Walter Mosley, Author of the Easy Rawlins Mysteries
Yesterday afternoon, I “attended” the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books symposium entitled California Dreamin’: Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s. Actually, the event was virtual, so I tuned in with my computer for what turned out to be an excellent discussion. The moderator was USC Professor David L. Ulin, and the guest speakers were novelist Walter Mosley and political analyst Ron Brownstein.
One of the most interesting points made was about political mobilization against cultural change. Irrespective what the hippies tried to do in the 1960s, enough voters were freaked out to elect Republicans like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. As Mosley said at one point, the voters’ response was along the lines of “T don’t want to hear the truth; I want to hear what makes me feel good.” However, cultural change eventually wins out. For example, today’s youth do not tend to oppose homosexual marriage or transgender identification.
The Atlantic Editor Ron Brownstein
This was an interesting conclusion to someone like me, who is amazed that a shrinking demographic like that of the Republican Party can still win elections. For now, anyhow.
After the one-hour discussion ended, I immediately ordered the featured books by Mosley and Brownstein shown in the above photographs.
I arrived in Los Angeles at the tail end of 1967. One would have had to be deaf and blind to recognize the ferment that was taking place—only to be replaced by the 1970s and the onrush of a paranoid political conservatism.