1960s

The Undermining Of Civility In America Long Lasting Damage, Setting Us Back From Progress Which Had Been Made In The 1950s, 1960s And 1970s

Civility is a lost art in America, with the two major political parties no longer able to work cooperatively for American advancement.

We now live in a society in which most people only read, watch, and listen to those who profess their religious and political beliefs.

A dialogue in which both sides respect their opponents is no longer conceivable, and one wonders what event will unite the American people and allow a return to reasonable discourse.

Will we ever have a President who is able to appeal across party lines and party beliefs?

In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, there was a lot more bipartisanship on many issues, and much more “crossing the aisle”, rather than straight party line votes.

Members of Congress used to spend weekends with “friends” and their families despite different party labels.

That sense of camaraderie and shared commitment to do what is good for the nation is totally gone in 2017.

“Bad Blood” is now the norm, with little interaction, and even basic courtesies and manners are no longer utilized.

Trump Voter Fraud Commission An Attack On Voting Rights, Clear And Simple!

The Trump Voter Fraud Commission, set up and headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is infamous for promoting voter suppression tactics, has become a total failure, as 44 states refuse to comply with all of the information that the commission is asking the states to provide.

Trump wants this commission, because he cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by 2.85 million to Hillary Clinton, and claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted, with absolutely no such evidence of this crazy theory.

What Trump is trying to do is a clear attack on voting rights, and an attempt to cut millions off the voter rolls, so that Trump can have less opposition for a reelection campaign in 2020.

The fact that all but a few states refuse to cooperate is a good sign, as we now have a situation in which the stares are the progressive forces, against a right wing reactionary federal government headed by Trump cronies.

This is the precise opposite of the 1960s, when we had southern states, including Mississippi and Alabama most notably, but others as well, that worked to undermine civil and voting rights, and were forced into compliance by the federal government.

There are those conservatives who believe in states rights when it is convenient, but now want that to be ignored when it comes to states and cities protecting the environment; and also law abiding immigrants, even if they may have overstayed their time as a visitor, or entered illegally, but have led law abiding lives for decades in this nation, and should not face deportation, as the Trump Administration is pursuing, to the outrage of millions of Americans!

John F. Kennedy A Century Later, And 54 Years After His Tragic Death: His Legacy And What Might Have Been

Tomorrow, Memorial Day 2017, is the Centennial of the birth of John F. Kennedy.

It is nearly 54 years since his tragic death by assassination in Dallas, Texas.

The potential of what JFK could have accomplished is all speculation, impossible to know.

We know for sure that he was a dynamic leader with great goals for a nation, but under bitter attack from Southern Democrats and conservatives for his initiatives on civil rights, education, health care, the environment, and his unannounced plans for a War on Poverty.

We know that he was a fantastic orator, who appealed to our better nature, and our optimism.

We know that he was glamorous in his appearance, his wife, and his young children.

We know that he is looked back upon as an ideal time when America seemed to be moving forward, but was also entering a very difficult decade of turmoil and tumult, as his two successors, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, escalated a war in Vietnam that divided the nation in a way not seen since the Civil War.

But we also do not know that he would not have done the same thing, escalate the war in Vietnam.

And we also do not know that he would have won reelection, with the likely loss of Southern states that were crucial to a reelection victory.

If he had been running in 1964, would Senator Barry Goldwater, the right wing Republican who likely would have still been the nominee of his party, been able to win, when he lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson?

Or what if JFK was running, if somehow, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had somehow overcome opposition within the Republican Party for being a “New York Liberal”, and been the GOP Presidential nominee, could Rockefeller have defeated JFK?

Would a living JFK been able to wage a War on Poverty; passage of Medicare; enactment of expanded federal aid to education: promoted environmental and consumer laws; and been able to gain two major Civil Rights laws, all accomplished by LBJ?

The tragedy is that we will never know what the future would have been with a President JFK beyond November 22, 1963!

What The Right Wing Was Wrong About In History

The Right Wing has been proved once again to be wrong, this time on Cliven Bundy, the anarchist in Nevada who refuses to pay his taxes, disobeys the Bureau of Land Management, and says he does not recognize the authority of the federal government.

This is NOT the first time the Right Wing has been wrong!

Consider the following:

Wrong on the threat of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in the 1930s
Wrong in their opposition to Social Security in the 1930s
Wrong in their condemnation of federal spending during the New Deal
Wrong in their glorification of Chiang Kai Shek as Chinese Leader in the 1940s through 1970s
Wrong in their support of racial segregation in the era of civil rights
Wrong in their belief of the detrimental effect of the 1960s on America
Wrong in their opposition to Medicare in the 1960s
Wrong in their blaming of the Left for the loss in the Vietnam War
Wrong in their demonization of Jimmy Carter’s Presidency
Wrong in their opposition to the Panama Canal Treaty because of fear of danger to American security
Wrong in their glorification of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency
Wrong in their demonization of Bill Clinton’s Presidency
Wrong in their support of the Religious Right evangelical Christianity in American politics
Wrong in their promotion of racist politicians even in recent times
Wrong in their attack on the environmental movement and climate change
Wrong in their promotion of denial of human rights and equality to gay Americans
Wrong in their demonization of Barack Obama’s Presidency

Is this enough of a list?

The New Deal And Great Society At Stake In the Presidential Election Of 2012!

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society are at stake in the Presidential Election of 2012!

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represent a threat to Social Security and the labor legislation of the New Deal, which recognized labor rights to collective bargaining, and basic conditions of work, including hours and wages.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represent a threat to the Great Society and its civil rights laws, its promotion of Medicare and Medicaid, massive federal commitment to education funding, its advocacy of the environment and consumer protection, its establishment of a commitment to public radio and public television, and its commitment to the poor among us, as well as the advancement of women’s rights and gay rights, which began in the 1960s!

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represent a return to the 1920s era which led to the Great Depression, and in many ways to the Gilded Age, before the reforms of the Progressive Era under Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

The setting back of a century of progress and reform cannot be allowed to happen, as it would destroy the “American Dream”!

The Justice Department Throws Down The Gauntlet To Florida Governor Rick Scott: Stop Illegal Purging Of Voter Rolls!

The Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has finally taken action, throwing down the gauntlet to Florida Governor Rick Scott to cease and desist from illegal purging of the voter rolls in the Sunshine State, including the elderly, Latinos and Hispanics, African Americans, and others, including college students.

A 91 year old man, who has voted consistently for 70 years and served in World War II, was told he could not vote. Others who have had the right are being denied it with threatening letters, putting them under unnecessary stress about a basic American right, the right to vote.

Florida is right now breaking the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which included Florida because of its past discrimination against African Americans, and their long history of racial segregation and racial violence.

Scott is lawless, reckless, defiant, abusive, and a disgrace to all law abiding Floridians! Having evaded prison for Medicare fraud, he is arrogant and aggressive in setting out to fix the 2012 Presidential Election in the same fashion of denying the right to vote, as occurred in the Presidential Election of 2000, leading to the disastrous eight years of George W. Bush!

It is good to see that the Obama Administration is not going to allow prejudice, corruption, scandal, and discrimination to interfere with the right to vote!

In many ways, this situation sadly reminds us of Alabama Governor George Wallace and Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, two racists who disgraced their states and the nation during the 1960s, with their attacks on civil rights. What Rick Scott is doing will doom his name in history, but then it must be said that it is doubtful that Scott even cares what damage and harm he is doing to his reputation, since he is such a despicable human being!

If only the recall method was allowed in Florida as it is in many other states, including Wisconsin, which will determine the fate of another “Bully” Governor, Scott Walker, next Tuesday!

Equality, Dignity, Hope, Acceptance: The Effect Of Barack Obama On Gay Americans!

What Barack Obama did on Wednesday, May 9, will reverberate in history as much as when Lyndon B. Johnson called for passage of civil rights laws, and the Supreme Court declared interracial marriage constitutional, in the 1960s.

Just as for African Americans back then, today gay Americans and those who love and support them, see equality, dignity, hope and acceptance, part of what every human being desires as part of being human!

Yes, there were critics then, and even today, of civil rights laws for African Americans and interracial marriage, as there are, today, critics of gay rights and gay marriage.

But in the long run, these critics, past and present, will be part of the “dustbin of history”, who are, and will be, condemned and deplored, and future generations will wonder how we could call ourselves a democracy, and deny equality, dignity, hope, and acceptance to ANY minority!

Just as it did not matter whether all people accepted civil rights and interracial marriage in the 1960s, it does not matter whether they accept gay rights and gay marriage today.

It is not a question of whether something is popular, as no one should have the power to deny equality to anyone else!

This is not something where ordinary people, many of them ignorant and prejudiced, should be voting on other people’s rights.

This is where the Supreme Court should, as with Loving V. Virginia in 1967 mandating Interracial marriage as constitutional, declare gay marriage constitutional, and make it clear that it must be accepted in all states and territories of the United States, no matter what anyone’s personal feelings are regarding the matter!

Nicholas Katzenbach Dead: Major Figure In 1960s Issues Under Presidents Kennedy And Johnson

Another veteran of the Kennedy-Johnson era, Nicholas Katzenbach, has died at the age of 90.

Not as well remembered as others, partly because he wished to avoid the spotlight, Katzenbach was actually an extremely important figure, as Under Secretary of State, Deputy Attorney General, and Attorney General.

The author has the memory of Katzenbach confronting Alabama Governor George Wallace in June 1963, at the University of Alabama, when Wallace tried to block the registration of two black students, and Katzenbach took a firm stand, and Wallace stepped aside. Few more dramatic moments have occurred in a public place, with no one sure what would happen!

But Katzenbach was also involved in the integration of the University of Mississippi by James Meredith in 1962; the defense of the Vietnam War before congressional committees; the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy; advice during the Cuban Missile Crisis; passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and struggles with J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, but supportive of Robert F. Kennedy, the Attorney General before him.

The 1960s era fades ever more in history with the death of Nicholas Katzenbach.

Gay Marriage And The Split Of Age Groups: The Future Is Bright!

An interesting statistic about gay marriage and different age groups presents itself, based on research, and is a sign that gay marriage will have a rosy future over time.

If one polls people who are senior citizens, over 65, one finds that gay marriage is opposed in every state of the Union.

But when one looks at voters under the age of 30, only 12 states would ban gay marriage!

So as time passes, and the older generation leaves us, gay marriage will become much more accepted, and one day, about 30 years from now, many will wonder what the big commotion was about, and there will be embarrassment that there was such a fight over human rights!

But then, it is embarrassing to look back at the 1950s and 1960s, and the incessant struggle over civil rights for African Americans in the South!

Interestingly, it is in the South that we have the most vehement opposition to gay marriage and gay rights, so what does that tell us?

As time passes, nothing changes in much of the “Old South”, the rural South, whether it is Democratic, as it was in the past, or Republican today!

Mississippi And Alabama Continue Their Bad Reputation From The 1960s

Mississippi and Alabama vote tomorrow in the Republican Presidential primaries, and as we focus on the two states with the worst reputation possible fifty years ago, one has to wonder has anything changed?

The answer is NO, although now the majority of citizens of those two states vote Republican, rather than for the Democratic Party.

But all that happened is that the whites of those states switched, based on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, from the Democrats to the Republicans, as the Republicans gave up their Reconstruction image of being pro African American rights, and therefore, inherited the segregationists of the 1960s.

Sure, African American involvement in the politics of those two Deep South states has multiplied, but still those states are dominated by the old racism and segregationist mentality of the 1960s! They remain among the poorest states of the union, both black and white citizens.

Now, those states are working to make it harder for minorities to vote, leading to court cases. Also, discrimination against immigrants of Hispanic ancestry is in full swing, particularly so in Alabama.

And a majority in a poll believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while at the same time, NOT believing in evolution, but instead the Bible creationist theory. So they do not believe in science, but believe in a Lord who discriminates based on race and nationality!

What can one say except throw their hands up in frustration and exasperation at the ignorance and narrow mindedness of these two states, whose reputation remains in the bottom ten of our 50 states, and very close to the bottom, if not the bottom!