If you were alive and Liberal and paying attention to American politics two years before this picture was taken, this is what you would have seen screaming over the horizon at you like a Thark horde:
If the current polls are reliable... Nixon will be re-elected by a huge majority of Americans who feel he is not only more honest and more trustworthy than George McGovern, but also more likely to end the war in Vietnam. The polls also indicate that Nixon will get a comfortable majority of the Youth Vote. And that he might carry all fifty states... This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes... understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose... Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?Nixon's dirty tricks and ratfucking brigade were running flat-out, putting the final coat of jolly stomping polish on the massive coup de grace he was about to deliver to America's hapless, peacenik, pot-head, Negro-loving Liberals.
-- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail '72"
By November on 1972, Jefferson Davis had clawed his way out of his unquiet grave to toast the newly re-elected President, after which he and Spiro Agnew got angry-drunk and staged their own inaugural ball on the graves of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Commie lesbo wife.
At least that's how history remembers it.
What is less well-remembered is the actual substance of the platform on which the Democratic Party ran in 1972.
This time, there was no screwing over the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to mollify Southern white bigots and Daley's truncheon-swinging goons were nowhere to be found.
This time, the Evil Liberals had as free a hand as they have ever had to shape the party.
And here is what those America-hating monsters proposed:
We believe in the rights of citizens to achieve to the limit of their talents and energies. We are determined to remove barriers that limit citizens because they are black, brown, young or women; because they never had the chance to gain an education; because there was no possibility of being anything but what they were.
We believe in hard work as a fair measure of our own willingness to achieve. We are determined that millions should not stand idle while work demands to be done. We are determined that the dole should not become a permanent way of life for any. And we are determined that government no longer tax the product of hard work more rigorously than it taxes inherited wealth, or money that is gained simply by having money in the first place.
We believe that the law must apply equally to all, and that it must be an instrument of justice. We are determined that the citizen must be protected in his home and on his streets. We are determined also that the ordinary citizen should not be imprisoned for a crime before we know whether he is guilty or not while those with the right friends and the right connections can break the law without ever facing the consequences of their actions.
We believe that war is a waste of human life. We are determined to end forthwith a war which has cost 50,000 American lives, $150 billion of our resources, that has divided us from each other, drained our national will and inflicted incalculable damage to countless people. We will end that war by a simple plan that need not be kept secret: The immediate total withdrawal of all Americans from Southeast Asia.
We believe in the right of an individual to speak, think, read, write, worship, and live free of official intrusion. We are determined that our government must no longer tap the phones of law-abiding citizens nor spy on those who have broken no law. We are determined that never again shall government seek to censor the newspapers and television. We are determined that the government shall no longer mock the supreme law of the land, while it stands helpless in the face of crime which makes our neighborhoods and communities less and less safe.
Perhaps most fundamentally, we believe that government is the servant, not the master, of the people. We are determined that government should not mean a force so huge, so impersonal, that the complaint of an ordinary citizen goes unheard.
That is not the kind of government America was created to build. Our ancestors did not fight a revolution and sacrifice their lives against tyrants from abroad to leave us a government that does not know how to listen to its own people.
I mean, can't you almost see Saul Alinsky (who diverted suspicion away from himself by very conveniently dying a month before the 1972 Democratic National Convention) skulking between the lines here, spitting on Vietnam Veterans and handing out T-bone welfare steaks to those scary "young bucks", all while moving relentlessly on to the next stage of his Master Plan to turn a young Hawaiian kid named Barack Obama into the First Muslim Communist President of the United States!
Here is a sample platter of the policies and reforms specifically proposed by the Democratic Party in 1972:
On Jobs, Prices and Taxes
...Jobs, Income and Dignity
Today there are 5.5 million unemployed. The nation will have suffered $175 billion in lost production during the Nixon Administration by election day. Twenty per cent of our people have suffered a period without a job each year in the last three.
Business has lost more in profits than it has gained from this Administration's business-oriented tax cuts.
In pockets of cities, up to 40 per cent of our young people are jobless.
Farmers have seen the lowest parity ratios since the Great Depression.
For the first time in 30 years, there is substantial unemployment among aerospace technicians, teachers and other white-collar workers.
The economic projections have been manipulated for public relations purposes.
The current Nixon game plan includes a control structure which keeps workers' wages down while executive salaries soar, discourages productivity and distributes income away from those who need it and has produced no significant dent in inflation, as prices for food, clothes, rent and basic necessities soar.
Full employment—a guaranteed job for all—is the primary economic objective of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is committed to a job for every American who seeks work. Only through full employment can we reduce the burden on working people. We are determined to make economic security a matter of right. This means a job with decent pay and good working conditions for everyone willing and able to work and an adequate income for those unable to work. It means abolition of the present welfare system.
To assure jobs and economic security for all, the next Democratic Administration should support:
A full employment economy, making full use of fiscal and monetary policy to stimulate employment;
Tax reform directed toward equitable distribution of income and wealth and fair sharing of the cost of government;
Full enforcement of all equal employment opportunity laws, including federal contract compliance and federally-regulated industries and giving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adequate staff and resources and power to issue cease and desist orders promptly;
Vastly increased efforts to open education at all levels and in all fields to minorities, women and other under-represented groups;
An effective nation-wide job placement system to entrance worker mobility;
Opposition to arbitrarily high standards for entry to jobs;
Overhaul of current manpower programs to assure training-without sex, race or language discrimination for jobs that really exist with continuous skill improvement and the chance for advancement;
This nation achieved its economic greatness under a system of free enterprise, coupled with human effort and ingenuity, and thus it must remain. This will be the attitude and objective of the Party.
There must be an end to inflation and the ever-increasing cost of living. This is of vital concern to the laborer, the housewife, the farmer and the small businessman, as well as the millions of Americans dependent upon their weekly or monthly income for sustenance. It wrecks the retirement plans and lives of our elderly who must survive on pensions or savings gauged by the standards of another day.
Through greater efficiency in the operation of the machinery of government, so badly plagued with duplication, overlapping and excesses in programs, we will ensure that bureaucracy will cease to exist solely for bureaucracy's own sake. The institutions and functions of government will be judged by their efficiency of operation and their contribution to the lives and welfare of our citizens.
A first priority of a Democratic Administration must be eliminating the unfair, bureaucratic Nixon wage and price controls.
When price rises threaten to or do get out of control—as they are now—strong, fair action must be taken to protect family income and savings. The theme of that action should be swift, tough measures to break the wage-price spiral and restore the economy. In that kind of economic emergency, America's working people will support a truly fair stabilization program which affects profits, investment earnings, executive salaries and prices, as well as wages. The Nixon controls do not meet that standard. They have forced the American worker, who suffers most from inflation, to pay the price of trying to end it.
In addition to stabilizing the economy, we propose:
To develop automatic instruments protecting the livelihood of Americans who depend on fixed incomes, such as savings bonds with purchasing power guarantees and cost-of-living escalators in government social security and income support payments;
To create a system of "recession insurance" for states and localities to replace lost local revenues with federal funds in economic downturns, thereby avoiding reduction in public employment or public services;
... The Democratic Party deplores the increasing concentration of economic power in fewer and fewer hands. Five per cent of the American people control 90 per cent of our productive national wealth. Less than one per cent of all manufacturers have 88 per cent of the profits. Less than two per cent of the population now owns approximately 80 per cent of the nation's personally-held corporate stock, 90 per cent of the personally-held corporate bonds and nearly 100 per cent of the personally-held municipal bonds. The rest of the population—including all working men and women—pay too much for essential products and services because of national policy and market distortions.
The Democratic Administration should pledge itself to combat factors which tend to concentrate wealth and stimulate higher prices.Rights, Power and Social Justice
To this end, the federal government should:
Develop programs to spread economic growth among the workers, farmers and businessmen;
Help make parts of the economy more efficient such as medical care—where wasteful and inefficient practices now increase prices;
Step up anti-trust action to help competition, with particular regard to laws and enforcement curbing conglomerate mergers which swallow up efficient small business and feed the power of corporate giants;
Strengthen the anti-trust laws so that the divestiture remedy will be used vigorously to break up large conglomerates found to violate the antitrust laws;
Abolish the oil import quota that raises prices for consumers;
Deconcentrate shared monopolies such as auto, steel and tire industries which administer prices, create unemployment through restricted output and stifle technological innovation;
Assure the right of the citizen to recover costs and attorneys fees in all successful suits including class actions involving Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, or rights secured by federal statutes;
Adjust rate-making and regulatory activities, with particular attention to regulations which increase prices for food, transportation and other necessities;
Remove artificial constraints in the job market by better job manpower training and strictly enforcing equal employment opportunity;
Stiffen the civil and criminal statutes to make corporate officers responsible for their actions;
...The right to full participation in government and the political process;
The rights of free speech and free political expression, of freedom from official intimidation, harassment and invasion of privacy, as guaranteed by the letter and the spirit of the Constitution;Free Expression and Privacy
The right to a decent job and an adequate income, with dignity;
The right to quality, accessibility and sufficient quantity in tax-supported services and amenities —including educational opportunity, health care, housing and transportation;
The right to quality, safety and the lowest possible cost on goods and services purchased in the market place;
The right to be different, to maintain a cultural or ethnic heritage or lifestyle, without being forced into a compelled homogeneity;
The rights of people who lack rights: Children, the mentally retarded, mentally ill and prisoners, to name some; and
The right to legal services, both civil and criminal, necessary to enforce secured rights.
The new Democratic Administration should bring an end to the pattern of political persecution and investigation, the use of high office as a pulpit for unfair attack and intimidation and the blatant efforts to control the poor and to keep them from acquiring additional economic security or political power.It goes on for dozens of pages, calling for a modest increase in the minimum wage, worker safety, the right of labor to organize, bargain and strike, but not in any way in which "a carrier or group of carriers" could "be transformed into nation-wide strikes or lockouts"; rights and protections for women, children, minorities, veterans, native Americans. consumers and the poor are explicitly articulated; there is call for for universal "National Health Insurance" with "incentives and controls to curb inflation in health care costs and to assure efficient delivery of all services".
The epidemic of wiretapping and electronic surveillance engaged in by the Nixon Administration and the use of grand juries for purposes of political intimidation must be ended. The rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution, as these concepts have traditionally been understood, must be restored.
Believe it or not, there is actually a section on Family Planning which reads as follows:
Family planning services, including the eduction, comprehensive medical and social services necessary to permit individuals freely to determine and achieve the number and spacing of their children, should be available to all, regardless of sex, age, marital status, economic group or ethnic origin, and should be administered in a non-coercive and non-discriminatory manner.
There are sections on transit and on environmental protection. And for those who believe that all Democrats want to do is "throw money" at problems, there is an entire section on "The Quality and Quantity of Social Service":
The new Democratic Administration can begin a fundamental re-examination of all federal domestic social programs and the patterns of service delivery they support. Simply advocating the expenditure of more funds is not enough, although funds are needed, for billions already have been poured into federal government programs—programs like urban renewal, current welfare and aid to education, with meager results. The control, structure and effectiveness of every institution and government grant system must be fully examined and these institutions must be made accountable to those they are supposed to serve.Now you can read through the entire thing (including the Sekrit Liberal Gnostic Gospels) and never once find a call for a proletariat uprising or the liquidation of the capitalists. And yet every single time another Centrist droolbucket tries to deflect attention away from another Conservative atrocity by whining about the imaginary excesses of another imaginary Hippie...
We will, therefore, pursue the development of new rights of two kinds: Rights to the service itself and rights to participate in the delivery process.
..this is where they are pointing.
This period in history.
What does every single mewling Centrist coward and con-man say every single fucking time they get caught squatting in the fake middle as another Conservative drops another payload of crazy on this country?
Yadda-yadda, the extremes on both sides...
Yadda-yadda, excesses on both side...
Yadda-yadda, Secession is just like health care reform...
Yadda-yadda, "it happens with both parties. They do it all the time."
Yadda-yadda, "loud microphones on the left, loud microphones on the right"...
"[The Murrican People] look at Washington, they see the hyper-partisanship, they see loud microphones on the left, loud microphones on the right, and nobody really rewarding good behavior in the middle. People are just -- in fact, they're getting punished whenever they try and extend their arm across the aisle or work in a bipartisan fashion."Yadda-yadda, "It's just a jump to the Left. And then a step the Right":
I could go on -- endlessly (as if I haven't already :-) -- but the point is this: there is no bigger, more destructive and more commonly repeated lie in American politics today than "Both Sides Do It". Nothing else even comes close (all of the Right's gigantic, treasonous lies about Iraq, for example, eventually had to give grudging way to the realities of the catastrophic losses and failures to which that enterprise was doomed.)
Of course, none of the Bush Administration's various war criminals and Useful Idiots were ever docked so much as a day's pay or an erg Beltway prestige once their lies caught up with them (in fact a disturbing number of America's leading Neoconservative traitors actually leveraged their treachery into lucrative career advancements). And of course once the Bush Administration's staggering concatenation of fraud, failure and lies started to blow in their faces, the party bosses had a whole new suit of lies ready and waiting to replace the old, worn out ones. Or, as one wag put it back in 2009:
Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.
Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.But however frustrating this near-hysterical Conservative and Centrist chicken-run away from the lies they told during the Age of Bush may be to those of us who want these fuckers brought to book, the fact is there never would have been any frantic exodus away from their Very Loudly Held Idiotic Positions in the first place if the Conservatives and Centrists were really capable of denying external realities.
They can't hold foreign policy, the economic fundamentals or cultural advancement at bay indefinitely...which is why they are forced to change lies over and over again, faster and faster.
On the other hand, the reason the Big Lie of Centrism is nearly indestructible is that it seems like real magic in ways that the lies about Iraq never were: a kind of Beltway Letter of Transit --
-- which can be invoked anywhere, any time, under any circumstance by any gas bag with access to a microphone, and which can never be questioned or contradicted because no external reality exists to furnish objective evidence of the Big Lie's fraudulence.
Except there is objective evidence -- right there in front of them, close enough to touch, and it scares the crap out of them.
And its so damn easy!
Note where the GOP stood in 1972.
*(UPDATE: The indefatigable Blue Gal dug out up article from AlterNet which comes with a nice, compact list of Nixon's "liberal" accomplishments: )
Nixon posted an objective record that we can use for purposes of comparison. Consider (and forgive me for repeating some of what I wrote three years ago here):
- He got us out of Vietnam.
- He was a keen foreign policy type whose diplomatic efforts strengthened our relationships with both established and emerging world powers.
- He implemented the first significant federal affirmative action program.
- He dramatically increased spending on federal employee salaries.
- He oversaw the first large-scale integration of public schools in the South (something the crackers where I grew up were none too happy about).
- He proposed a guaranteed annual wage (aka a “negative income tax”).
- He advocated comprehensive national health insurance (single payer) for all Americans.
- He imposed wage and price controls in times of economic crisis. This wasn’t a terribly good idea, but it was the furthest thing from a conservative idea. Truth is, it was positively socialist.
- He indexed Social Security for inflation and created Supplemental Security Income.
- He created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Office of Minority Business Enterprise.
- He promoted the Legacy of Parks program.
- He appointed four Supreme Court Justices. Three of them voted with the majority in Roe v. Wade.
Note where the Democrats stood in 1972.
Draw a line representing where a "Both Sides" Centrist would have been in 1972
Next note what happened to the GOP over the last 40 years. If you need help articulating the distance between the Nixon/GOP of 1972 and the raving, theocratic nuthouse post-Dubya/GOP of 2012, look no further than the considered opinion of one of the greatest Nixon critics of all time:
And now the last step: Using the 1972 Democratic Party platform as a baseline, note what happened the Left over the last 40 years. And ask yourself, honestly, in that time, have the Left's policies and expectations tacked consistently towards the 1972/GOP Right...or has the Left seized America's guns?
Have we outlawed religion?
Has the Democratic Party moved to make abortion 100% legal and government funded through the ninth month of pregnancy, no questions asked?
Is pot cheap, legal and available over-the-counter at every CVS and Piggly Wiggly?
Have we sold off our last battleship?
Are our schools impossibly well-funded?
Does every citizen have free, lifetime health care?
Does every building sport solar panels?
Is gay marriage legal everywhere?
Have we nationalized our banks and oil companies?
Do we tax the rich at 98%?
Is there an 18 month paid parental leave by law? And three months of mandatory paid vacation?
Is there a $22/hr minimum wage?
Is union membership now mandatory?
Are fully half of the Democratic members Congress stocked open and committed Socialists?
Are a quarter of the Democratic members Congress stocked open and committed Communists?
None of these things have happened.
And yet unless all of these things and more were true, there is simply no comparison between the slow, depressing rightward slog of the Left over the last 40 years...
...and the rage-fueled, anti-science, anti-environment, anti-woman, anti-freedom, anti-Middle Class bullet train to Crazytown that the Right has been on during this same period:
And it is this gargantuan gap between the Actual Left and the Imaginary Left -- between reality and the Big Lie of Centrism -- that terrifies our Beltway Media. Scares them so bad that none of them will debate or even discuss the matter in a public forum, or within shouting distance of a Beltway camera and microphone.
The Big Lie of Centrism is the Magic Lie. The Philosopher's Stone of lies which has transmuted dozens of mediocre hacks into Very Wealthy and Serious Persons, and hundreds of the smaller lies our political media tells every day into the common wisdom of our Imperial Media.
The Big Lie of Centrism is also incredibly fragile, which is why so much effort must be devoted to its constant maintenance and protection.
The Maginot Line of the Beltway Media can withstand any assault as long the Big Lie of Centrism remains intact.
But once it falls, the world will change.
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