Think of this as Volume 16, Number 21 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
But they were completely out of touch with the political zeitgeist of their time, as we now know. Anyone even remotely associated with their idealism was pushed out of the political mainstream starting with Nixon. Watergate and the Carter election fooled some into thinking this wasn't the case, but normal service was resumed by 1980. After that, the ideological knees jerked whenever the strings were pulled for a generation.
This is the main result of a crisis election, a change in the political zeitgeist, so that the rising generation's assumptions about life and politics become dominant. Opposition to them must then be couched as “yes, but,” accepting the premises but leaning into them. That's what Bill Clinton did, and what Dwight Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, and Grover Cleveland did before him.
Before “yeah but” can be a viable strategy, of course, the old playbook must be re-run one more time. The McClellan Democrats, the Bryan Democrats, the Landon Republicans, the McGovern Democrats. They need to be led by avatars of the old order, but what the rising tide will focus on will be its bleeding edge, those “hippies” whom no one should listen to, now or ever again.
Who are the “hippies” of 2012?