The following essay, which leads A-Clue.Com today, was written before La Cage Aux Foley threw Republican chances for 2006 into the gutter. It is an effort to put what is happening nationally into some historic perspective. Those who don’t like historic perspective are welcome to go elsewhere.
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This was Richard Nixon, in 1969, explaining how he would end the War in Vietnam by "staying the course." The same speech could be read today, and it is read to us regularly by the present Administration.
Every generational Thesis begins with such a speech. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. I will not be crucified on a Cross of Gold. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Such speeches gain their currency from the reality of their times. They reflect a brand-new political reality, they hold a mirror to the new generation, they speak truth to power, and that power comes from the people.
Some of these are great speeches. Others, like Nixon’s, are not. But they are remembered. They cause an arc in history which lasts until those who heard it as young men and women turn old and gray, until they have taught it to their children, who internalize it, and seek only to extend its reach.
It is at this point that any such view can become its opposite. Those who freed the slaves made slaves of workers. The incremental changes of progressivism failed to deal with the Great Depression. FDR’s call to fearlessness could not excuse the excesses of the 1960s.
And so the Silent Majority evolved, in our time, into the Fascist
Minority. The Thesis of Conflict demands that Islam be treated as Nixon
treated Communism, and all who object must go on the enemies list.
Yet reality is not that way. Thus we have a new Silent Majority. These
are quiet people, patriotic people, workers, managers, young and old,
who sense that something has gone horribly wrong with this country.
They sense an imbalance in the Force. They fear a new Empire.
The new Silent Majority sees Iraq as a distraction. We see any
War for oil as a distraction. We see the rich getting ever-richer,
nothing trickling down. We see the Earth’s fever threatening to destroy
all human life. We fear, as Nixon’s Silent Majority did, as the parents
of the Greatest Generation did, that everything the Founders struggled
and died for is about to be tossed away.
We don’t like it. But we are, mostly, afraid to speak out.
The Silent Majority is always ignored by the contemporary media.
Read all you want about the 1960s. What you find, always, are stories
of excess. Civil Rights becoming Black Power. Peaceful protest becoming
the Weathermen. Picture the 1960s in your mind. Do you see a man in a
business suit, a woman in a modest house dress? Of course not.
The same is true for every Silent Majority which came before.
The Middle Class of the 1930s, which brought Roosevelt to power and
sustained him there, they are not seen. Instead you see the soup
kitchens, and the ultra-rich as portrayed by Hollywood. The Middle
Class of the 1890s, the people who bought into Teddy Roosevelt and
sustained progressivism, you don’t see them, either. Nor do you see the
ordinary men and women of the 1850s, those who supported Lincoln in order to prevent Civil War.
Those who have the courage to speak truth to power today will be remembered.
Those who recognize the new majority as moderate, as incremental, as
silently seething, will be those who triumph. They will first identify
the excesses of our time and begin evolving, from there,
counter-strategies which speak to our hopes for a sustainable world,
for an America that lives up to its creed, for true fearlessness in the
face of real threats, not just imaginary ones.
Just don’t expect the press to notice. The real revolutions are never televised.