Friday, December 24, 1999

The death of the Left

The American Left fragmented by the late 1970s.

What used to be a more-or-less unified Left wing liberation movement shattered into Black Liberation, Gay Liberation, Women's Liberation, Chicano Liberation -- etc. Basically, standard issue advocacy and grievance groups.

The Far Left either evaporated, went underground, or went to prison. What was left of the Far Left were nutjob factions like the SLA.

Mainstream American liberalism -- basically, the heart of the Democratic party -- assumed that, after the triumph of the Civil Rights movement, the debacle of Watergate, the fall of Nixon and the loss of the Vietnam war, they'd won the hearts and minds of America. Fucking idiots. But that's what they thought.

By the end of the 1970s, America's mainstream liberals were thinking big picture. Utopian ideology -- not strategy. Why worry about strategy when you've already won? Liberals figured they'd stomped the American Right into the ground for all time. Now, they were just mopping up the messy details. And educating the dumbass American public about racism, sexism and pollution. Norman Lear came up with the People for the American Way -- a liberal political action group. He spoonfed sermons to the American people disguised as sitcoms in "All in the Family" and "Maude." Somebody else invented a group called Common Cause. These chumps figured they were going to enlighten America.

The American Right was thinking strategy -- and small picture, street level victories.

America put Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980.

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