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Still Fighting Woodstock

A number of years ago, when Pat Buchanan seemed to be the only Presidential candidate who showed what I felt was proper concern for American jobs in an increasingly internationalized economy, I decided to check out some of his other writing online.  What struck me about his non-economic pieces was a kind of edge that I had up to that point associated with people who, in the parlance of the time, were “still fighting Vietnam.”

But the more I read of Buchanan’s material, the more I realized that it wasn’t just Vietnam that he was refusing to let go of.  The man was also still fighting Woodstock.  He remained passionately incensed by virtually every social development that could be traced back to the days of Counterculture.

Although Buchanan at the time struck me as a strangely isolated figure, hopelessly stuck in the past, he has actually proved to be a bellwether of a force that has grown considerably since his candidacy.  The era of Woodstock has proven over time to be a major watershed in our social evolution—no less for people’s delayed reactions to it than for its more immediate effects.

To begin with, the Counterculture movement’s suspicion of authority in virtually any traditional form fostered the adoption by most of a generation of  “non-coercive” parenting techniques that are in turn behind a lot of our current age’s rampant idfulness.

Overthrowing traditional gender roles was also an item on the Woodstock agenda—and the lasting results have included devalued manhood and underappreciated womanliness.

And remember the hardhats who beat up those longhairs protesting the Vietnam war?  They haven’t grown any fonder over the years of the flower-power agenda.  As the Woodstockers took over the Democratic Party, blue-collar males headed for the exits.

The net result has been a Democratic Party struggling with increasing difficulty to win the occasional election—and widely perceived as not caring about anybody but feminists, gays, and minorities.

Or to look at it from a different angle, on today's political map, the red states tend to be the ones that Woodstock bypassed.