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George W. Bush's Lost Year in 1972 Alabama
by Glynn Wilson, BIRMINGHAM, Ala
February 2, 2004

The result of an investigation into George W. Bush's lost year in 1972 reveals a cocky privileged son who used his family connections to avoid military service in Vietnam and spend seven months in Alabama partying. He clearly skipped out on National Guard duty and avoided a mandatory drug test, all while learning the politics of "dirty tricks," deception and coded racism in the land of George Wallace.

It was the year Wallace, the spunky Alabama governor and presidential candidate, was gunned down in a Maryland parking lot, the year of the Watergate break in and the beginning of the end for "Tricky Dick" Nixon. It was also the last year for segregationists to openly fight integration of the public schools, a time when racism went underground in American politics in the form of a "Dixie Strategy." And it was the beginning of a major political realignment that transformed the American South from a one-party Democratic stronghold into a solid block for the GOP.

Bush made the move to Alabama in May to work on Winton "Red" Blount's campaign for the U.S. Senate against Southern Democrat John Sparkman. The lessons of that year were not lost on Bush or his political adviser Karl Rove, who also cut his political teeth in 1972. Their path to electoral success is a lesson in itself about the state of American Democracy, an issue suitable for an H.L. Mencken-style analysis.

By request from the author, we have removed the remainder of this article from our site. If you want to read this article in its entirety, which we recommend, please use this link.

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