Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sharon Who?

I'd heard of the famous Port Huron Statement made by Students for a Democratic Society, but not, until very recently, of the Sharon Statement made by its antagonist, Young Americans for Freedom.

Sharon Tate? Sharon Stone? No, the Sharon Statement was a political position paper arrived at by a small group of YAF members who met for a couple of days at the Buckley family home in Sharon, Connecticut. Written up by M. Stanton Evans, the statement was issued on September 11, 1960.

The Port Huron Statement, named for the town in Michigan and written largely by Tom Hayden, appeared about two years later, in mid-June 1962. It was the product of months of rancorous wrangling within SDS -- although nowhere near at the level such infighting rose to toward that organization's disintegration a mere seven years later.

Clearly the New Left was aware of "Sharon" at the time and were determined to counter it. Not that the mainstream media was giving YAF the time of day. As a high school student I was actually able to read the Port Huron Statement, but heard very little about YAF.

The two statements make an interesting and still useful contrast. For one thing, Hayden rattled on 12 times as long as Evans. But compare for yourselves: