Culture War Dispatch — The History and The Blame
by Fred Peatross
I grew up in the 1960s. There was a culture revolution going on then. Today America is a much meaner place than it was in the 60’s. But there was a craziness that swept the nation in the 1960s. I was no angel but I do remember wondering how anyone could be as stupid, angry and as destructive as the ‘Make Love Not War’ generation?
The Vietnam conflict was the longest war in U.S. history, over 50,000 American youth were killed, and the Army was filled with draftees; “conscripts paid to kill”, as Joan Baez lyricized. It was this combination; the war, the draft and the popular resistance to both, that provided the backdrop of the sixties principal motif, “rebellion against authority”. This antipathy to authority merged with left wing ideology, both of which held that all of humanity should live together in a peaceful egalitarian utopia.
The crazy, off-the-wall changes in attitudes of the 1960s seeped into the mainstream and the effects are clearly visible today. The 60s gave American democracy a cob-webbery of theories, movements, and changes in mores which soon morphed into a peripheral of oddball collections; fringe players that in the end institutionalized and thoroughly entrenched its way of thinking into what forms the very basis of the current progressive movement. This morphing is measured in shattered values not toppled governments.
The students of the 1960s assimilated the religion of rebellion and anti-Americanism into the future institutions (now the current institutions) of this country. No they didn’t die from LSD or the white powdered dust of cocaine in their college years but became today’s newspaper reporters, professors, and congressional leaders. And most have been in these positions of influence through the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.
There’s a long and arduous road ahead. If there is any hope of reclaiming a culture that is completely lost at this time it will require a renaissance and resurgence of critical thinking combined with a desire and will to right culture. A difficult task when there’s a monster storm and 1/2 of America doesn’t see it. Quite a burden to carry into the future. I’m so sorry, grandchildren. We were fools. I’m so sorry
Quotes from College Professors who grew up in the 1960s
Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents. — Bill Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago
We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it. — Haunani-Kay Trask, University of Hawaii at Manoa
I live to harass white folks. — Derrick Bell, Harvard
Real freedom will come when [U.S.] soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors. — John Daly, Warren County Community College