The huge menu of lifestyle choices from which we can choose today was a very short menu with very few choices then. It could not last. Baby-boom children, raised in prosperity, were not content with being small units in large machines....Read the whole thing. There's much about the unifying effect of WWII and the military draft. Do you buy this — the notion that belief in big government depends on cultural uniformity?
Vietnam, urban riots, Watergate, stagflation—all undermined confidence in big government, big business and big labor, and by the late 1970s the Midcentury Moment was long gone....
So the Obama Democrats, partially successful in expanding the size and scope of government, largely unsuccessful in reviving private-sector unions, are on the defensive politically. As Mr. Levison and other liberals recognize, most Americans don't accept Keynesian economics and don't favor expansion of government as they did during the Midcentury Moment....
[T]he Midcentury Moment's confidence in big institutions was inextricably connected with an acceptance of a cultural uniformity that almost all of today's liberals, and probably most non-liberals, would find unacceptable.
June 23, 2011
"The liberals who long to return to the Midcentury Moment seem to forget that it was a time of enormous cultural uniformity that stigmatized being unmarried or unchurched or gay."
Observes Michael Barone, explaining "liberal nostalgia" for what he calls "America's Midcentury Moment":