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How Berkeley Birthed the Right
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In December 1964, a Silver Age of American liberalism, to rival the Golden Age of FDR and the New Deal, seemed to be upon us.

Barry Goldwater had been crushed in a 44-state landslide and the GOP reduced to half the size of the Democratic Party, with but 140 seats in the House and 32 in the Senate.

The Supreme Court of Chief Justice Earl Warren, the most liberal in history, was on a roll, and LBJ was virtually unopposed as he went about ramming his Great Society through Congress.

The left had it all. But then they blew it, beginning at Berkeley.

Protests, sit-ins, the holding of cops hostage in patrol cars — went on for weeks to force the University of California, Berkeley, to grant “free speech,” and then “filthy speech” rights everywhere on campus.

Students postured as revolutionaries at the barricades, and the Academic Senate, consisting of all tenured faculty, voted 824-115 to support all Free Speech Movement demands, while cravenly declining to vote to condemn the tactics used.

Middle America saw the students differently — as overprivileged children engaged in a tantrum at the most prestigious school in the finest university system in the freest nation on earth.

Here is how their leader Mario Savio described the prison-like conditions his fellow students had to endure on the Berkeley campus in 1964:

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

To borrow from Oscar Wilde, it takes a heart of stone to read Mario’s wailing — without laughing.

As I wondered in an editorial in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat that week, “If there is so much restriction of speech on the campus, how it is that a few yards from Sproul Hall there is a Young Socialist League poster complaining of ‘American Aggression in the Congo’ and calling on students to support ‘the Congolese rebels.’”

Yet Berkeley proved a godsend to a dispirited right.

In 1966, Ronald Reagan would beat Berkeley like a drum in his run for governor, calling the campus, “a haven for communist sympathizers, protesters and sex deviants.”

Reagan relished entertaining his populist following by mocking San Francisco Democrats. “A hippie,” said the Gipper, “looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.”

More seriously, the radicalism, intolerance, arrogance and fanaticism of the far left in the ’60s and ’70s helped to revive the Republican Party and bring it victories in five of the next six presidential elections.

In 1964, neither Nixon nor Reagan appeared to have a bright future. But after Berkeley, both captured the presidency twice. And both benefited mightily from denouncing rioting students, even as liberalism suffered from its perceived association with them.

Which brings us to Berkeley today.

Last week, columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter was forced to cancel her speech at Berkeley. Her security could not be guaranteed by the university.


In February, a speech of Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos also was canceled out of safety concerns after campus protesters hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and started a bonfire. The decision was made two hours before the event, as a crowd of 1,500 had gathered outside the venue.

The recent attacks on Charles Murray at Middlebury College and Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna call to mind an event from three decades before Berkeley ’64.

On Dec. 5, 1930, German moviegoers flocked to Berlin’s Mozart Hall to see the Hollywood film, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Some 150 Brownshirts, led by Joseph Goebbels, entered the theater, tossed stink bombs from the balcony, threw sneezing powder in the air and released mice. Theaters pulled that classic anti-war movie.

That same sense of moral certitude that cannot abide dissent to its dogmatic truths is on display in America today, as it was in Germany in the early 1930s. We are on a familiar slippery slope.

First come the marches and demonstrations. Then the assertion of the right to civil disobedience, to break the law for a higher cause by blocking streets and highways. Then comes the confronting of cops, the smashing of windows, the fistfights, the throwing of stones – as in Portland on May Day.

And, now, the shouting down of campus speakers.

The rage and resentment of the left at its rejection in 2016 are palpable. Sometimes this fever passes peacefully, as in the “Cooling of America” in the 1970s. And sometimes it doesn’t.

But to have crowds of left and right coming out to confront one another violently, in a country whose citizens possess 300 million guns, is probably not a good idea.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, out May 9, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2017

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Free Speech, Political Correctness 
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  1. Alden says:

    Buchanan might have mentioned that those 60′s radicals grew up and became the college teachers, heads of state departments of education, judges, governors, state legislators, presidents senators and congress critters.
    They have ruled the country for decades.

    Buchanan’s hero Reagan pushed for the amnesty act and was totally pro immigration which is bad for Whites. Affirmative action actually got worse during his administration.

    Nixon was worse for Whites than LJB.

    Here is Nixon’s anti White record.

    Created the Hispanic race by executive order a couple years later made Hispanics affirmative action beneficiaries.

    Created section 8 and those subsidies to build them. It was those huge section 8 apartments that ruined Ferguson. Despise the White contractors who made fortunes building section 8 apartments as much you despise the criminals who live in them.

    Nixon, not LBJ was the president who turned affirmative action from don’t discriminate against a qualified black to shall discriminate against Whites. Also the federal government hired tens of thousands of blacks under his orders.

    Earned Income Tax Credit which gives some people with children thousands of dollars more in tax refunds than they put in.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @KenH
  2. Well, the year 1968 saw a sort of revolutionary situation, and not just at Berkeley, not even in the US, but everywhere in the West. Spontaneous uprisings failed, followed by Thermidorian reaction.

    What we see today doesn’t look similar to me. Popular resentment clearly isn’t at the boiling point yet, and what we see appears to be a fight among the elites: a backlash of national bourgeoisie against globalization. But without a correction eventually it’ll probably spill out into the streets.

  3. But to have crowds of left and right coming out to confront one another violently, in a country whose citizens possess 300 million guns, is probably not a good idea

    Ya think?

    There’s a clip out on the Internet produced by “Redneck Revolution,” which is actually a misnamed group of loonie leftists that are trying to train themselves for armed confrontation. At the moment they are utterly laughable (they made a lot of noise, but didn’t hit their targets much). Sooner or later, they’ll stumble on some loonie with military training and then the real, and violent, problems will begin. The left will still loose such a fight, but it’s sad to contemplate the casualties.

  4. As I wondered in an editorial in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat that week, “If there is so much restriction of speech on the campus, how it is that a few yards from Sproul Hall there is a Young Socialist League poster complaining of ‘American Aggression in the Congo’ and calling on students to support ‘the Congolese rebels.’”

    (Bold is mine)

    Holy crap, Pat. You have been with us politically for 1/2 of a century! I wish you had gotten farther along in 1992 after New Hampshire. I’m always glad to read your stuff though.

  5. But to have crowds of left and right coming out to confront one another violently, in a country whose citizens possess 300 million guns, is probably not a good idea.

    Wait. When I wrote that “I’m always glad to read your stuff” that didn’t mean I ALWAYS agree. That is a whole lot better than crowds of lefty/progressives confronting us when we DON’T possess the guns. By we, I mean conservatives, not the “right” by your meaning, harking back to the Commies vs. Nazis in 1930′s Germany. It happens to be now that your 1930′s-German-defintion of right AND left are both components of todays “left”. Today’s “right” are the rest of us with common sense and (a dwindling) respect for the US Constitution.

    Keep in mind, almost all of any serious shooting that hopefully will not have to happen will be accomplished by those on the right. I’m talking about well-regulated rifle shooters vs. thugs with pistols. Most of the reason for the situation being this way is due to the left’s undisciplined ways in their actions in addition to in their thinking. In addition the left have always thought that guys were “ickey” and “scary”, until recently when they seem to want them for offensive violence.

    • Replies: @Vendetta
  6. bluedog says:

    No it will be a no winner conflict no winners or loosers and simply drag on to the next one, until there is little left, for the first casualty of course will be what little freedoms of the Constitution or even those of the Bill of Rights that remain..

    • Replies: @Vader
  7. Hats off to Huey Long, who had foreseen all this:

    “When the United States gets fascism, it will call it anti-fascism”

  8. Dang, he was pretty prophetic on that, Italian.

    BTW on post #5:

    WAS: ” … the left have always thought that guys were “ickey” and “scary…”
    S/B: ” … the left have always thought that guns were “ickey” and “scary…”

    • Replies: @anonymous
  9. Vader says:

    There will be “loosers,” my friend. Bet on it. If a real reactionary moment arrives, losers are going to pile up in a hurry. A real catharsis awaits. Transgender freaks vs shooters with Skoal rings in their jeans. Fancy a wager?

    • Replies: @Rurik
  10. There’s a major confrontation looming in New Orleans this weekend too. Antifa/BLM types are committed to defacing or tearing down statues and memorials to White people, including, inexplicably, Joan of Arc.

  11. Pat: It’s unfortunate that you still don’t “get” Western Civilization.

    “Protests, sit-ins,…went on for weeks to force the University of California, Berkeley, to grant ‘free speech’, and then ‘filthy speech’ rights everywhere on campus.”

    Free speech is not “granted” by the University of California. It is a natural right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and long considered one of the “Rights of Englishmen” long acknowledged by the Anglo-Saxon political tradition. Furthermore, universities have long been considered the bastions of free speech – that’s what they are for. That’s why Martin Luther was well within the Western tradition when he nailed his 95 Theses on the door of All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg, Germany “in accordance with University custom” (Wikipedia). Luther was pretty controversial at the time, but his writings were protected speech at Wittenberg nonetheless.

    As for “filthy speech”: it is distasteful to many, but should Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Boccaccio, and Jonathan Swift be allowed to be read and discussed in an American university? How about Kurt Vonnegut? How about Allen Ginzburg? How about…Richard Milhous Nixon? All of them are arguably “guilty” of “filthy speech”.

    I guess “filthy speech” is all right in Nixon’s White House but not on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. As Bob Dylan said, “The masters make the rules for the wise men and the fools.”

  12. Rurik says:

    A real catharsis awaits. Transgender freaks vs shooters with Skoal rings in their jeans. Fancy a wager?

    those transgender freaks will be the ones taking orders from Langley

    in hundreds of secluded drone control centers around the country and off shore..

    and it won’t be the splattered patriots that do the job, but the terror of the patriots who discover that if they oppose the Beast, that they’re families back in Utah or Nebraska will catch a Hellfire missile on their way to church. It will be the all-pervasive terror from the sky that wins the day by ‘whack-a-moling’ any man or woman’s loved ones who stands up to it.

    Do you think they ‘drone-splatter’ weddings by accident? Fuck no. It’s to send a message.

    It will be no different here

    • Replies: @Vader
  13. I have loved Pat Buchanan for well over a quarter century, but the leftists-are-the-real-fascists note hit in the this column is tired and beneath him.

  14. Tipsy says:

    The newsman for the Armstrong and Getty radio show, Marshall Phillips, tells the story about how he lived next door to the apartment of Mario Savio in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the 60s. Savio was relatively quiet, but would become enraged if Phillips played his music too loud, pounding on the door to get Phillips to turn his music down.

    I’m sure if Mario Savio were still alive, he’d tell Phillips to get the hell off his lawn.

  15. Vader says:

    You have a good point, but you overstate the case. Surely the ranks of diehard progressives in the deep state swelled under Obama. However, many factions exist. You think JSOC comes down on the side of progressive freakery and totalitarian impulses? If you do, I’d suggest you don’t know the spec ops crew very well.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  16. The NSDAP was usually the top vote-getter in the university towns… Look it up

  17. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    aren’t both true?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  18. Vendetta says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    You seem to think we’re awfully icky now that we’re fighting back in the streets.

    Sit back and keep on conserving…whatever it is you’re conserving. Leave the rest to us deplorable left-wing Nazis.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  19. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    It was about power, not speech.

    ‘Free speech’ was useful for Berkeley radicals, but it was all just a ruse. They wanted the power to shut down other people’s speech.

    • Replies: @joe webb
  20. KenH says:

    Your are right and if one studies the record the extreme, anti-white left has scored some of its major victories under “conservative” Republican presidents. I’ll have to add a few additional accomplishments to the list you provided.

    Reagan signed the family reunification act that gave us chain migration and accelerated the demographic takeover by the third world. Reagan also signed the MLK holiday into law.

    George W. Bush implemented “The community reinvestment act”, a Bill Clinton initiative which provided easier access to home mortgages for blacks and Latinos. Owning a home was supposed to make them conservative Republicans, but that never happened. Instead, many lost their homes, blamed the “predatory” lenders and voted for Barack Obama and the Democrats at the highest percentage levels in history.

    George W. Bush continually voiced his moral support for anti-white affirmative actions policies in the universities, and both the government and the private sectors.

    George W. Bush demanded and even threatened Republicans to pass mass amnesty for illegal aliens.

    All this compassionate conservatism led to a wipe out in Congress in 2006 and an electoral landslide loss for the Repubs in the 2008 presidential election.

    Trump is not a conservative, but is already following in the footsteps of his cuckish forbears in implementing what I call “compassionate Trumpism” by pandering to the non-white racial groups who did not support him. He just celebrated the introduction of “opportunity scholarships” for inner city (non-white) students who wish to attend better performing (i.e., white) schools. Trump is keeping Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional DACA in place. And I keep hearing rumors that Trump is open to the idea of providing legal status to illegal aliens after vowing to deport every one of them on the campaign trail.

    This is all designed to make black and brown Republican voting “civic nationalists” for the next 50 years, but it just more lipstick on the old pigs and doomed to fail like all the previous efforts to capture their hearts and minds and make America a post racial garden of eden.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  21. @Vendetta

    Check your reading-comprehension privilege, Mr Vendetta. Otherwise, I don’t know what the hell your reply means.

    I’m probably on your side, but there’s no way for me to tell by your reply. I’m all FOR fighting back. Read my post again, but don’t skim stuff.

  22. @anonymous

    Heh, heh. I know what you’re getting out. However, to give them some credit, I imagine some of these antifa guys, just like it’s always been for the people that THINK they are the rebels, are just in it for the girls, who are involved in it because they are supremely stupid.

    Hey, we’re all somewhat stupid when we’re young, but not THAT stupid.

  23. Corvinus says:

    “This is all designed to make black and brown Republican voting “civic nationalists” for the next 50 years, but it just more lipstick on the old pigs and doomed to fail like all the previous efforts to capture their hearts and minds and make America a post racial garden of eden.”

    Unless, of course, you run for political office. As a patriot, duty calls. You can run on the platform that white people have been indoctrinated by Cultural Marxism by those dirty Jews, and that you will offer them the truth about race and culture.

    So, what’s stopping you?

  24. joe webb says:

    since I was there….1964 at Berkeley and was busy taking my masters and knew better than to get much involved in the Free Speech Movement.

    I was leftish, I admit. But the whole thing seemed relatively pure by later compareson to 70s thuggery and murder, etc.

    It was Civil Rights and the beginning of the Vietnam War. Doubtless many commies were infiltrating, etc, the Jewish element being obvious. Savio may have been jewish-Italian, dunno.

    Nevertheless, civil rights for blacks seemed like a good enough idea and the Vietnam War seemed like a bad idea, even for anti-communists like me. 2 or 3 million peasants arguably killed in Indo-China…for the cause of not much except talking points for the communist left.

    The then Cultural Revolution USA began and here we are with the next generation of kids ACCULTURATED by their New Left parents.

    The old left was far more Reason based and could be engaged intellectually, ditto the new left somewhat…imperialism and capitalism could be debated. The new new left is insane and no Reason can penetrate it.

    Like the Black Revolution that after 50 years of Failure to make any measurable improvement in behavior and intellect and has consequently Hit The Wall and ergo has become murderous, the White college kids have also hit the Wall of Failure of the third world, darkies, feminists, racial equality, and Words…like Civic Religion, and Declaration of Independence more Words…all has failed, including their own college careers and piles of student debt, a lousy job situation, etc. etc.

    “Show me who to kill” is the latest mantra of the especially utopian white youth…picking that one up from the darkies.

    The most surprising, to me at least, amongst the marvels du jour now…is the Big New Thing to protect muzzies while muzzles blow people up all over Europe, the ME and here now and then.

    Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome at least in part. Luv me, luv me, luv me…I’m a liberal…please don’t kill me.

    Joe Webb

  25. @Eustace Tilley (not)

    The problem with western civilization is that you think not censoring the Canterbury Tales is a virtue.

  26. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I guess we have the Arabs to thank for Chaucer’s degenerate filth, as well as the subsequent filth that we call western prose fiction The Canterbury Tales were inspired by the Decameron of Gianni Boccaccio, a Renaissance scholar who could read Arabic. His inspiration was The Tale of a Thousand and One Nights, a very sexy (filthy, filthy immoral) book which was dedicated to the Caliph of Baghdad Haroun al Rashid – a sort of renaissance prince himself. Thank you Shaherazad and gentlemen.

  27. The left has been crying “Hitler” for so long now, that they are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. First it was Reagan, then Bush, now Trump. Their kneejerk rationale for their evil is that it’s a preemptive strike against their fascist enemies, and so they are morally justified in perpetrating any kind of crime. But here’s the rub: as they do more and more evil, and afflict society more and more with totalitarian diktats, they are causing an inevitable reaction from those who see their freedoms being taken away. As the left backs everyone into a corner, the final reaction from everyone will indeed be civil war and fascism as the only option remaining to definitively counteract leftism.

    They hated Bush, and in reaction they got Trump and the alt-right. If they squelch that, what they will get next will be bloody revolution.

  28. Right now I’m about ready for fascism as the only definitive way to effectively and completely counteract leftism.

    You can’t run,
    You can’t hide,
    You get helicopter ride.

    Pinochet is my co-pilot.

  29. Jason Liu says:

    So how come Trump isn’t beating the universities like a drum? They could use it. Culture war is what his base voted for, and he sucks at it.

  30. TheBoom says:

    Pat seems to have put aside for a moment the realization that today the US is on its way to being a nonwhite nation. The new citizenry is not wedded to the idea of law and order and freedom of speech. They are far more interested in what benefits their families. Their families aren’t being beaten by the left. Their families want more government subsidies and open borders to bring more into the country. Those crazed demonstrators in 1960′s realized that they simply had to commander the cultural institutions and bring in a new citizenry and they would win.

  31. J1234 says:

    Politics is very Newtonian…minus the equality. “For every action, there is an amplified and opposite reaction.”

  32. Rurik says:

    You think JSOC comes down on the side of progressive freakery and totalitarian impulses?

    the patriarch in the middle of this picture with that hat on

    is Robert Lavoy Finicum

    he was gunned down by (white, male) federal agents in cold blood for standing up to the fecal government

    he will get no justice from any of those (white, male) fecal agents who want to keep their pensions

    here’s a photo that has been called the American Pietà

    this is what has been said about the photo

    Look at the photo. Haunting, isn’t it?

    It’s a US Marshalls surveillance image of the Weaver ranch ahead of the Ruby Ridge massacre. The woman in the photo is Vicki Weaver, who would later that day be shot through the head by an Asian-American FBI sniper, while standing in a cabin door and holding her and Randy’s baby.

    If I understand the timeline of events correctly, Vicki Weaver in this photo is mourning the death of her 14-year old son Sammy, killed by the feds earlier that day. If that’s the case, the photo is an American Pietà.

    anyways, all the federal assassins are all doing well, while their victims, from Waco to 9/11 ~ are dead

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