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July 18, 2008

An Unhappy Fortieth Anniversary (Historical)

The same “perfect storm” that enabled Nixon’s improbable 1968 resurrection also contributed greatly to his Drug War which, along with diplomatic recognition of China and the Watergate fiasco, will be the three items for which his truncated Presidency will be best remembered by historians.

Even more ironically— at least from my perspective— the same key elements that combined to allow his election, would later enable his Drug War: the discovery of pot by the first wave of maturing Baby Boomers and the fear inspired in their parents by an evolving Counterculture.

Proximate triggers of that perfect storm, without which Nixon probably could not have been elected, were the assassinations of MLK in April, RFK in July, and the shocking brutalization of youthful anti-war protesters by Richard Daley’s police on live television during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Parenthetically, RFK's remarkable performance in averting a riot while announcing MLK's assassination to a largely black crowd is a poignant reminder of both the President we got that year and the one we lost.

I'll have considerably more to say about several of these subjects, but for anyone interested in how I see the Drug War in context, I haven't seen a more succinct articulation than the one that appeared in CounterPunch almost ten years ago.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 18, 2008 06:26 PM