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McCarthy Campaign Leads To Student Radicalization


By Robert M. Krim

Far from "bringing student radicals back into the system," as the national press has analyzed it, the McCarthy campaign will probably prove to be one of the major radicalizing forces of the late '60's.

The McCarthy campaign actually brought very few radicals back into the electoral process; instead the majority of the Minnesota Senator's "kiddie corps" came from the middle-class liberal segment of the campus.

These liberals are either apartisan or activists deeply comitted to the electoral process. The McCarthy campaign, founded on student concern with the draft and the war, served to politicize the apartisan groups and gain nearly complete support from the usually factionalized activist group.

The late Senator Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign divided the activist group, while President Johnson's withdrawal and pseudo=de-escalation deactivated traditional non-activists.

The events of the past few weeks, however, have re-focused almost all student hope on Senator McCarthy's longshot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. But most in the academic subculture realize that the race will probably end up as the Johnson Administration candidate vs Richard M. Nixon.

The entire McCarthy movement and the rising hopes of this Spring will then probably be dashed in late August.

The chain of hopeless events will leave this mass of politicized draft-age students ripe for radicalization. The frustration of hard work and crushed hopes will most likely provide the alienating experience necessary to create new radical converts.

The intensity of feeling against the war, the draft, and the "politics of joy" will keep practically all the traditional liberals from endorsing Humphery, forcing them down the radicalization trail they were beginning to follow last winter.

McCarthy diverted them form that trail late last winter, but there seems to be little chance that anyone, even with McCarthy's present charisma among students, will be able to turn them from the radical road again this fall.

The McCarthy movement was probably just a pause along the student road of radicalization.

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