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Reply #63: Just now noticed your response; sorry if I seemed... [View All]

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newswolf56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-19-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Just now noticed your response; sorry if I seemed...
...slow to respond, especially since you pose a good and thoughtful question.

The allegedly pro-gun elements you cited -- and I use "pro-gun" advisedly, as there is no evidence any of these groups would have continued to support the Second Amendment (or any other part of the Bill of Rights) had they actually achieved power -- nullified by their acts of armed rebellion any enduring influence they might ever have had over the Democratic Party's internal politics. In every instance, they definitively placed themselves "outside the system" as violent or incipiently violent revolutionaries, thereby rejecting the very liberties and processes by which they might have made their views prevail.

By contrast, feminists (both pro-gun and anti-gun) and the venomously anti-gun Communitarians (who achieved their influence largely due to the undeniable rhetorical brilliance of Robert Reich) all chose to work within the party structure. Ditto for environmentalists and minorities, themselves often sharply divided on Second Amendment issues: note for example the clash between Deacons-for-Defense factions and the strictly pacifist elements within the Civil Rights Movement. However, the ascendance of the anti-gunners was not ensured until the pro-gunners were literally driven from the party. Not coincidentally, these were mostly rural and/or blue-collar folk, people who had transcended blue-collar backgrounds but remained faithful to their class origins, and the intellectuals who represented both groups.

I could relate some painful personal experiences that exemplify how this ouster took place, but the late Nat Hentoff did it much better and in much broader terms. Though (to my knowledge) Hentoff never addressed the Second Amendment issue, he wrote extensively about the class schism itself, with his insightful work published mostly in The Village Voice. If you can find his essays on the topic (most of which are NOT available on-line but -- if you can endure the long wait for an active link -- may be accessible through the New York City Public Library), they will tell you all you need to know. Hentoff began writing on the subject in the wake of the 1968 convention fights, wrote extensively on it after the McGovern debacle too, and by late 1972 was predicting that this class warfare would destroy -- probably forever -- the socioeconomic coalition that had so often assured Democratic victory. Sadly, Hentoff's predictions were confirmed when Ronald Reagan took the presidency.

I hope this helps.
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