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Michael van der Galien

Jonah Goldberg: Hangover Time for Liberalism

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Posted on January 5 2010 2:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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A year ago this month, the air over American liberalism was thick with champagne corks. Barack Obama the newly elected president was poised to be inaugurated, and he in turn would inaugurate the long-prophesized new progressive era. A year later, the champagne corks are hardly flying, and if this is to be morning in America for American liberalism, it seems to have come with a pretty nasty hangover.

The notion that the left is owed its turn has been, for some, an immutable law of history.

For instance, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the late activist-historian, argued in The Cycles of American History that every 30 years or so, America swings like a pendulum between government activism and conservatism, between emphasizing public purpose and private gain. The 1930s and the 1960s saw statism in the saddle; in the 1920s, 1950s and 1980s, markets were ascendant. Based on his (very simplistic) theory, Schlesinger predicted that the 1990s would be a new progressive decade like the 1960s and 1930s. This was a widespread hope among liberals at the end of the Reagan-Bush era. As Dennis Hopper put it in a deservedly forgotten 1990 movie, Flashback: “The ’90s are going to make the ’60s look like the ’50s.”

Read the whole thing at USA Today.

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