Saturday, October 08, 2011

About that King quote

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the former IRA supporter whose main claim to fame these days is holding endless hearings to demonize American Muslims, does not like the Occupy Wall Street protesters. That hardly makes him unique among Republicans. GOP presidential contenders, talking heads and members of Congress have been lining up to condemn the protesters. But something King said the other day has me curious. Appearing on Laura Ingraham's radio show, after calling the protesters "anarchists," "anti-American," and a "ragtag mob," King went on to say this:
We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy. I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can't allow that to happen.

That comment has been floating around FaceBook today in poster form. Notice, he's not talking about the culture of sixties protest. He's not upset about drugs, sex, and rock and roll. He's talking about the actual policies that the sixties protesters pushed into the mainstream.

I need to ask you Mr. King, which of those policies do you think were so bad. Was it ending segregation and expanding equality for African Americans? Was it allowing younger people to vote? Maybe it was equal pay for women. Or cleaning up our air and water. Or perhaps it was the demand that we end a pointless war that had already killed and maimed tens of thousands of young Americans and appeared unwinnable. Which of those things do you find so horrible Mr. King?

My wife says--and I agree--that many middle aged conservatives seem to be motivated by nothing more than bitterness over their experiences in the sixties and seventies. They were out of step with the prevailing culture of that time and they want to retroactively take revenge on it by undoing the accomplishments of those years. They pretend that there are principles behind their actions, but it's really just emotional payback for some. In the same interview, King called the protesters "a bunch of angry 1960s do-overs." It looks to me like it is King who wants a do-over on the sixties.

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