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/

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