Unexamined Premises

It's Déjà Vu All Over Again

Jeers greet Chicago police officers as they attempt to disperse demonstrators outside the Conrad Hilton, Democratic Convention headquarters hotel Wednesday, August 29, 1968. (AP Photo/RHS)

The worst year in modern American history was unquestionably 1968, which in its first six months included the Tet Offensive, LBJ’s surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the subsequent riots that destroyed the cores of many American cities including, fatally, Detroit; and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles.

Still to come were the riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago, the “Black Power” salutes by American athletes at the Olympics in Mexico City, Richard Nixon’s razor-thin victory over Hubert Humphrey in an election that saw a third-party candidate, George Wallace (a former racist Democrat) garner 13.5% of the popular vote as he ran against the “pointy-headed intellectuals” in Washington, and widespread student protests against the military draft.

Which brings us to 2016.

The pace of recent events, from the outre presidential election, the “exoneration” of career criminal Hillary Clinton by the FBI, and the shooting of multiple police officers in Dallas during a “Black Lives Matter” protest, is reminiscent of ’68; the country barely had time to process one enormity when the next once occurred. Yeats’ famous stanzas from his poem, “The Second Coming,” are as true today as they were then:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand…

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

As then, so now. The murders in Dallas should come as a surprise to exactly nobody, since this is the end point those supporting the BLM movement have tacitly — or openly — encouraged. The cry of “off the pigs” has been with us since Bill Ayers (some guy in Barack Obama’s neighborhood, never heard of him) was a pup. The Democrats, who have finally come out of the closet as the first openly anti-American party in American history, are now planning to disrupt the Republican convention later this month in Cleveland. We haven’t had any political assassinations yet, but give the violent Left time: they’re just warming up.

What is happening to the country? For those born after the pivotal year of 1968, it’s obviously a complete mystery. The clueless and increasingly disgraceful #neverTrumpumpkins continue to insist on a restoration of their inherited and almost entirely unearned “conservative principles,” incapable of understanding that not only is Edmund Burke dead, but so are Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Ronald Reagan. What were viable policy choices then, they continue to mistake as “timeless principles,” heedless that things like limited government and lower taxes are not only doomed to failure at the ballot box, but are also not universal solvents. In their jejune inflexibility, they are an embarrassment to genuine conservatism, which must be rooted in foundational Western cultural principles.

Political solutions devoted to policy arise from a time and place and are generally specific to that era. In our solipsistic age, we insist on seeing the past through the lens of our ideology, cocksure that we are right and they were wrong. This malevolent stupidity is behind the attacks on “whiteness,” on the actions and social attitudes of people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago; it also explains the insistence on “climate change” — if we can’t impose our fantasies and shibboleths upon future generations, what good are we? The world was born with us. 

The fact is, 1968 and 2016 are directly linked, in a way that the punditos (those born after 1968) and small children cannot possibly understand: this is a Baby Boomer war and it won’t end until all of us Boomers are senile, in Florida nursing homes, or dead.

For the truth is, we hate, despise and loathe each other and always have. From the crowded classrooms of the 1950s through the scrambling competition for colleges in the 1960s to our entry into the job markets in the 1970s, we have jostled, bumped and collided with our coevals at every step. The Vietnam War split us along socio-economic lines, with college students largely exempt from the draft as a matter of national policy.

We took over the universities and the media (my own personal and professional relationships with many well-known figures in the national media go back more than four decades), and we hired among the next generation those bright young things who most reminded us of ourselves. As pawns in the Cold War (which was being fought by our parents’ generation), we largely tolerated the communist penetration of the idealistic Left, especially targeting the black leaders around King (and King himself) and infiltrating the student movements via people like Ayers. As Don Surber noted today:

Make no mistake, this is the street battle that Bill Ayers envisioned in “Prairie Fire,” the hateful, anti-American manifesto that he co-authored and used to rationalize terrorism in the 1970s, long after the Vietnam War ended. The book was dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan and others.

From Prairie Fire:

Our job is to tap the discontent seething in many sectors of the population, to find allies everywhere people are hungry or angry, to mobilize poor and working people against imperialism.

We have an urgent responsibility: to destroy imperialism from within in order to help free the world and ourselves from its grasp.

Our final goal is the destruction of imperialism, the seizure of power, and the creation of socialism. Our strategy for this stage of the struggle is to organize the oppressed people of the imperial nation itself to join with the colonies in the attack on imperialism. This process of attacking and weakening imperialism involves the defeat of all kinds of national chauvinism and arrogance; this is a precondition to our fight for socialism.

People like Ayers and his partner, Bernarndine Dohrn, however, were not deluded, well-intentioned naifs: they were and remain devoted to the destruction of the country as founded, and determined to cause enough Helter-Skelter chaos to bring about the country they envison. By their lights, they are “patriots,” but by ours, they are simply evil. Like Shi’ite Muslims, who seek to call forth the End Times in order to create conditions ripe for the re-appearance of the Mahdi, the Left wishes to Cloward-Piven the nation to death, collapse the system and superimpose its vision of socialism; no wonder the Left and Islam have formed an unholy alliance akin to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939. They will stay on the same side until one (Islam) double-crosses the other (the Eloi Left). And then the butchery will really begin.

The difference between today and 1968, however, is that the American government is on the side of the radicals; nothing that is happening now is happening by chance. President Obama, the first anti-American president, has expressly set in motion many of the conflicts besetting us, including exacerbating racial tensions whenever he gets the chance. The astounding, in-your-face corruption of the political process has given us the unholy Hillary Clinton — the very embodiment of that corruption — and her antithesis, Donald Trump. Polls show that Americans have completely lost faith in the institutions of government; the police are reeling from the Ferguson Effect, and yesterday events in Dallas are only likely to worsen things.

All of this is meant to push, prod and provoke a reaction from a long-suffering populace that is seeing itself marginalized, condemned and demographically replaced by a gang of sneering thugs — bastard children of Rousseau — whose intentions have been plain since 1968, when the first rocks flew in Chicago. The question is: what, if anything, are we going to do about it?

The Rude Beast has occupied Washington, and now it’s coming for you.