1964 Revisited: Antiwar Voters Were Right to Back LBJ After All!


A Mother Jones writer tries to convince Occupy to work within the Democratic Party:

Though politicians don't always fulfill their promises, history shows that social movements tend to advance when they help elect people who at least feel compelled to listen to them. Lyndon B. Johnson was not seen as a great progressive in the '60s, but his time in office coincided with the civil rights and anti-war movements.

Lyndon Johnson's time in office did coincide with tremendous growth in the antiwar movement. This was because he escalated Washington's intervention in Vietnam into a no-win war that killed thousands of Americans and even more Vietnamese each year. As far as I can recall, the only time he listened to the protesters was when he decided not to run again in 1968.

If Johnson is the touchstone for presidents and social movements, Occupiers and Tea Partiers alike should secretly root for a Romney victory. Give us a president left and right can hate; then we can really get things done.

[Hat tip: Charles Davis.]