1964

by eradican

The year will end shortly and 2014 will be upon us. As everyone looks into the future I prefer to look into the past. 50 years have gone by since 1964 and yet this pivotal year in history barely registers to anyone. The recent Cold War and Kennedy discussions have prompted me to change that.

The 1960’s were a unique period of many contradictions. The economy thrived better than even the vaunted 1990s. America also put a man on the moon something unfathomable today. However the horrors of the Vietnam War and the rise of counterculture politics have eclipsed much of that. The decade should be divided into three eras; Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

The early 1960’s was the Kennedy period. It wasn’t a whole lot different than the decade before. Pleasant suburbs, varsity jackets, nice suits, and a happy home come to mind when imagining this era. This paradise was not to last as dark forces were on the horizon. The Kennedy period should be understood as the calm before the storm.

Kennedy cheated to win office in 1960 much like Bush in 2000. Both elections were extremely close and could have gone either way. Dirty tricks made the difference. In both cases the better man lost and the country was worse off. Kennedy and Bush were also northeastern blue bloods. Both had warmongering cabinets and VPs as well. Robert McNamara humble later in life but no less loathsome than Donald Rumsfeld when he was Secretary of Defense.

Nevertheless all was well until Kennedy died. That began the ……odious Johnson era. Gone was the glitz and glamor of JFK replaced by the guns and butter of Johnson. Originally the USA’s role in South Vietnam was advisory, logistics, and special ops related. That’s understandable given the worldwide battle against communism. The Soviet Union was doing the same thing in support of North Vietnam. What changed things for the worse was Johnson’s decision in 1964 to expand the war when they realized indigenous forces could not win. He misled the public with the Gulf of Tonkin incident giving him the pretext for expansion and Congress gave him total support with little debate. The results would be disastrous instead of simply cutting our losses then the US decided to dig deeper and not by an inch but a mile.

On the domestic front things were just as bad. 1964 would see passage of the Civil Rights Act something Johnson in particular believed in. Despite whatever good it achieved look no further than Detroit and other cities like it to appreciate it’s real impact on America. Even Kennedy wasn’t an enthusiastic supporter of “civil rights” as Johnson. While desegregation had already been underway before 1964 now it was totally cemented. Laws that had protected white neighborhoods from crime and the destruction of property values were eradicated.

Johnson also substantially expanded the welfare state. While I regard public broadcasting and medicare as national treasures there is no denying their perverse effects. One serves as a propaganda platform for pretentious and affluent liberals. The other has led to astronomical medical expenses just so grandpa can be a “fighter” for six more months. Worst of all were the new programs aimed to assist minorities and later women to help “break the cycle” of poverty. We see the consequences today at the DMV where white/black women sit on their fat ass all day waiting until their lucrative government pension kicks in.

Johnson vs Goldwater electoral map

Everything bad about the Johnson era didn’t occur exactly in 1964 but was enabled by his landslide reelection victory over Goldwater that same year. A critical moment demonstrating that Americans themselves were on board with his agenda. Boomers were barely able to vote then so you can’t simply scapegoat them for everything. 1964 was a chance for Americans to pull back and they didn’t.

America would come to regret it’s decision. From the mid 1960’s onward the country changed. It’s stunning how quickly even by today’s standards. Counter culture movements from the bizarre to dangerous sprang up everywhere. Crime also exploded an inevitable consequence of desegregation. Hard working parents who had sacrificed to send their children to college were denounced by their own brat kids as “racist, sexist, and homophobic”. The clean cut office man was replaced by the dirty and disgusting hippie. Even the sleek fashion earlier in the decade was replaced by tacky polyester suits. Widespread liberalism creates societal ugliness.

Then in 1968 came the Nixon era. Promising to attack the metastasizing cancers brought him to power in a landslide. By then however it was too late to undo the damage. Things could be salvaged and they were partially but the past could never be restored.

The Nixon era would also see the lunar landing. I think that was the apex of America. Most of our technology is derived from the Cold War space race including computers, satellites, lasers, stealth, even our most talented technologists today were born then or inspired by events of that era.

What will the next 50 years hold? Will someone write about us in a similar way decades from now? It’s so easy to recognize right and wrong in hindsight. Will 2014 be a turning point like 1964 was? We have the power to make it that way. Will you choose to?

 

10 Comments to “1964”

  1. Listened to two hours of Iowa’s NPR a couple weeks back. I can understand the appeal our intellectuals have for that kind of discourse. If the topic was settled the Lib and the Leftist would have nice exchanges of pleasant sounding rhetoric that even I found mildly informative, but when the issue was in contention like the Obamaflopcare it was basically “mean girls” talk and just as witless.

    That our Brandons want Smart Badges from them is a hilarious joke. But then again I can see and sense the taboos those leftards fear, and that is way more interesting than being grilled by a left wing authority figure.

  2. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 is an oversight here, and probably the event with the most dramatic consequences for the future 50-100 years.

    • Considered mentioning it but most of the problem is illegal immigration which is more recent.

      You’d still have an 80% white country had the laws been enforced despite the 1965 changes.

  3. The 60s made today possible. By the 70s, the board was set. The rest has just been a consequence of that time. Right now it’s the USG’s game to lose. PA and HR have mentioned how racism might be allowed. It seems like they are allowing some to filter through.

  4. The Admiral responsible for the Gulf of Tonkin incidente was… Jim Morrison’s dad!

    There is a “conspiracy theory” that the whole hippie-drugs-rock movement was created by the USG himself.

    The dude who introduced mushrooms in the american life was a JP Morgan banker: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Wasson

  5. I’ve often thought the Kennedy Era was the zenith of America, but now see it clearer in the negative form of Eisenhower’s being the peak of the post WW2 victory.

    The utmost negative is that WW2 is what finally destroyed us – our victory. It permitted us to indulge in wastrel fantasies. WW2 itself was actually the apex of BiGGov Control in censorship and herding people into prisons; it was the culmination of the Civil War, and that heralded the end. They were only 80 years apart, which is paltry in the scheme of things regarding nations. It’s like the blink of an eye.

    • Permit me to blather. Myself I can thank the jews for what they have done for me on one account. Probably in the history of man I myself am the freest man that has ever existed.

      In the Anglo-Saxon world we had free speech for the individual more in principle than practice. Well since WWII they shoved that in our faces and now in one little corner of the world my little asshole self can sit and shit on every taboo known to man. But they destroyed us in the process.

      Yes I have a love hate thing for Ayn Rand.

  6. Well done, and I (mostly) agree. Certainly the Johnsonian fantasy of being remembered as the New FDR was the Genesis of the current dystopia, and you portray it very well indeed. Especially poignant is the use of the Don Draper character to symbolize the last America I recognized.

    A coupla quibbles:

    1. Voting in 1964 had absolutely nothing to do with Baby Boomers, since the first time they were eligible was in 1967. Don’t forget that this demographic bulge was due to returning WWII vets, none of whom got home in time to produce any children (after the requisite 9-month gestation) until 1946.

    2. One of the unfortunate outcomes of the dumbing-down of the culture due to liberalism is the erosion of English usage. The word is “its,” not “it’s” when you are employing a possessive. Not that difficult, and a world of difference.

  7. The more I read about the intense and diligent cold-war spying done by communist countries, the more I am convinced that “the 1960s” can be explained by simple domination of spying by the Soviet Union and her allies. Note that I am not saying that Johnson, et al. were commies secretly on the payroll of mother Russia; no, I am saying that commies simply dominated propaganda wars and paying off lower-level workers (think Alger Hiss and Alinsky types) and protecting them.

    Think about it this way: one of the left’s big victories was using Joseph McCarthy to vilify any investigation of communist activities. Less than a decade later, the blacklist in Hollywood is gone, and American cities are in flames. Coincidence? I think not.

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