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Finding one’s way in the Nation of Rebels

This Magazine Staff

From the Sunday New York Times:
Democratic Moral Values?
While the Democratic Party traces its ideological lineage on economic issues to the New Deal, its DNA on social issues was created by the union of the two principal movements of the 1960’s: civil rights and the antiwar counterculture. The two are generally discussed as part of the same transformative social force of the era, but in fact, in the political arena, they reinforced very different instincts. The civil rights movement legitimized the idea of legislating and codifying morality. Where activist lawmakers or judges could find a constitutional rationale for overruling states and communities on a discriminatory social policy, Democrats came to believe that they had not just the right but also the responsibility to intervene.
The counterculture, however, was all about radical individualism — the attitude Republicans now snidely describe as ”if it feels good, do it.” In the context of the time, these contradictory ideas weren’t hard to reconcile; to Democrats, and to most Americans, government’s integrating swimming pools seemed clearly to be right, while government’s banning books seemed clearly to be wrong. But as often happens in law and politics, the specific circumstances that created each impulse were outlived by the conflicting precedents they established.

Hoo boy. This is yet another post-election article from an American lefty (sorry, liberal) trying to figure out just what strategy the Dems need to adopt, if they are going to win the “values” war in American political life.
Why Americans feel the need to fight every political campaign as if it were 1968 is beyond me. Well, actually, it isn’t.

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