As previously mentioned there were a lot of things good to remember during those days of my youth. But the country was changing. A young president was assassinated and later that same decade both his brother and Dr King fell victims to assassination. A war in Southeast Asia was brewing, flag burning was rearing it’s ugly head, and some were questioning the very foundations and ideals of what America was based on. All was not as rosy as it appeared.
The counter culture sprang up, Woodstock and all the rest. Morality started taking a back seat giving way to whatever. The little war in Southeast Asia turned into a big war complete with weekly casualty figures and live reports on the evening news, including video of the day’s fighting which was something never seen before in the country. America’s anchorman Walter Cronkite, as he was often dubbed, basically declared the Vietnam War all but lost for America.
From my young point of view at the time the left was making it’s move and not being shy about it. Like now-a-days a friendly national media was for the most part giving this movement cover and support. The left even co-opted Dr King’s non violent protest for equal rights, and with media cover attempted to equate the 2 different movements as they still do to this day.
The left was fueling anxiety and anger over the Vietnam War and the media was in on it. The counter culture arose out of all of this pushing an agenda against traditional American values and institutions. Trust fund babies were all too eager to be a part of it. People like Bill Ayers of the infamous Weather Underground whose daddy was chairman of Commonwealth Edison. There was a radical movement afloat and it was taking no prisoners so to speak.
Some politicians of the day took advantage of all this and played to the movement. Politicians from both parties but mainly democrats. None more so than a democrat senator from South Dakota named George McGovern. He would of course become the democrat nominee for President in 1972 as the left consolidated their hold on the democrat party aided in no small part by the counter culture movement. McGovern would go on to lose to Nixon in a landslide, but the left was only getting started.
The SCOTUS under Chief Justice Earl Warren had already shown over the last few years that it was even more eager and willing to create law rather than interpret it, than previous versions of the high court. Warren had been appointed to the court by President Eisenhower who later reportedly said of his decision that it was “the biggest damned fool mistake he ever made”. The Warren court managed to kick God out of schools and babies out of their mothers womb if the mother so desired to have the baby’s life terminated. Of course the baby had to be killed while still in the womb, afterall we’re not barbarians right?
So Nixon won re-election against McGovern beating a democrat worse than any republican had ever beaten a democrat. The democrat party and the radical left movement that now controlled the party were humiliated and looking for revenge. They found it in a hotel complex called Watergate.
Nixon was hated vehemently by the left and the press. Two WH reporters of the day stand out to me as part that Nixon hate. One a young reporter for CBS named Dan Rather, and another from United Press International named Helen Thomas. Thomas of course would later pick up the nickname “Witch Hazel” from the character in the old Warner Brothers looney tunes cartoons. In any event there was a long protracted investigation by the Democrat controlled senate and house. They had one goal in mind, get rid of Nixon. The media was all to eager to help.
Senator Ervin’s watergate hearings went on for weeks beamed into the TVs of every home in America on all channels all day long. The same with the house impeachment hearings, all channels, all day, everyday. But the left was getting anxious as they couldn’t find the smoking gun. Then all of sudden Nixon handed it to them on a silver platter. Tricky Dick as he had been dubbed years ago, was not going to escape this time. And so he resigned and the left had it’s revenge.
All of this emboldened the left similar to what is happening today.
Part 3 coming soon….