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Not just JFK, but also MLK and Bobby K.

Reader comment on item: Lee Harvey Oswald's Malign Legacy

Submitted by DrRJP (United States), Dec 18, 2007 at 13:24

In the span of six short years, America witnessed the murders of three of the most prominent men in American liberalism: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, JFK's brother. With their deaths came the death of idealism, and idealism was at the very heart of liberalism. An utter sense of dispair swept over all young people in America as it became clear how easy it was for the status quo to silence the voices of change.

Then came the Vietnam War and a national draft that seemed to play favorites, with the piviledged getting a pass, and the poor getting a shaft. The coupe de grace to liberalism came on the night of the 1968 Democratic Convention held in Chicago when the representatives of the Establishment -- the police -- went out to squash the representatives of the anti-Establishment movement, much in the same way that a dictatorship would do. The anti-War movement was actually a part of that larger anti-Establishment movement.

When it became clear that the rebels could not win against the Establishment, the rebels became a part of the Establishment in a classic case of "If you cannot beat them, join them" mentality. However, in doing so, Liberalism then became a force against the very basis for its origin. Its ideas of fairness and freedom for all were pushed far to the left of where it began. Now, anyone could take on the mantle of the oppressed if they made themselves out to be the underdog, and any complaint could become a cause célèbre if a suitable scapegoat could be found.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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