December 22, 2010
The recent elections reverberate with a truth overlooked: Florida and
America do not want to be governed from the left. Recognizing the
disasters spawned by the social movement of the 1960s, Americans have
gotten a big dose of the left's agenda and have tossed it out.
Hopey-changey rhetoric dries up and blows away when the winds of
reality roar through.
Many leaders of the political left in Florida are children of the
counterculture '60s, people who have tried to turn that movement's
bad faith in America into votes.
Dan Gelber lost his race for attorney general because his views are
ultra-left. Gelber, an anti-business lawyer with little recognition
that consumers have responsibilities they routinely fail to honor,
thought there was a corporate villain around every corner. Ron Klein
lost his congressional race because he lost touch with what his
district's voters really want. Congress's plummeting poll numbers
now at a 13 percent approval rate are a record low with Americans.
Where did these leftist politicians come from? Well, they are
children or descendents of the 1960s, harboring the beliefs of that
"Me" generation era.
The counterculture movement of the '60s directly challenged the
logical principles on which Western society rested. America-bashing
"revolutionaries" set out to dissolve traditional values and culture.
They wanted a feel-good lifestyle more concerned with celebrity than
morality. They loathed the military and law and order, promoting a
culture of civil disobedience, violence, and a decline in patriotism.
It was an "if it feels good, do it" age, marked by the disuniting and
diminishing of America.
Hedonism was elevated to a kind of moral imperative. The radicals in
the Age of the Jerk preached that it was alright to be disorderly, to
resist authority with nasty tactics, to flout the values of order and
These disastrous social trends caused a tripling of crime and welfare
over the following 10 years, and a dramatic rise in teen drug use and
suicide, illegitimate children, divorce, and social disorder. The
radicals wanted no less than to destroy American institutions that
had risen and withstood the test of time.
The other result of the 1960s is it polarized our politics. As the
children of the '60s grew up, they brought their extremist teachings
into politics. Socialist revolutionaries practiced their radicalism
under the guise of "participatory democracy," which was code for
socialism. But the promises of the '60s failed to materialize.
Some '60s militants tempered their Marxist and socialist beliefs into
present day "progressivism." But you can spot them, or their acolytes
look for devotion to the welfare state and the expansion of
government, the bashing of business and the military, moral
relativism, drive-by journalism, and political correctness. Some '60s
leftists still lurk, as dark shapes under Florida's political waters,
or as politicians.
The voters of Florida have avoided much of this destructive nonsense
by using more common sense than voters in California and New York.
Most Floridians have recognized that we cannot be governed
effectively from the left. And voters have largely blocked the
leftward tide from rolling into many communities. Most of us sense
that we can only truly flower if we keep leftists from power.
John R. Smith is chairman of Palm Beach County's BizPac and owner of
a financial services company.