Sunday, September 19, 2010

During the weekend, I walk around Bellefonte while reading. I see most of the streets in town once or twice a month during the sunny season. I've yet to see a single political sign in town since they pulled down the primary signs, and only a single new political bumpersticker, an ant-Jim "raging anti-Semite" Moran sticker on a car with Virginia plates. But it does look like somebody from the Sestak campaign did a pamphlet drop in Rainbow's End this morning. Not a very efficient one - I saw a couple stuffed under windshield wiper blades here and there.

I'm reading a book on the Lindsay years in New York City, called the Ungovernable City. A little slow going, and intermittently *very* irritating. For those of you who aren't New Yorkers of a certain age, John Lindsay was the first "the next JFK", a tall and stylish liberal congressman from Manhattan's only Republican district, who successfully rolled into the Mayor's office at the head of one of those typical Gotham "fusion" tickets which regularly leverages left-ish Republican politicians into office at the head of coalitions of irate "reform" democrats. (See La Guardia, Mitchel and, I suppose, Bloomsberg in a sense.) He was the Fair-Haired Boy for about a year, mooted for the Republican presidential nomination for '68, all that. Very moddish, liked to walk the streets of New York's ghetto districts, surrounded by a swarm of Ivy League grads, liked to talk a good libertarian game.

Unfortunately, Lindsay's "libertarianism" was the sort that assumes a bloated government & believes that the way to control inequitable distribution of power is to enlarge the problem with bigger and bigger organizations & centralized, patriarchal authority. Not, in point of fact, actually any sort of libertarianism at all, but rather a recognizably liberal brand of fascism. His people were very fond of labeling all of their many enemies as "racist". Of course, back then, a number of those enemies actually *were* racist - look up what the acronym "SPONGE" abbreviates, if you care for a sample. But the Lindsay crowd was fond of stunts like trying to tie William F. Buckley to the Birchers... anyways, I think I would have gone batty dealing with that time. Liberalism was in the saddle, and beside it rode Riots, Rent Control, Youth Rebellion and Family Dissolution.

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