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Re: <nettime> Lacanian meets Trumpian
Lunenfeld, Peter B. on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 22:29:37 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Lacanian meets Trumpian


     An interesting question is how [Hillary Clinton] would govern should
     she win in a landslide. LBJ redux? That didn't work out so well.
     Best,
     Michael

     --

   Dear Michael --
   <nettime> is an international list, and I hate to hijack it for an
   internecine dispute about the legacies of American leaders. But given
   the fact that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger if ever there
   were one, it's more important than ever to keep our historical memories
   straight. If we're going to talk about Lyndon Baines Johnson and the
   implications of his landslide we have to assess in a variety of
   factors. First, LBJ was a legislative master, that's why Kennedy tapped
   him for VP. Second, he had a legitimate claim to carrying on the legacy
   of Kennedy's Camelot in the martyred president's name. Third, there was
   the revulsion against extremism in the pursuit of liberty (to quote
   Goldwater's most famous phrase). Skill, emotion, and mandate (including
   a liberal Congress due to the down ballot effect of the Goldwater
   debacle) combined to give LBJ the leverage in domestic politics to
   draft and pass the Great Society programs, the second stage of the
   American safety net, and to bring African-Americans in to the polity in
   a way no other president had ever been able to (or even desired to,
   frankly). This was a political choice on LBJ's part and even if the
   "We've lost the South for a generation" line is apocryphal, he
   understood full well the implications for the Democratic party. To say
   that in total LBJ "did not work out so well" seems to me to be amnesiac
   at best about the immense contributions his administration made to race
   relations, mitigating poverty (especially among the elderly),
   protecting the environment, and early childhood education. Civil rights
   in America were an American triumph that LBJ helped make happen. The
   tragedy of Vietnam was something LBJ did not stop, but LBJ neither
   invented nor concluded America's imperial adventuring, which is a
   subject for another post.
   Peter Lunenfeld

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