By William L. O'Neill
An research of the 1960's that brings to gentle new features of that turbulent decade.
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Additional resources for Coming Apart An Informal History Of America In The 1960's
The President did insist on a balanced budget, but it was subverted by the overestimation of tax revenues for fiscal 1963. 2 billion deficit. Thus while the government did not make matters worse, it did not help them much either. The administration finally approached the tax cut in something of a gambler's spirit. All else having failed, why not try a little dose of Keynes? But the effort was made so halfheartedly that it probably had no important results. It was not accompanied by a public works program.
The Old Left had been ruined by the Communist party and the Cold War. What remained included a few radical scholars like William Appleman Williams and C. Wright Mills, the democratic socialists clustered around Norman Thomas and Dissent magazine, and assorted Trotskyists and unreconstructed Stalinists. Most liberals still identified with Democratic administrations, however inept. They too had been conditioned to accept the government line on foreign affairs. What thought they gave it was mainly devotional.
In ordinary speech a conservative meant someone attached to an obsolete principle, like the gold standard or Social Darwinism. In practice what defined them were prejudices held in common. Conservatives opposed liberal administrations, civil rights, and being taxed for nonmilitary expenditures. They liked private property, religion, and General MacArthur. Most of all, they hated communism. This was lucky for them, as otherwise they could scarcely have gotten along with one another. Conservatives were as sectarian as radicals, and being more numerous suffered accordingly.