1971 = 2016

Back when the Washington Post was a respectable newspaper.

It’s 1971. You meet someone at a party or something. She says:

“You know, the president made a deal with the Viet Minh before the election in 1968 in order to prevent a peace deal that could let Johnson win re-election. That’s high treason, and Nixon could be executed for that.” You start to roll your eyes.

“And not only that, the FBI has a program to frame Black Panthers and other radicals for crimes they didn’t commit, and also execute them and plant evidence to justify the extra-judicial murders, a straight up death squad. The only way anyone will ever find out about this is when some radicals breaking into the FBI office and then keep quiet about it for 40 years.” What a nut, you’re thinking.

“And to top it off, this idea that we have to fight in Vietnam to keep the dominos from falling, basically that Vietnam is a Soviet puppet? It’s total rubbish. The Russians and the Chinese have almost no influence of the Vietnamese communists and none of them are coordinating any kind of communist world take over with each other. In fact, they will all be at war with one another soon.” Yeah, right.

“And the president is so paranoid and has such a small circle of followers that he is surrounded by actual criminals who would break into the offices of the other party to corrupt an election.” Really? What a wild-eyed radical.

“US troops are committing war crimes in Vietnam and there is no reason for us to be there.” Go on.

You know that Martin Luther King, speaking up about the war, he shouldn’t do that. His issue is race. What a communist.

Fast forward to 2016. Another wide-eyed radical steps up.

“Hillary Clinton stole the primary from Bernie Sanders.”

“The secretary of state was getting money directly from the Saudis and then worked to make sure they got billions in American weapons, which they then passed on to Isis. American allies and innocent civilians were routinely killed by our own weapons. We used this killing to justify attacks on Isis’ main opponent Assad, if you can believe that.”

“The electronic voting machines are not secure and are routinely corrupted.”

“The FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton was a whitewash and she’s clearly guilty of multiple felonies.”

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign made up the primary schedule, pretty much picked the debate moderators and got the questions in advance.”

“The campaign more or less co-wrote stories with all the major media outlets, like they were part of the same team.”

“Hillary says she’s sorry about the Iraq war, but then made the same ‘mistake’ in Libya. And her foreign policy team is working on doing more of the same in the next administration.”

“Citibank picked Obama’s cabinet then was the principal recipient of TARP bailout money.”

“The government can read anyone’s email or other correspondence any time they want with no warrant.”

“A major journalist responsible for reporting all of the wrongdoing in the government is openly under threat to his life by the US government.”

Those wide-eyed radicals: always basing their opinions on what they themselves see instead of listening to the conventional wisdom spouted by the people in suits, with titles and authority.

Meet 1859, John Brown on slavery. 1916, Eugene Debs on World War I. Hung from the neck until dead, shot, put in prison. Telling the truth is dangerous in the land of the free.

Wikileaks in the tradition.