a poisonous legacy

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chen

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Ok, this is a little bit far from a linguistic question, but I'd really appreaciate you if you can help me with this.
I'm reading an article "up in the air" in Economist, and when the author talks about Obama's capability to close up two of America's deepest wounds (one is sth about race), the other is what I want to ask: "as a young man, he would step beyond the poisonous legacy of the 1960s division wrought between liberals and conservatives." What is the poisonous legacy? How comes it has anything to do with a "young" man ?
 

David L.

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Obama is a relatively young man for a prospective president. He would have been too young during the 60's to be caught up in the pro and anti-Vietnam war sentiments that divided the country at the time, and that still affects those in the nation who lived through it - he is able to step aside from, and beyond, the divisions wrought by that debate. For example, Iraq opens the wounds again, since it seems to go on and on, just like Vietnam, and again as with Vietnam, should or should not America be involved in their politics? In politics, the Democrats are the liberals, and the Republicans are the conservatives. And it was these two sides of the fence that were so opposed in the 60's. The 'poisonous legacy' I think is this sense that there is still a strong split in the nation between liberals and conservatives stemming from the 60's.
An American who lived through it will hopefully give you a more 'eye-witness' understanding of this. I'm sure someone else will also post a response.
 
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