I remember Marty Peretz, the myth. Brandeis. Class of ‘59. I was class of ’63. I only knew the myth. Great thinker. Great man. When I was seventeen, I thought a recent college grad could be both.
In the Tablet online magazine, Marty is dismayed with the Democratic Party and its candidates. They are for “equality.” The party is no longer “pluralist.” “This was a party that believed in the fundamental reality that human goods were multiple, and so were human values, and any solution to human problems that didn’t take this reality into account was destined to make the problems worse.”
The Democratic Party of our childhood and youth. Southern Democrats. Obstacles to Northern liberals. Northern liberals who hoped for progress for Negros. Everyone supported Israel. Especially Harry Truman.
The Democratic Party has changed. Who should we blame? Who should we credit? Marty doesn’t say so, but we should start with Lyndon Johnson. He said himself that his Civil Rights laws would cause the Democrats to lose the South. With the Vietnam War, he lost the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, too.
Marty blames Barack Obama and John Kerry. Misunderstanding the Middle East that Binyamin Netanyahu really does understand. How unwise it was of Obama to go to Cairo and talk about what Arab countries and the United States have in common. How foolish it was to expect to achieve a negotiated agreement with people who think, says Marty, only in terms of power. How wise Israelis were to recognize that it was impossible to negotiate peace with Arafat. How Trump gets the Middle East right, despite his limitations.