Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firing Line With William F. Buckley: Christopher Hitchens & Emmett Tyrell- 'Is There a Liberal Crack-Up? (1984)'

Source:Firing Line With William F. Buckley- self-described Socialist writer Christopher Hitchens, when he wrote for the socialist magazine The Nation, on Firing Line With William F. Buckley, in 1984.

"Episode S0629, Recorded on December 11, 1984. Guests: R. (Robert Emmett) Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Christopher Hitchens. For more information about this program, see:Hoover Institution

"The 1984 election suggested, as WFB puts it, "the collapse of liberalism as we

have known it during the past half century," and he asks his two guests, one on the right, the other on the far left, where liberalism is likely to go from here. Messrs. Hitchens and Tyrrell actually talk more about the past than about the future, and it is illuminating (when they don't indulge in billingsgate) to get such different takes on the same set of events. CH: "I believe that the American Left, in starting the civil-rights movement for black Americans, in combating an unjust war in Indochina, and in beginning the emancipation of women ... changed the way everyone thinks and the way everyone lives ... the whole world is in debt to the American Left for these three enterprises." RET: "In the Sixties and Seventies the liberals achieved most of the things they set out to achieve, particularly welfare and civil rights, and then were overtaken by a lust for power. They refused to notice that they had indeed achieved these things ... 

By the time the late 1970s came around, it was rough time to be a Democrat. The Democratic Party was becoming divided and running out of ideas in where to take the country. So-called Progressives (Democratic Socialists, in actuality) wanted to pass the next installment of the Great Society, what's called the Fair Deal: single payer health care, universal higher education, return to the high tax rates of the 1950s, etc. 

The New Democrats (the real Progressives) wanted to freeze new social insurance spending and balanced the Federal budget. And Conservative Democrats were becoming Conservative Republicans. 

Progressivism was the ruling political ideology in the Democratic Party and in the United States from 1933-81. There was a feeling that the Federal Government wasn't big enough. Conservatives make a big comeback in the late 1970s just as the Far-Left of the Democratic Party wanted to take over the party and move it way to the left and the Democratic Party becomes divided as a result, with the Progressives wanting to govern the party and country from the Center-left. 

There was a tax revolt in California and in other places in the country led by Howard Jarvis and his group, Kemp-Roth is proposed in Congress (Senator William Roth and Representative Jack Kemp) 1978-79. Which became the Economic Recovery Act in 1981 signed by President Reagan. And after having their clocks handed to them (to put it mildly) in 1980, the Democratic Party wasn't sure where to go. And I believe they basically settled for Walter Mondale in 1984, who was President Carter's Vice President. 

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