Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 16, 2000
POLITICS: LBJ! LBJ! LBJ!
An email I sent in 2000, reformatted for the blog archives. Note the "no great external threat" language from President Clinton.
The Democrats keep telling us that Republicans are the old guard, looking backward, while they are looking forward. But who's looking backward for inspiration? Re-read this, near the very end of the President's speech:
Now, I want the young people especially to listen to this. I remember this well. I graduated from high school in 1964. Our country was still very sad because of President Kennedy's death, but full of hope under the leadership of President Johnson. And I assumed then, like most Americans, that our economy was absolutely on automatic; that nothing could derail it.
I also believed then that our civil rights problems would all be solved in Congress and the courts. And in 1964, when we were enjoying the longest economic expansion in history, we never dreamed that Vietnam would so divide and wound America.
So we took it for granted.
And then, before we knew it, there were riots in the streets, even here. The leaders that I adored as a young man, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, were killed. Lyndon Johnson -- a president from my part of the country I admired so much for all he did for civil rights, for the elderly and the poor -- said he would not run again because our nation was so divided.
And then we had an election in 1968 that took America on a far different and more divisive course. And you know, within months, after that election, the last longest economic expansion in history was itself history.
Why am I telling you this tonight? Not to take you down, but to keep you looking up. I have waited, not as president, but as your fellow citizen, for over 30 years to see my country once again in the position to build the future of our dreams for our children.
We are -- we are a great and good people. And we have an even better chance this time than we did then, with no great internal crisis and no great external threat. Still, I have lived long enough to know that opportunities must be seized or they will be lost."
Is it just me, or is this basically a way of telling the Democratic convention that after lo these many years in retreat and hiding, if we can elect Al Gore the coast will be clear for Great Society Big Government liberalism to come out in the open once again?