One reason…historical facts have been obscured by the left is that the nostalgists don’t really want to take credit for electing Richard Nixon. As a matter of political discretion, they are also willing to let their greatest coup — the capture of the Democratic Party — go unmemorialized. Instead, they prefer to ascribe this remarkable political realignment to impersonal forces that, apparently, had nothing to do with their own agendas and actions. Talbot summarizes: “‘While the whole world (was) watching,’ [Daley’s] police rioted, clubbing demonstrators, reporters and bystanders indiscriminately. The Democratic Party self-destructed.” Well, actually, it was destroyed.
When the fires of Watergate consumed the Nixon presidency in 1974, the left’s newly won control of the Democratic Party produced the exact result that Hayden and his comrades had worked so hard to achieve. In 1974, a new class of Democrats was elected to Congress, which included anti-war activists like Ron Dellums, Pat Schroeder, David Bonior and Bella Abzug. Their politics were left as opposed to the anti-Communist liberalism of the Daleys and the Humphreys, and their first act was to cut off economic aid and military supplies to the regimes in Cambodia and South Vietnam. Though it is conveniently forgotten now, this cut-off occurred two years after the United States signed a truce with Hanoi and American troops were withdrawn from Vietnam.
“Bring the Troops Home” may have been the slogan of the so-called anti-war movement, but it was never its ultimate goal. The ultimate goal was a liberated Vietnam. Within three months of the cut-off, the anti-Communist regimes in Saigon and Phnom Penh fell, and the killing fields began. The mass slaughters in Cambodia and South Vietnam, from 1975 to 1978, which took place as a result of the withdrawal of aid, was the real achievement of the New Left and could not have been achieved without Hayden’s sabotage of the anti-Communist liberals like Humphrey and Daley.
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