It's Déjà Vu All Over Again
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.