Re: [sixties-l] Re: new ground: The Sixties and the Right

From: John Andrew (
Date: 10/04/00

  • Next message: William M Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Re: new ground: The Sixties and the Right"

    Ted Morgan wrote, in part:
    >John raises interesting points about the Right and the 60s.  I think the
    >explanation of the greater Right activity in the early 60s (compared to Left
    >activity) is, as Marty's post suggests, a reflection of the hangover from
    >McCarthy days and the pervasiveness of anti-communist elements in the American
    >mainstream in the 50s. [I remember reading a book as a teen-ager called
    >"You Can
    >Always Trust a Communist (to be a Communist)" put out by the John Birch
    >--I think I found it on my own, since I certainly didn't get it from my
    >I also remember reading with great interest some Ayn Rand who typically has
    >appeal to those in their teen -early 20s years, I find.]
    >This was part of the mythological overlay or veil that 60s movements broke
    Maybe what we are talking about are two "rights" - the right-wing of the
    1950s with its strong interest in McCarthyism and its operation on the
    margins of American political parties - and the "new right" of the 1960s
    which turned its attention to capturing the Republican Party - and did so!
    They expressed a much greater interest in electoral politics, which in part
    also set them apart from much of the Left during that decade - This new
    right certainly did not reject the ideas, values and crusades of the 1950s,
    but was somewhat more sophisticated in dealing with the media and in its
    political efforts. With a group like YAF, they turned to emphasize broader
    themes like freedom and eventually libertarianism. Certainly they remained
    critical of the Democrats and of much of Cold War politics, wanting to
    liberate Eastern Europe and win the cold war, but they turned to the
    recruitment of folks and party-building - They also tried to distance
    themselves from the John Birch Society and other elements of the right-wing
    fringe - Perhaps much as the Citizens Councils did with respect to the
    Klan. Their objectives often remained the same, but their style changed to
    become more acceptable to mainstream America. And, frankly, in the long run
    it worked.
    John Andrew                               email: J_ANDREW@ACAD.FANDM.EDU
    Department of History                     fax 717-399-4518
    Franklin and Marshall College
    Lancaster, PA. 17604-3003
    "Fantasy Will Set You Free" - Steppenwolf

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