erik lundegaard

Moynihan's 1967 Warning to Democrats Now Applies to Republicans

I've long contended that the radicalism of the left during the 1960s is now the province of the radical right. Whereas the left used to attack the judicial system (as unfair) and the education system (as creating “citizens” rather than “individuals”), the right now attacks both for different reasons. Judges are activists, teachers are de-incentivized unionized members. To give two examples.

I thought of this shift again while reading Rick Perlstein's “Nixonland” yesterday afternoon. On pg. 395, Perlstein quotes Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat but beloved by Nixon and the right, in a speech that became known as “The Politics of Stability.” This is what Moynihan said in 1967:

Liberals [must] see more clearly that their interest is in the stability of the social order, and that given the threats to that stability, it is necessary to make more effective alliances with politcal conservatives who share that concern, and who recognize that unyielding rigidity is just as much a threat to the continuity of things as is an anarchic desire for change.

All you have to do is underline these words:

Liberals [must] see more clearly that their interest is in the stability of the social order, and that given the threats to that stability, it is necessary to make more effective alliances with politcal conservatives who share that concern, and who recognize that unyielding rigidity is just as much a threat to the continuity of things as is an anarchic desire for change.

And substitute:

The far right [must] see more clearly that their interest is in the stability of the social order, and that given the threats to that stability, it is necessary to make more effective alliances with politcal moderates who share that concern, and who recognize that unyielding rigidity is just as much a threat to the continuity of things as is an anarchic desire for change.

See: Fiscal Cliff, Sequestration, Obamacare, pretty much anything that's been debated in Congress since Jan. 2009.

Eric Cantor and the Tea Party Right-Wing undermining the politics of stability

Eric Cantor and the Tea Party practice the politics of instability.


Posted at 08:08 AM on Mon. Mar 04, 2013 in category Politics  
Tags: , , , ,

COMMENTS

Reed wrote:

There's a bottom line here. The Far Right does not believe in the goodness of government. That's fine as an ideology, and enough Americans align with them on the topic at this point that they've not yet fallen completely out of favor. But once they accomplish the goal of reducing government to a sufficient extent, will anyone still want those with these attitudes involved in the government?

If Democrats had any sense, they would attack this like crazy. But of course, most live in fear of retributions from Fox News so they don't. It's pretty simple, though. Would you hire a guy to pilot a plane that hates flying? Would you hire a woman to babysit if she hates children? Would you hire the president of PETA to run Oscar Mayer?

Comment posted on Mon. Mar 04, 2013 at 09:17 AM

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