One can radicalize any idea. In the 1960s, the left radicalized the Civil Rights movement.
Civil Rights prior to radicalization was dramatically different than it was after the radicalization.
Before radicalization, the Republican Party was the driving force behind Civil Rights. More surprisingly, Republicans were the liberals, while Democrats did everything they could to cling to the racist status quo.
After the movement, Democrats completed the capture of the term liberal and successfully projected the label "conservative" on Republicans.
IMHO, the dueling Beck/Sharpton 8/28 rallies did a pretty good job showing the form of these two Civil Rights Movements. The Beck show had people standing around talking about high-minded ideals with a discussion of both the challenges and success of our nation ... with an emphasis on the successes.
Al Sharpton's march was a watered down peoples struggle against Beck.
For years I held the high minded civil rights movement that ran from the end of the Civil War to the Sixties was all well and good, but that it failed in achieving the goal of granting Civil Rights.
Since the classical liberal approach to civil rights failed and the radical approach seemed to work, I bought into the notion that the radical progressive methodology was a better approach to getting things done.
I finally realized that this appearance might just be an illusion. Republicans had been supporting civil rights for almost a century. The radical Democrats of the Jim Crow era were the ones blocking progress.
By the 50s, the Democrats realized that they were stuck with a losing issue, and made the decision to change their position. The Democrats executed the switch to take place in the Kennedy/Johnson administration.
The Civil Rights Movement was a matter of Democrats switching from radical racism to radical anti-racism. It was not the case of an enlightened radical movement in struggle with a regressive conservative movement.
A higher percentage of the Republicans framed as conservatives actually voted for the legislation.
I wrote a longer piece about why I am now of the opinion that the high-minded Beck style rally is the better approach to long term social progress. I also explained why the angry peoples struggle by Sharpton is paradoxical and counter productive.
The longer piece was hard to understand without understanding the radicalization process.
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