Check out a spectacularly insightful, tightly crafted two-parter, "Preserving a Vision", by Thomas Sowell on why liberal boomers find it next to impossible to change their views in light of reality:
Part I (May 30th)
Part II (today)
Short summary: liberals are faced with the daunting prospect of digging out the very foundations under the story of how they've found meaning in their lives. (Sometimes that's a figurative process. At least once - in our own neighborhood, it became quite literal.) Sowell's pair of columns is (as usual) chock full of facts useful in cocktail-party banter with boomer liberals ignorant (or insistent on a halcyon re-write) of history - especially of the '60s and '70s.
For those liberals who lived through the 1960s, that was often also the springtime of their youth, increasingly treasured as a memory, as the grim realities of old age settle down upon them today. It is expecting an awful lot to expect them to consider any alternative vision of the world, especially one that shatters the beautiful picture of themselves as wise and compassionate saviors of society. But what are the facts?
...Both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voting for their enactment than the percentage of Congressional Democrats. You can check it out in The Congressional Record. [Rumor has it that Lincoln was a Republican too. - KM]
...For decades, the liberal media and the intelligentsia have had to struggle mightily against good economic news. Their whole vision of the world -- and of themselves -- is at stake...What can the liberal-left do? They can keep pointing out how the bottom 20 percent's share of the national income is declining... Of course people don't live on percentage shares, they live on real income... How do most people get income? They work for it. What happens when pay for work goes up? The gap between those who are working and those who are not widens. Most of the people in the bottom 20 percent are not full-time, year-around workers... Three-quarters of the people in the bottom 20 percent in 1975 were also in the top 40 percent at some point over the next two decades... people earning the minimum wage... have declined from 7.8 million to just over 2 million [since 1980], even though the population as a whole has been growing.