Young Americans for Freedom

Jonathan Flanders jon_flanders at
Wed Dec 29 21:30:12 MST 1999

>> Having said this, I must confess that I was a member of the YAF in 1960

Ah yes, LNP the YAFer confesses. How many New Dealers remain in that
village today, I wonder?

 Well, growing up in Vermont in 1960 I was a Nixon supporter with a button
I wore proudly that was half the size of my eighth grade head. Something
happened in the next four years because 1964 saw me battling the
Goldwaterites in high school under the LBJ banner. Thus began my trip to
the left side of the political spectrum.

  To support Democrats in Vermont in those days was well and truly a lonely
crusade. Then Democrat Philip Hoff came to power as governor under a
program of reforming the one town, one vote legislature which left urban
areas grossly under-represented.

  I remember a  graduation at my high school  circa 1963, which was
traumatized by a anti-war speech by its validictorian.

  On came the Seventies, and the tide of urban  refugees changed the
landscape for good, creating a new Vermont as California East, where old
mill buildings now house condos and internet startups. Ben and Jerry built
an empire of ice cream from an abandoned gas station.

  Vermont Republicans, whose base used to be on the small farmer, typified
by Senator George Aiken, and small and medium sized industry, represented
by such as my great-uncle, now scramble for voting leverage where they can
in the absentee capitalism of today's Anywhere USA, while Vt. Democrats
accomodate the ur's and working folk now represented by Bernie Sanders.

  Longing for the days of Aiken, whose Senate campaigns usually cost less
than one hundred dollars, recently surfaced in the "spoof" run for Senate
by farmer Fred Tuttle in the Republican primary. He flummoxed his
carpet-bagging millionaire opponent by posing the question, "How many teats
does a cow have?" The millionaire guessed wrong and Tuttle went on to
defeat him in the primary, then promptly endorsed the incumbent Democrat.
Nostalgia has its limits as a form of political resistance.

Jon Flanders

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