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Thursday, October 27, 2016

AMSTERDAM — A specter is haunting the affluent societies of the West. Across the rich countries, and across the political spectrum, there is an unstated but palpable longing for a return to the 1950s.

This ’50s nostalgia takes different forms on the left and on the right. For progressives, the backward-looking wish is for the shared and growing prosperity when unions thrived and could enforce a relatively egalitarian social contract. Democrats in the United States and Social and Christian Democrats in Europe created systems of social insurance — they were more robust in Western Europe — that were largely endorsed by political conservatives.

On the right, ’50s nostalgia takes the form of a quest for order, social homogeneity, religious faith — or, at the least, public respect for traditional values — and strong families, sometimes defined as a return to old gender roles and a less adventurous approach to sexuality.

Neither side fully acknowledges its own nostalgia, partly because everyone wants their 1950s a la carte. The left, for example, will not brook any retreat from gender, racial or ethnic equality, any abridgement of sexual freedom or civil rights, any re-imposition of cultural conformity. The right wants no revival of inhibitions on the rambunctiousness of liberated economies and hails the decline of unions and their capacity to get in the way of labor-market dynamism.

And nostalgia for the 1950s can also split the left and the right, or create a kind of political schizophrenia. Globalization, for example, is often applauded by the left for obliterating nationalism and giving rise to an expansive and less parochial consciousness. Yet the left can also disdain the power that globalization confers on multinational corporations and the way it undercuts the bargaining clout of workers who must now compete with each other across national boundaries.

The right, particularly the more economically libertarian in its ranks, likes the way globalization diminishes the ability of national governments to enforce rules, taxes and bureaucratic inhibitions on the market. Yet many traditional conservatives dislike the free flows of immigration that globalization has let loose. They long for a firmer sense of national identity, and the kind of solidarity more homogenous societies can foster.

  • Mitt Romney’s behavior is anything but nostalgic or trivial. The terrorist attack against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and those against our embassies in Egypt and Yemen are the result of a film made by Jewish-Americans demonizing Islam and denigrating the prophet Muhammad. The film was deliberately released on the eve of 9/11 with its content articulated in an Arabic dialect spoken in North Africa to make sure every Muslim in that region understood its meaning. The goal was, clearly, to incite violence and provoke and international crisis. Other contributing factors to the latest violence include the killing of Al Qaeda’s number 2 man by a drone attack in Pakistan a few days ago; an effort to undermine and de-stabilize the incipient democracies in North Africa by projecting an image of chaos that is inconsistent with reality and, obviously, a desire to hurt Americans.
    As horrible as the attack in Benghazi was, the most disturbing part of this tragedy, because of its potential long term implications, was Mitt Romney’s irresponsible reaction. Mr. Romney irresponsible statement, issued while events were still unfolding, blamed President Obama’s commitment to peaceful coexistence for this tragedy and insinuated collusion with the terrorists. In addition to undermining our ability to handle an international crisis, he compromised the security of thousands of Americans living and working in Muslim countries by tacitly endorsing the film that contributed to this tragedy and at the same time insinuating our President and our government sympathize with terrorists. His lack of common sense, or worse, compromised our interests in the region, weakened the stature of emerging democracies in North Africa, and by endorsing the generalization of terrorism to encompass an entire culture he showed that he is no better than the neocons whose arrogant policies and provocations are a major factor for the violence and instability that prevail in that part of the world.
    His statement was shameful, unbecoming of a man running for President of the United States, and a clear sign that he is not fit for the job; not only because he lacks foreign policy experience, but because he does not have the character, values, and ethics that most Americans expect from a President. No wonder most Republican senators, including Sen. McCain, declined to comment when asked about his statement. At this rate, it will not be long if Republicans running for congressmen or senators start distancing themselves from him…and political donations start shifting to congressional candidates.
    Mitt Romney is a disgrace. He is the epitome of egotism, greed, arrogance and those not deserve to be considered for the highest office in the land.
    BTW, Marines are not stationed at U.S. consulates, only at Embassies. Their presence in Embassies is very small, and insufficient to repel a large terrorist attack. Most of our diplomatic offices abroad rely on local law enforcement or military forces for their security. Moreover, nobody knew a film was going to be released to provoke violence in a region where religion is taken as seriously as our evangelicals do…minus beheadings. That film was a deliberate provocation that caused the death of four Americans, endangered the lives of thousands of Americans working in Muslim countries, and compromised our interests in the region. Those responsible for this crisis should be arrested and tried for high treason, and that includes Florida preacher Terry Jones and foreign leaders trying to influence the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

    • got2012news

      Well said!!!!! Thank you!

    • morgan520

      Well said!!!

    • Elsa

      I beg your pardon, but your post contains anti-Semitic information that is incorrect. While it is true someone called taking responsibility for the movie and claimed a to be an American of Jewish and Israeli background, the claim has been disproven and has been linked back to a man named Nakoula Basseley, a man with a criminal background and who is link to the use of the name claimed by the caller. Naloula was convicted of fraud in 2010 and is a Coptic Christian and connected with the group that protests at military funerals. He is now in hiding.

      I am not saying you are anti-Semitic, just that you need to be careful about what you put in print. Most of the actors and other people involved in the film are now claiming they were misled by the man who produced the film who claimed to be Egyptian and that the English version had a different message than the translated one. Shame on you.

    • Just Like He Made His Money He A Low Life Bottom Of The Barrel Scum That Is Using Anything That Happen In The News To Blame On Our President!! There’s A Very Real Reason He Hiding Those Tax Returns!! No Telling What Other Low Life Evils Deeds He Did In Order To Make His Money!! Lets See Stripping American Companies By Loading Them With Debt, Shipping American Jobs Overseas, Making 20.000 For Each Person He Fired, 15.000 For Each Job He Create Overseas, Money Invested And Hiding Overseas Bank Accounts, Disposal of Aborted Fetus, Chicken Shit Draft Dodger, Flip Flop On Every Issues Under The Sun, And Is The Biggest LIAR The Ever Run For The President!! Now Who In Their Right Mind Thinks This Man Will Make A Good President Needs To Get So Must Needy Help!!!

      • joyscarbo

        Hey Fern…I really like what you contribute to the website here, but why do you capitalize every single word? It makes if difficult for me to easily read. What is behind the unique typing?

        • Hey Joyscarbo What The Hell Kind Of Name Is That I See Most Trolls That Troll Here Got These Crazy Name!! Way More Than Your Butt Kisser Of The Koch Brother Do!! 1414 You, 3971 Me, You Do The Math Troll!! Now That You Got That Off Your Chest You Can Now Go Back To Sucking Koch Brothers Asses!! It Not My writing It’s Just The Fact You Most Likely Can’t Read!!

          • joyscarbo

            I was just asking a friendly question, Fern. I’m a fairly liberal democrat and I have given money and worked for the Obama campaign! Calm down….I was just curious why you capitalize every word. I post on this website often and you can look at my posts. You need to know the differnce between your enemies and your allies. You have ALOT more allies here than enemies.

          • Allies Don’t Try To Insult Other People Like You Have Tried To Do And Allies Don’t Ask Stupid Questions !! Allies Like You I Need Like I Need Another Hole In My Head!! You Sound Just Like The Enemy!! So Please Stop Talking To Me!! I’m Far From Being Stupid!!

          • joyscarbo

            Is anyone else following this? It’s nuts.

          • What Part Of Stop Talking To Me Do You Not Understand!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE NUTS!! Meanwhile Back At The Ranch 1417 You (joyscarbo) 3979 Me (Fern Woodfork) What Do That Tell You!!!!

          • Don


          • Don


        • Don

          I too Capitalize many tymes as it is difficult for me to type with my ParkinsOn-like condition as I can’t type WELL AS i have to hunt and peck. often it is said that those who type in all caps are ashouting. So what, let them shout, maybe YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT PROBLEMS WE HAVE HERE AS TOO OUR PHYSICAL problems

          • joyscarbo

            I wasn’t putting Fern down at all….a friendly question…that’s all.

      • Wendy A

        You are so blind to the truth… what has Obama got you on… seems as if all of the Democratic supporters are seeing too many invisible Unicorns and Rainbows. Even one of your many biased news stations asked Obama if it was worth it… Of course that reporter will be backlashed when he gets back home…

        • You A So Blinded By The Do Do In Your Face From Sucking The Rich Man Butt That You Can’t See!! You Need To Quit Drinking The Snake Venom Sold To You By The American Taliban Snake Oil Salesmen!! Do You Self A Favor And STFU Talking To Me!! You Can Go Back To Sucking Romney Butt But Next Time You Post Please Wash You Face I Can Smell You Thru The Computer!!

    • obamonica

      Hey Domi you are an Idiot who belives you have it right!!! but we all know Obama is in the WH because he is black, thats all, not because his capabilities….’cause the color of the skin…he is inept, arrogant and gay lover who took Monicas place now very good friend with Bill Clinton..hugs and kissess at the DNC…hummmm I am wonder who is who on that relationship….Obamonica perhaps. I take Romney any day vs Obamonica

      • oldtack

        I have heard these similar words spoken by Limbaugh. Are you guilty of plagiarism?

    • Don

      How did this film get in the hands of these Islamic murderers? We have wonderful islamic people live in my community and they have a place of worship here as well. They are confused as we are about what is going on and they are afraid they may have their homes and car desicrated.

    • well said again

  • adler56

    Another writer who doesn’t know the definition of schizophrenia or deliberately misuses it.

  • All i can add to this elloquent description of Mitt Ronmey’s behavior is that he is a fool. He can never go near the whie house. Since the election got shifted into a higher gear, I have not heard Mr. Ronmey offer a sensible suggestion to any of the policies of the current administration that he claims not working.

    He is a fool of the new century

    • He Have No New Plan Just More Trickle Down Polices That Only Works For The Wealthy, More Lies , More Wars, And Total Chaos On The Middle Class And Poor Working People!! Just The Same Old Bush Plan That Got Us In The Trouble We Are In Now!!!

  • TheOldNorthChurch

    Here in lies the basic problems plaguing the Euro-Zone and large segments of the US, utopia is unachievable because it ignores the basics of human nature.

  • Melvin Chatman

    “Nothing New Here”
    SOM > “Same Old Mittens”

  • ronlar

    A thoughtful essay by E.J. Dionne. In the 50’s many households were sustainable as middle class with one income, from one adult working. Many households also, in order to have some extras, had someone working part time. Today, the vast majority of households require two or more incomes to make ends meet and to maintain some sort of middle class existence, with a few extras.

    The 1950’s was a totally different, more innocent world where adults in charge; parents, priests, nuns, teachers, doctors were omniscient. Not so today, and there can be no return to those days of innocence because we all know now that it really wasn’t that simple. All adults can not be trusted; all corporations can not be trusted; all politicians, or political parties can not be trusted. We’re humans and we are both capable of heroism and of cowardice; intelligence and stupidity – generosity and egotism; each and everyone of us. Thoughtful, realistic people do not buy into or look for perfection in all matters for any of the above entities. They realize that we are all flawed, and they look for evidence of intent behind actions when making important decisions in life such as voting. No one can afford to get lost in the past; we all need to look ahead with hope and positive dreams for the future.

    • BDD1951

      Since I remember the 50’s I’ll comment on your statement. Back in the 50’s we didn’t have to have houses that were twice as big as the family needed. I raised my 4 kids in a 3 bd., 1 bath house that was about 1,000 sq. feet. I didn’t work outside the home until the youngest was a sophmore in high school. We needed less to be happy than prople do now.

      • …and most of us didn’t run around with a credit card buying things we could not afford. Come to think of it, I didn’t even know what a credit card looked like until I was in my 30s! We bought things when we could afford to buy them, if we couldn’t afford something and we really wanted it, we saved and waited until we had enough to buy it. That concept is incomprehensible nowadays, and it is a contributing factor for the problems we have at all levels of our society.

        • You Got That Right Today There’s A Lot Of People Living Beyond Their Means Chasing IPhones And IPads And All Kinds Of Crap They Can’t Afford!!

    • neece00

      Very well said Ron, I look forward to more thoughtful insight.

  • Mitt Romney’s excuse of free speech in the controversial outing of the anti-Islamic film was as spurious as he is. Who would cry out “FIRE!” in a crowded theater, or “HE’S GOT A GUN!” on a loaded airplane? Who would walk into a Catholic Church at mass or a Baptist Church on Fellowship Day and excoriate Christianity? Islam has the most zealot believers on earth who will not tolerate any criticism or threat to their religion, which shows how insecure and unstable they are in their faith. The key word here is FAITH. Anyone who has faith in the word of God will not allow themselves to be dragged into a violent, hateful Jihad which is contrary to the tenets of their religion. God does not promote violence and hatred. Yet, this is all part and parcel to the jingoism of war, where the stage is being prepped for a conflict between Israel and Iran, and Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, the Republicans, and the Tea Party, their lobbyists, billionaires and Super PACs will take the opportunity to do what Bush/Cheney did in Irag, Pakistan, Afganistan, and Katrina to profiteer off of war and disaster. This is why America and the nations of the world are feeling the economic depression: WAR. Nobody wants it and we caan all do without it. If Romney thinks he made himself look Presidential, he’d better think again.

  • nomaster

    The trouble with nostalgia is that we only remember by human nature what was good and pleasing, we tend to forget the bad experiences. We need to remember and keep in mind that things and times progress and we must welcome change when good and shun the bad. For Willard the Rat man his nostalgia is one of the sacred cow himself. He often creates his own nostalgia the way it was for the silverspoon child and patronizes everyone else. Willard the Rat man is a calculating, insensitive creature, a product of his own devolution, seeing himself as the perfect one. He seeks to define his desire with every twist and turn, every lie and misleading misnomer.

  • howa4x

    The right wing always longs for the 50’s when white Christian men controlled everything and were unquestioned in their dominance. There was no dissent. My childhood was then and I can vividly remember segration in the south, and federal troops going to Little Rock Ark to force integration of the high school.Every kid at school had drills to hide under our desks in case of nuclear attack(like that would help) since the start of the cold war is underway
    I can also remember air pollution so bad in industrial areas that special street lights were developed to see through the smog. Corporations could discharge waste directly into waterways with no regulations, and some rivers smelled foul. Yes workers had unions and they were strong but some were very corrupt like the teamsters under Hoffa who were allied with the Mob. It been investigated that funds from the SW Teamsters pension fund were siphoned off to build Las Vegas. I’m sure nothing was put back, and the workers got none of the profits. The Mafia with police protection started to pedal drugs in low income black neighborhoods, since racism was rampant, the police saw themselves as protectors of only the white communities. Women had no say in anything. It was father knows best and mothers knows how to cook unless they had Beulah as their maid. A tight lid was put on social issues and religion dominated. If you were an ethnic minority kid there was a kind of forced homogenation into the super culture. We all had crew cuts, played little league, ate ft long hot dogs, went to drive ins and learned how to be tough and insensitive.
    On the world stage we were preminante. Our corporations were unscathed from the war and they along with the CIA startred to assert themselves around the world. If there was trouble like a freely elected president in Iran that promised to nationalize the oil companies in 1953 to get a better deal on profits for his country, was ousted in a CIA backed Coup that installed the Shah who crushed dissent quickly. It was all idylic for whites, but problems were starting to brew. Women were mass educated for the first time and more were sent to college at greater numbers than at any other time. The interstate highway system caused the cities to empty their families to the burbs, leaving behind a permenate underclass to fill in the vacum. The social explosion of the 60’s were a direct result of the forced conformity, and segration of the 50s. Women were no longer content to be stay at home moms and wanted a career, and Afro americans were no longer content to be second class citizens who couldn’t use the same water fountian as white and had to move off the sidewalk if one was comming the opposite way. Segregation was enforced on transportation, and in restaurants, and the Klu Klux Clan kept order through a cross burning or lynching.

    Yes the 50’s were great if you were a white man and even better if you were a Christian

    • Ed

      Well said my freind; and TRUE, Iwas there!

    • jebediah123

      Wow “Howa4x” —– I was 8 years old in 1950 and I remember everything you mentioned happened the way you stated. It is clear to me , that while many criticize Obama for “being apologetic to the world for being American”, he trying to undo the harm done by those early 50’s and 60’s administrations to our international relations.

      Doesn’t anyone remember “the ugly American”? The businesses that ran roughshod over small countries in their business dealings (with U.S. government approval)??We are still suffering with a bad image for backing dictators to keep their citizens “peaceful” so we could buy their commodities cheaply and keep our 10MPH SUV”s running smoothly. Yeah, those were the good ole days!

    • That’s Why It Called The Past!! We Come A Long Way Baby And We Ain’t Going Back!!! The American Taliban Can Just Keep On Dreaming And They Can Find Themselves Another Country!! SCREW THEM!!

  • Tom

    You forgot about the bolsheviks.They weren,t around to screw up our country.And they had no power even if they were around.

  • Tom

    You did not have communist Jews with power in the 50,s.

  • Ed

    A “traditional value” of the 50’s that the repubs refuse to honor; RESPECT FOR THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! A traditional value that the Repubs hope will be returned; “THOSE PEOPLE” know their place. They know who they are.

  • Americans longing to return to the way our country had been from the beginning till the 1950’s is a good thing. 2 parent families, a strong middle-class, good valuse and morals, a united nation, not divided like now, especially under Obama, not Millions of Illegal trespassers, not 16 Trillion in debt, etc., that’s what most of us would like again, not what we have now. It has nothing to do with “White men” like a post below, that is your bias, because you believe that changing our country by Federal Government policies to make us a mixture of unassimilated minorities is a good thing. Shows that you are not happy with the great country that we had established, maybe you would like it to resemble 3rd. world countries???

    • grammyjill

      Do you want to bring back slavery too?

  • Elsa, I have no idea who made the film that provoked the violence we are seeing throughout the Islamic world, and to be honest with you I don’t really care who did it. Hopefully, we will all find out the truth in due time. What is important to me is that someone, deliberately, made and released a film denigrating another religion and its prophet to incite violence; and the fact that four Americans have been killed because of it.
    Distractions and hiding behind the First Amendment are attempts to deflect attention from the root cause of the problem and from the importance of statements made since then. I believe the people that provoked this crisis are accomplices in a crime and should be tried, and I believe Mitt Romney’s refusal to admit he made a mistake demonstrate that his character is as flawed as his business reccord.

  • I grew up in the 40’s and the 50’s. For the life of my I can’t see why anyone besides old white men would look back with such nostalgia. Have we ever lived through a more superficial and up tight period? Of course the rest of the world was still in ruins and America’s industrial might gave us the highest standard of living in the world. A lack of competition will do that for you. Myopic and backward naval gazing from the right is a terrible waste of time and effort. We are living in difficult times and wishing for some mystical utopian and fictional past is certainly not helpful. It is way past time for nostalgia and time to get to work on the real work of today.

  • oldtack

    The controversial two hour movie ” Innocence of Muslims’ put out on you tube by a Coptic Christian, Morris Sadek, that caused uproar all over the Middle East and the probable cause of the attack on and death of four Americans was alluded to have been produced by a Jewish American, Sam Bacile. The cast of about 200 was described as Jewish.

    The perpetrator of this film has been identified as Nikoula Basseley Nikoula, a Coptic Christian from California. The cast – a mixture of people from Syria, Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt. Some are Coptic Christian but vast majority are Evangelical.

    The Coptic Christian Church had it’s beginning in Alexandria, Egypt and claims are that it was formed by the Apostle Mark in AD 42.

    What timing!
    A non-Jewish group making and releasing this film just in time for the observance of the attack on the World Trade Center to infuriate the Christian World against Muslims and infuriate the Muslim world against Israel.

    And the majority were – Evangelicals.

  • Wendy A

    I honestly don’t understand all this mumbo jumbo that is stated in the article… All I know is… Unions are good for one thing… TAKING YOUR MONEY. I work 3 days a week at the most and they make sure they take their dues, but don’t do anything to actually HELP Employees. I had to take my company to court myself AND WON the court case even After my Union said they found no further reason to investigate my grievance.

    As for the recent attacks on our Embassies, i believe this was just a coincidental EXCUSE for them to attack and that it was planned from the get go for the violence on 9/11.

    I am completely offended that our government Apologized for said video at ALL. This is America, but not for long if our government keeps kissing A$$. We are decent enough to give them money over seas, and they repay that favor by Killing our innocent people!! I say, Cut the money bags off!!! We look completely WEAK when we bow down to those MURDERERS. I say, give them a taste of their own medicine. Too bad it was soo important that Obama had to go to Las Vegas yesterday instead of FACING what was happening at the Moment.. At least another candidate stepped up and STOOD for America when the incumbent was busy campaigning! I STAND behind Romney, at least he has a set!

    • grammyjill

      The problem with your conclusion is it is wrong. Romney went off before the facts were in making him look like a complete ass. The President dealt with the problem as soon as he got the facts. As of now four of the terrorists have been arrested and the plastic puppet had nothing to do with it. We have ONE President at a time and no room for a peanut gallery.

  • I think the right just likes the racism and women in the kitchen where they belong

  • fordneri

    When conservatives are not fondly remembering the good old days that were not really all that good. They are pretending they know the mind of God Or they pretend they are expert in the Austrian school of economics and constitutional law . In the good old days corperations benefited society. Now they only benefit them selves. Churches used to save souls and build up civilization. Now they promote forced motherhood of rape victims, blowing up medical facilities and beating up gay people. To conservatives virtuous capitalism is out. Vulture capitalism is in. I don’t remember the glass being half empty in the fifty’s the way conservatives believe it is now, but I do remember virulant racism, jew baiting and wife beatings as common as clockwork.

  • oldtack

    Good article today on Steve Kline, producer of the movie “Innocence of Muslims”. He is a nine year veteran of the Marine Corps. and has actively pursued a vendetta against Radical Muslims since 9/11. The movie was named “Innocence of Muslims” in an attempt to lure Muslims into theaters under false pretenses to ridicule them and their faith. Not one ticket was sold but in the past days a 14 minute segment was put out on You Tube and this action resulted in the present murders and mayhem in the Middle East.

    Steven Kline expresses his feeling about Radical Muslims after his son was wounded in Iraq.
    The article states that Kline is an Evangelical Christian which prompts me to ask this question from those on this forum:

    What is the difference in the motives of Radical Muslims and Radical Christians?

    Why are these two factions so focused on destroying this world in pursuit of what they interpret as “absolute truth”?

    Of all the multitudes of “Religions” on this planet these are the only two that pursue such tactics. What is the gain?

  • Dave_dido

    Today’s children will look back nostalgically on these days we are living now . They will fondly remember having to push buttons on a hand-held iphone in order to communicate with friends rather than just letting the device scan their brainwaves, decode and send the thoughts through the ether to thousands of receivers. OMG, if you think today’s posts are mean and hideous, just wait until your communication device starts sending out every uncensored, demoniacal thought of your id!There will be many smackings in the singles bars.( And we’ll probably find out that Mr. Obozo and Montana Bill are really masochistic, closet Democrats!)
    “Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit.”- Virgil, The Aeneid
    “Perhaps someday it will please us to remember these things.”(Even political campaigns?)

  • daniel bostdorf

    Oh–by the way…if anyone mentions “Gateway pundit” as a rebuttal, know this;
    Gateway Pundit” is a “news aggregator” , primarily tasked to discredit Obama.
It sifts though anti-Obama articles and posts them as fact.
They dont fact check.
Their George Orwell motto is; ” where hope finally made a comeback.” That state means ment that they really mean the opposite.
    “hope finally made a comeback ” is realized when Obama is re-elected.
    What is even darker is that Rassmussen Polls are utilized to justify that Romney is ahead in the polls.
    Darker side?
    Maybe he and karl rove have employed Rassmussen to create false polls.
    Rassmussens done it before…
    Do a google search..

  • Don

    I remember Eisenhower in the 50’s and he was a great Republican President. It is a shame today’s Republicans are all false talk keweping the population in the know of what is false and not the truth. I do not like any of the recent Republicans especially R and R, that Mitt and Rye and that’s no scotch. They are a bunch of rumbums