1988 August 26

Candidate George H.W. Bush Attacks Dukakis as “Card-Carrying” ACLU Member


Early in the 1988 presidential election campaign, Republican Party candidate George H. W. Bush attacked his Democratic Party opponent Michael Dukakis as a “card-carrying” member of the ACLU. Bush equated the ACLU with flag burning and being more concerned with the rights of criminals than law-abiding citizens. Dukakis had in fact been a member of the ACLU while a student at Swarthmore, and even mentioned it earlier in his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination. The attacks threw him off guard, however, and he did not offer a vigorous defense of his civil liberties values. In November, Bush defeated Dukakis in a landslide election.

Read about the 1988 presidential election: Richard Ben Cramer, What it Takes: The Way to the White House (1992)

Learn more about President George H.W. Bush and civil liberties: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

See the ACLU website: https://www.aclu.org/

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!