Is It Really De Ja Vu All Over Again? And Which De Ja Are We Viewing?

Everyone loves history, especially their own. It is perhaps therefore not surprising to see a spate of Democratic/Liberal columnists fret about the possible similarities between the upcoming Democratic Convention in Denver and the infamous 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. There, the Democratic Party — caught between an entrenched old guard and a vocal youth vote, between supporters of the Vietnam War v. opponents, civil rights activists in varying degrees, and supporters of Robert Kennedy adrift after his assassination — engaged in brutal internecine warfare that split the party and gave Richard Nixon the victory.

But is it the right analogy? I would suggest, as I know others have as well, that the correct analogy lies not with 1968 but 1932. That story ended happily for the Democrats, and it is worth considering why and whether that success can be repeated — if we do not try to shove our differences under the rug and “play nice.”

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