Election Connection

Critical Moments

Will 2008 will be a "critical" or "realigning" election? Some historians say these once-in-a-blue-moon elections bring a major shift in American politics.

In this American Experience podcast, Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin notes that in the 1968 election, "the whole tenor... changed from a more liberal to a more conservative politics."

1968 was year of war in Vietnam, establishment counter-culture clashes, and political assassinations (Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy). Republican candidate Richard Nixon -- running on a law and order platform and appealing to the people he called the "silent majority" -- achieved the nation's highest office.

With the Iraq War, divided parties and no incumbent president running for office, experts and journalists at home and abroad are predicting that 2008 could herald another tide-turning moment in American politics.

Do you agree?

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