Deja Vu All Over Again: 1968 Edition

Photo portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson ...

Photo portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office, leaning on a chair. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, not really. We all know history doesn’t repeat itself, but sometimes it surely rhymes. And so it does here, as we have the most completely failed presidency since Lyndon Johnson’s, and no, I haven’t forgotten Carter. Mired in a foreign war that it dares not lose but is afraid to win, having torn the country apart with its dreadful domestic policies, the Obama presidency is simply floundering.

And perhaps worse, it continues to tear it own party to pieces. If like me, you remember the 60s, likely what you remember more than anything else, his how the Democratic Party turned on itself. It only recovered because the Republican Party shortly did the same thing under Nixon.

Understand, I’m pretty much of an ideologue, and pretty consistent, but that is not where governance happens. Governance happens somewhere in the middle, neither far left, nor far right. In a number of ways this is the legacy of England and the common law, of which we’ll speak more soon, but it is so, and it’s why no English Speaking country has ever succumbed to dictatorships of either the left or the right.

Noah Rothman wrote about some parallels the other day in Commentary, it’s pretty good reading.

Superficially, the parallels between the issues that will likely to come to dominate the 2016 presidential election and those of another election year, 1968, are eerie.

Abroad, Americans have grown uncomfortable with the president’s halfhearted conduct of a necessary but unloved war. It has become inescapably clear that the tempo of operations is dictated by domestic political concerns rather than strategic considerations in theater. Internationally, a terrible ideology diametrically opposed to Western democratic ideals appears to be gaining ground, attracting support in unlikely corners of the globe, and exporting terrorism and insecurity into the heart of the West. And at home, public fears about the breakdown of order in America’s urban centers and the relationship between law enforcement officials and the public they serve are approaching the forefront of voters’ minds. This presents Republicans an opportunity they would be wise to exploit, but it would be a mistake for the party to think it can simply run the next Richard Nixon and win the White House.

When voters cast their ballots in 1968, their apprehension in regards to accelerating urban violence was palpable. In the four years that preceded that election, rioting in Watts, Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York City, Detroit, Newark, and even right outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago tore at the nation’s social fabric. Today, urban and race-related rioting has again come to occupy American minds as places like Ferguson and Baltimore erupt in self-defeating, inchoate property destruction and violence. Some believe that these riots are a portent of things to come, and the Long Hot Summer of 1967 will recur in 2015.

There are indeed signs that it could all happen again, and that’s very sad. In many ways, we have figured out why 1968 happened, and we know that it killed whole cities, the main one being Gary, Indiana, which when I was a child, was a very good shopping town, if you didn’t want to go all the way to the Loop. Now it makes Benghazi look like a tourist destination. Admittedly there was more than one factor there, the social factors he talks about but also the suicide of the American steel industry. It is also when Detroit began to break down, other cities, like Baltimore, which had a more divergent industry base, managed to survive, although I think none of them thrived.

Today, as a likely result of the left’s demonization of American police, urban law enforcement officials are unable or unwilling to perform the necessarily risky work of policing urban environments. “Violent crime — killings, robberies, rapes and assaults — is rising in half of the 10 biggest U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, where the rate is up 25 percent,” NBC News reported. “Murders are up in four of the biggest cities, most notably New York, the nation’s poster child for crime reduction.” Baltimore has experienced its deadliest month May since1972. “Meanwhile, arrests have plummeted since April’s unrest in Baltimore, with only 1,177 people arrested so far in May compared to 3,801 in the same month last year,” the Baltimore Sun revealed. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson called the spike in violent crime the results of a “Ferguson effect,” and blamed his city’s 17 percent hike in violent crime and 25 percent spike in murders on their inability to conduct proactive policing operations.

There’s little to add to that paragraph is there?

It’s important to note yet again though, that when these riots are fomented, we all know, or at least we should, who gets hurt. It’s not me sitting out here in rural Nebraska, it’s not the politicians in Baltimore or Maryland, or Washington, any price they pay is minor and temporary. The news media actually gains from it as do the race hustlers like Al Sharpton, who have built a lucrative career on this stuff.

So who gets hurt, the largely defenseless people who live in these war zones, and haven’t the resources to flee from them. In other words, the very people the Democratic Party purports to represent, its other groups place into mortal danger, from violence, and from economics for their private gain. Letting people talk you into (and helping you to) burn down your own neighborhood just isn’t going to fix any of your problems.

And this as well:

Republicans would do well to note that they are concerned more with the preservation of black lives and livelihoods than realizing a Marxist revolution fantasy at the expense of American minorities.


It’s 1968 All Over Again | Commentary Magazine.


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9 Responses to Deja Vu All Over Again: 1968 Edition

  1. Indeed we cannot look in any crystal-balls, but morally and spiritually history does repeat itself quite often, and until the end. This is really sort of the essence of eschatology, humanities continued failure to the end of time! This is at least the centre of the Judeo-Christian reality, of course in my opinion, and many others now and historically. Again, surely the Visible and Historic Christian Church is in a moral free-fall today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surely again, Martin Luther was NO perfect Man of God, but he knew even in his day that the true Church was still equated with Heaven, and Luther rose up against the powers of Heaven and Earth, and in his day stood almost alone with God and against his almost seeming omnipresent adversary, the Devil! As Oberman said of Luther: “the discoveries and experiences of a life marked by battle raging within and without make him a contemporary of our time, which has learned to sublimate the Devil and marginalize God.” See btw Heiko Oberman’s classic book: Luther, Man between God and the Devil!


  2. the unit says:

    There is a phrase or term…”That’s funny.” It really never meant anything at all about being funny. It was about being dismayed. I think it correlates with remembering where you were when such and such happened. Concerning LBJ here, exactly where I was on the evening he announced he would not seek reelection. I had just been released from active duty and was driving home several hundred miles and heard it live on the radio. I was near a big city and reception on AM was good.
    That’s funny. There were/before/have been/and now moments I should have been paying attention to and be able to remember where I was when it happened. And yeah, I do have others, but too many I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Same for all of us, I reckon. My strongest memory of the year was during the democratic convention, when they were rioting in Gary as well. It was amazing seeing several hundred to a thousand indiana state Police cars parked in every available parking lot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Funny”, but my memory of 1968 was being “attached” to the American Marine 3rd Force Recon, of course as an RMC for too many months as I remember, being wounded in my last month “In Country”, though not too badly, some concussion & light shrapnel… A nasty year in the Nam!

        Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          In spite of so many comments I’ve read about vets not liking to hear…”Thank you for your service”, thank you. I can see you readily remember where, what, and when. As I’ve said before I a vet, not combat, and I know difference. Did what I was told, was in support in building the Marine 5th Division going to Camp Pendleton, out of southern Camp Lejeune and outlying Camp Geiger. No thanks to Caitlyn Courageous.


  3. Mustang.Koji says:

    Hear, hear! “They” are basically making the racial divide into another Grand Canyon – albeit eroding much, much faster. I also do believe history repeats itself…with our young men and women in uniform to suffer first when the time comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      It does come awfully close, closer than we should let it, often!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: My Article Read (6-11-2015) | My Daily Musing

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