On the death of Kennedy, Lewis and Huxley

All on the 22nd November 1963

Article by Gary North, titled The Fathers In The Wilderness.


With the death of John Kennedy on November 22, 1963–also the day of death for Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis–the rhetoric of can-do liberalism was taken up by a crass Texan who knew how to wield power under the old rules, and who proceeded to involve the United States in two losing wars, the Vietnam war and the war on poverty. Can-do liberalism started twisting arms visibly, and by 1968, the humanistic forces of mindlessness, of revolution, and of drugged retreat reacted violently to what little was left of the humanist vision of Camelot. Lyndon Johnson was the invisible man at the Democrats’ 1968 convention, and he remains invisible. Simultaneously, bureaucrats took over the management of the dreams of Camelot, as bureaucrats always do, and “the Great Society” became an economic and foreign policy nightmare.”

Thus, by the early 1970’s, the old liberalism was crumbling ideologically, and by the late 1970’s, it was in full retreat institutionally. The rise of the neo-conservative movement has routed the Intellectual leaders of the old left, and the rise of the New Rights direct-mall politics and the New Christian Right’s voter registration drives among fundamentalists has begun to rout the political leaders. The extent of Mondale’s loss probably sealed the fate of the old left’s Presidential hopes. Some new left vision, some new age vapor, or some crisis-solving blue collar patriotism seem to be the humanists’ only political alternatives. They are in disarray. They control the reigns of power temporarily, but they are no longer being given a free ride by the conservatives.

The Era of Wilderness Wandering

With the rise of the Christian Reconstruction movement in the late 1960’s, and the rise of the Protestant “renewal” movement of the same period, the vacuum of fundamentalism is being filled. On the other side, liberation theology and neo-Anabaptist communalism have arisen to fill the void of the older theological liberalism. Each side looks at its aging leaders and hopes for something better.

What is called for now is a period of rebuilding the foundations. An enormous educational program is called for. The Christian day school movement and the Christian home school movement are the main long-term weapons in this educational counter-attack against humanism. Of secondary importance long-term, but of great importance short-term, are the new T.V. satellite Christian broadcasts and the advent of computerized mailing lists and newsletters.