Greg Beale
6 min readMay 31, 2020

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Freedom is another word for “nothing left to lose”…an infamous lyric that solidified the anti-Vietnam movement. In other words, if you have noting left to lose, resorting to ANY actions to accomplish your goals is acceptable.

It isn’t…unchecked freedom to demonstrate with fascism 7’violence is a trap that is being again set by fascism to beat down racial justice.

It is 1968 all over again.

Of course this leaves a broad enough area of action or protest, to allow violence and mindless actions. This plays right into the Fascist hands, who ultimately are way more violent than the protestors of last night…

And when this is pitted against ruthless and crafty politicians, like Dick Nixon for example, the peace movement’s riots in Chicago at the Democratic Convention fell right into the trap of Law N Order, that turned the greatest generation against the New Deal Democrats, who were depicted as “coddling” the protestors.

Now, I know this for a fact, that many of the greatest generation, who were middle aged in the late 1960s, were turning against the war in 1968. I know, I was there!

But the riots of Chicago did it. Nixon made promises of ending the war, but with “honor”..he grabbed the opportunity of riots to turn public opinion in his evil favor.

Everyone knew what that meant…as an Anti-communist, there was no way Nixon would cut a deal with North Vietnam soon. Voting for Nixon meant voting against the long haired VIOLENT protestors and voting for a longer war….people knew that and elected Nixon anyway,

Unbeknownst to everyone save a few, Nixon had already cut a deal with the North Vietnamese. He secretly promised that the would get a “better deal” if they walked out of the almost completed peace talks with Johnson; who was trying a last minute resolution of the war before the election of 1968.

THAT secret negotiation is what Nixon thought the Democrats knew about and the secret was kept in the Watergate Democratic Headquarters.

The burglars were caught before they found the documents they were after. Johnson knew what Nixon was up to, but needed proof..otherwise he knew that “tricky Dick” would lie his way out of it.

So the nation stumbled away from the Democratic Party, elected Nixon, and bought at least five more years of hell in Vietnam.

In those days, “Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose” was a chant that many anti-war protestors used…and it played right into a cunning politician’s hands.

Trump is stupid but not completely…he knows the tricks that Nixon used. The dog whistles that bring out the racist in whites, who you would never think would be racist.

Right now I am watching the current National Security Advisor (they change every month) who is jumping all over the riots of last night…he has repeated law n order at least five times already. He is almost gleeful that the protestors once again gave a declining politician (Nixon couldn’t even win as governor of his home state ) a chance.

The dog whistle of racial fear was just used by the National Security Advisor this morning.

The protestors always under estimate the strength of their opponent. They keep thinking that they can out maneuver politically white privilege. They keep expecting that the “silent majority” is not capable of being racist.

But they are…they quietly have voted that way for years…and nothing gets them more riled up than a good racial riot.

That is going on right now..playing right into Trump’s hands. He is probably popping the champagne bottle , being given a gift before the November election…the Black Thugs are again on the prowl, we need to protect property from the mob; etc.

The same thing Nixon used in 1968, leading to repression, leading to Kent State, and thousands more dead, millions of Vietnamese.

And the result…NOTHING…the war ground on, the “War on Poverty” was gutted. Democrats lost the Congress, it took twenty more years, but they lost it. And Vietnam is a capitalist Mecca right now…and the Philippines did not fall to the dominoes…and 55,000 Americans never got to have grandchildren, along with two million Vietnamese.

And Nixon won.

And any racial justice that was accomplished by the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964–65 was negated.

Dr. King knew this, that is why in 1967 he swung strongly against the Vietnam War. He knew that it was a huge distraction and a political opportunity for the Vietnamese Hawks, many of whom were getting rich of the war, would use to negate the anti war movement AND the civil rights movement. So he began working for peace in Vietnam. Many criticized him, for losing the focus of the civil rights movement.

But another thing was happening: a disproportionate number of African American soldiers were being killed in Vietnam. Sound familiar…a disproportionate number of African Americans are dying from the pandemic.

Right now, African Americans and Native Americans live under more repression than in 1968 by far….right now they are dying at a much faster rate of the pandemic.

We are in 1968 all over again!

Police violence is ramping up. White supremacy is again emboldened. And we are losing the ONLY thing that can fix it…the ballot box.

It is no accident that Republicans are fighting against mail in ballots, are fighting to keep their gerrymandered districts, because they cannot win without repressing the vote.

The majority of America, black, brown and white, are against the perpetuation of racial injustice. They are sick of it.

But fascism, yes right wing FASCISM is the Republican’s only recourse…it worked in 1968, it can work again.

They elected one in 2016 and in 1968. And they just might sneak one in again in 2020.

The solution is the Democratic Party, that needs to radicalize quietly now. It needs to publicize an anti-racism platform, a New New Deal for Americans, putting universal health care on top of all the prioritized that supports racial justice. And run on it…Biden needs to nominate a woman African American for Vice President, and develop a platform of racial. and HEALTH CARE justice.

And Biden needs to use the racial card on the proponents who have used it so well in the past. He needs to attack white privilege straight up. He needs to appeal to people’s conscience. He needs to rally young people behind the cause of freedom and justice.

In this case, freedom is another word for nothing left to lose….in this case, playing it “safe” means working with the civil rights movement and cool the violence but this time put the future of the Democratic Party on the line.

We don’t produce, you don’t vote. You vote, we produce…make an iron clad agreement, with a Black Vice President as the hold card.

These attributes are all there in the Democratic Party right now. The only thing that can get in the way of starting what we should have been able to start in 1968, is the ability of Trump to scare the shit out of the white privileged class with the same bogey man as before:

Black Thugs that are coming to get you.

Show the public why the revolt. Show them…don’t hide it…show the Black rage, but in a healing way. Show what your plan is to eradicate poverty…and name the fascist plutocrats for what they really are.

That includes the jerk that owns Facebook! And work to defeat the image of Thugs who rob you. It is all about imaging and politics…one side knows the game very well, the other side is too pissed off to think politically and stumbles into the same old traps.

Lincoln knew this…he skillfully maneuvered the Union into fighting the Civil War not over secession but over the REASON for the secession, and got rid of chattel slavery. But he did not live to use his political wisdom to solidify the change into the heart of America.

Violence, in this case an assassination is used for political gain.

That is not always true of course, the vast majority of protestors, like in 1968, were peaceful. The vast majority of the protestors last night were peaceful as well.

Dr. King proved that non-violent protest could shake the institution of white privilege and supremacy to it roots.

But not when you give political opportunity away. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight!

But the fascists grab the opportunity as they have before, to neutralize what the protest is all about.

This is the game plan..we have to be smart enough to to know it. It is politics every time.

Freedom is NOT another way of nothing left to lose. Fascism is another way of being trapped into nothing left to lose.

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Greg Beale

Stanford grad, BA Political Science, MA from Sac State, Varsity Football Player, in public education as teacher, coach, athletic director, and administrator.