Where did they come from?
2016 Rally – Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Hillary Clinton
By Dr. Larry Fedewa (September 23, 2018) America’s academic institutions today are dominated by the heirs of people who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. A look at the anti-establishment movements of those days helps us to understand the themes that have survived and evolved into today’s New Left.
The overarching issues of those days were opposition to the Vietnam War, which started in the universities of the time, and the civil rights movement whose champion was
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Almost unnoticed in the confusion was President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, which introduced the most radically socialistic legislation in American history, extending the role of the federal government to responsibility for care of the poor.
Civil rights and the anti-war causes were directly anti-establishment, and both were based on a sense of moral superiority. It did not take long for the believers in the two causes to join forces. They filled mutual needs: the anti-Vietnam movement was based initially on the objections of college students (mostly white) to being required to fight in a war which was neither understood nor supported by most Americans.
The issue quickly became whether the federal government even had the right to draft youngsters at all. Middle America stood firmly with the government on that issue, thus spawning widespread opposition to the anti-war movement and solidifying support for the War beyond what is had been in the beginning. The champion of the Middle American view was Alabama Governor George Wallace, who also had come to prominence as a segregationist (a position he later repudiated).
What the anti-war movement needed was a cause larger than the discomfort of some white college boys. They needed a transcendent cause and they found it in the civil rights movement. That cause was social justice. Specifically, social justice as interpreted to mean equality of all Americans — legally, socially, economically and morally. The civil rights movement needed white support; the leaders were aware that without it, they would never achieve their goals.