrop of vast comfort?
THE BEST PART of the Democratic smash-up is the credentialing of a couple of new Democratic leaders who are completely untethered to the old guard. Ken Salazar beat Pete Coors in Colorado because it was hard not to like this genial rancher. Salazar's Mexican-American ethnicity was just part of the appeal he made, and not an angry part at all. Coors, ever the gentleman, couldn't disguise the fact that he, and most Coloradoans, thought Salazar a pretty decent guy. Salazar will be a new force in the Democratic party, a genuinely Western voice in a club too long dominated by Yalies and their Hollywood buddies.
The same can be said for Barak Obama. Goodbye tired old leadership elites that stridently grind and condemn. Obama comes to the table armed with smarts, charisma, and youth. John Kerry lost on Tuesday, but so did Sharpton, Jesse, Julian, and the rest of the old school. Obama will never say so, but the '60s era civil rights tactics are long past there prime. Salazar and Obama send a message to the GOP that cannot be missed either: Persuade the ethnic middle class that the policies of economic growth do genuinely work for them and not just their bankers, or understand that the next few years as a majoritarian party will be your last.
THE WORST LEGACY of the '60s was its Vietnam complex. The opposition to the war in Iraq--even after 9/11, even after inspections of the vast munitions dump that was Saddam's wasteland--was as much about legitimizing the huge mistakes of 1974 and 1975 as it was about concern of a new "quagmire." The collective trauma of those years--relived in the Swift Boat Vets' campaign and stage lit by the reactions they produced--had a last revival tour in 2004. When Senator Kerry called the president, it put a tombstone on that debate. It didn't end it, but it is hard to see how it will ever play on center stage again. Everyone is too damn old, and sick to death of the shouting.
A NEW LEFT, confident of American power in the service of security at home and freedom abroad, could still emerge. Joe Biden has to be shoved aside, and Joe Lieberman elevated. Pat Leahy has to get an elbow and a talking to about how his extremism has played over two election cycles. In short, the old left has to let go, and let the new left grow up and learn to shun the nuts like Michael Moore while learning to support American foreign policy.
Scoop Jackson is long gone, but his party needs him back. Folks like Salazar and Obama can be part of that necessary revival. But only if the ghosts of the '60s are finally exorcised, or at least exiled to Hollywood.
John Kerry's call to the White House yesterday was a bold act, and one for which I am genuinely grateful. There were no doubt voices around him who urged a scorched earth campaign, and it would have had some upside for the radical caucus, even though it would have been a long-term loser. Money would have been raised, lawyers made famous, and the commentariat fed fresh controversy. It wasn't an easy decision, just the right one. One that the new democrats in Afghanistan and Iraq should study and keep in mind. Losing an election isn't the end of the world. Countries should celebrate and honor those who concede quickly and with grace.
Hugh Hewitt is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show, and author most recently of If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends Upon It. His daily blog can be found at HughHewitt.com.
Hugh!! He kept me going strong all night Tuesday. That dude rules!!!!
What I wanted, more than anything else is for the 60's mentality to die the big death this week. I'm sure they'll rear their ugly heads again but I believe we've made good progress in beating them into submission.
YOUR CHOICE OF
FLIP-FLOPPER - PAINT BALLED - RED FACED
She was to paint-ball his ass the bright orange that would make him the king of all his Swift Boat followers ... or should it be the "bad'est red-ass" of them all ??
She could not tell, from his flip-flops, the difference from his face and his ... democrapic donky!
What an ass !
I think I should move to Nebraska or Oklahoma
Idiocy never dies in a triumph of glory...it gets repackage as a new and improved Democrat.
I hope so.... I'm of the '80s generation and have had all I can take of those 60's crackpots - they have caused a lot of damage to this country - just look at how things were before their dang revolution - I don't mean some of the bad things just the decent things like getting dressed before you leave the house - not worrying about being sued if someone hurts themselves in front of your house, not having to have half naked people on primetime television....just basic common sense and decency......we had it in the 80's then they reared their ugly little heads again.....
Ken Salazar is a conservative Democrat. A rare species out West to be sure but one his party is in sore need of. A pretty decent guy to be elected in GOP Colorado.
What concerns me is these a*sh*les are like Rasputin. they keep getting driven into the ground but never learn. They are so surrounded by their ilk, they think we are radical and they are mainstream. I am concerned after thir blood levels are set with their prozac and thorazine dosages that they will think they are <-> this close because they almost got Kerry elected. They will be unable to look at the big picture how the 2004 election furthur marganilzed them.
Many of them are still in government, several were high level Clinton appointees.
I think it was Kerry, it was his call. But I don't think he's stupid, and I think he did the math, and saw it was a NO WIN situation.
And good for Bush for hanging fire until Kerry conceded.
The country needed this, just an election, a result; enough controversy to keep the talking heads jaw-jawing, but no bone thrown to our enemies.
Nuke Ithaca, it's the only way to be sure.
LOL - stealin' that!
I wanna see the map when they're all filled in
Hewitt was the perfect election-night host
I disagree...the worst legacy was its influence on abortion as contraception, homosexual normalization, divorce no longer shamed and liberalism.
If you can remember the '60s, you really weren't there.
I was born in the late 60's and am thankful I didn't have to grow up in it.
Great map, just what I wanted to see. Where can one get a look at this? Would also love to see how it compares to 2000 election.
Note the purity of Nebraska, Oklahoma, and (so far) Utah.
Thanks for posting this.
Hugh Hewitt is a great cheerleader for the left, and a genuine genius.
I am grateful that we, as a nation, had a chance to exhume the Vietnam War, re-examine it with some distance and wisdom and honesty (and not the heat of the 60's). Swiftvets made a good case and represented all that was good and decedent about Vietnam, and I for one feel better about that war than I ever did. I only wish our country had had the will to win it -- but we did not, and thus we lost.
But, now it can be laid to rest again, and this time may the anger and recriminations that were Vietnam "rest in peace."
FEMINIST NAZI MACHINE
I just thought about this: Hugh went off the air at 1:00am, Left Coast time. His show started at 3pm, 10 hours earlier. I conked out at the same time. I wish I'd called Hugh and told him what a great job he had done.
Kudos also to Laura Ingraham, Rick Roberts, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Larry Elder, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Michael Savage, Tony Snow, Al Rantel, Ann Coulter, John Ziegler, Tammy Bruce, and a cast of thousands.
Sorry..common sense dictates reality.
Yeah thanks for those kudos to all those Tradio Hosts who deserve our applause.
It isn't your first sentence but "the old left has to let go" is your first mistake. Why does it have to let go? Because its behaviors don't work? Look again. The left got 48% of the voters to vote for the most liberal man in the Senate. That's more (damage) than it could do in, say, 1972 (when it was the new left). Don't look now but they are making headway.
As for learning---they don't learn, man, it's too artificial, it's unnatural. They're still offering up ultra-liberal fanatics for candidates. The change you see---their near-success yesterday---is not a result of learning, it is a spreading of unlearning; a contagion of intellectual slovenliness. An entire generation has been exposed to their foulness. Millions are disabled.
As for learning to support American foreign policy...bwahahahahahahaha!!! You know what they say about teaching pigs to sing.
The DU had a poll up last night about which way to go next. Further left or toward the center? Well over half endorsed a more extreme leftward path. Insanity is repeating the behavior and expecting different results; so perhaps they are something even worse than learning disabled.
The Vietnam war protest was just an excuse to ram "sex, drugs and rock n roll culture down our country's throat. It was about a revolution against all we hold dear.
The atheistic and even pagan influence on our culture was devestating.
The liberal 1960s Supreme Court continued to unravel the true constitution (just like the Earl Warren Court) and replace it (illegally) with the ACLU fairy tale version.
An all out attack on 400 years of American heritage was mobilized by the left and they monopolized the media and education.
Lol, looking at the southeast tip of Florida it looks like they still can't count.
?? Explain ?
Indeed, though some like to make us feel like idiots. It will be interesting to see what the now conservative state BOE does with the science standards/evolution again.
Actually the '60s are probably not over. Abortion is still promoted by many in America. The Republicans' own Arnold the "Terminator" has helped to get embryonic stem cell research approved in California. The media and Hollywood continue to promote a trashy and amoral counter-culture. The legacy of the 1960s continues in many forms.
I think we're in agreement here...except I still like "Rock n Roll".
Sorry again. It was what I supposed was your satire vs. my satire.
60's sexual revolution be damned and why this country came out in droves to vote for "moral values". We're on the same page I thought.
We agree brother...God Bless.
My comment was just pointing out the seduction of the anti-war movement and leftwing politics in general.
"Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll" were their catch phrase. All three can be quite seductive since they all generally appeal to the flesh.
Sex, drugs and music can all be tremendous gifts or they can be perverted.
The hippie culture perverted all three, and used all three as tools to undermine our great country and its great culture.
"The DU had a poll up last night about which way to go next. Further left or toward the center? Well over half endorsed a more extreme leftward path. Insanity is repeating the behavior and expecting different results; so perhaps they are something even worse than learning disabled."
Interestingly enough, after the 2002 "earthquake election "
( somewhat obscure reference here: http://www.freedominion.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7588&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=165
...the Left's answer seemed to be "America is not hearing our message-- we need to SHOUT LOUDER!"
I have no doubt this is something he's been dreaming about most his life and we all know how hard it is to give up on a life-long dream.
NOW -- someone tell me we won't have to hear from Al Bore any more and his I was cheated junk!!!
You're right. They are the one's truly destroying this countries youth and has to be a freeper agenda.....
"It led to the credentialing of a media elite just now beginning a long overdue mass retirement. And it set in motion a swirl of cultural change that would culminate in the bipolarization of the political world into red and blue."
There's the media ,too.
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