Friday, August 12, 2011

values and riots

The voters were becoming quietly enraged by crime and disorder and by what they regarded as permissiveness on the part of institutional authority. Politicians who wanted to escape that rage should identify themselves with the forces of law and order. It was not necessary that they countenance ruthless acts of suppression, or even that they defend the police against the charges that had been made against them. Just that they show whose side they were on: the mugger, the looter, the sniper, the violent protester, or the law enforcer. If there was any doubt in the voters’ minds about that, all the magnanimity and progressivism in the world would not suffice to save the candidate. If the doubt was removed, the candidate was free to promote whatever liberal schemes he wished.
-- Harry McPherson (onetime LBJ aide)