web analytics
April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Where Have All The Flower Children Gone?


The American left clings to the myth that the antiwar movement ended the U.S. war in Vietnam. In fact, the antiwar movement failed to prompt any substantive changes in U.S. war policy.

Rather than “pricking the conscience of the nation,” as many on the left continue to claim, ill-kempt demonstrators waving Viet Cong flags and shouting “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is gonna win” aroused the silent majority to eek out a close victory for Richard Nixon in 1968 and then four years later return him to the White House in a landslide after the Democratic Party, dominated by its radical fringe, nominated George McGovern. By then the antiwar movement was moribund.

Who got the United States out of Vietnam? It wasn’t the naïve children crusaders who supported antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy in the snows of the 1968 New Hampshire primary, nor was it the demonstrators who flocked to Chicago that summer to wreck the Democratic Convention. It wasn’t even the rioters who disrupted the tranquility of too many campuses by screeching “Hell No! We won’t go!”

The political leaders who extricated American forces from the Vietnam War, men like Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. Indeed, most of the political, media and academic elites who fostered substantive changes and socio-political progress in the 60’s and 70’s were men and women educated in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

By contrast, the “turn on, tune in, and drop out” revelers of the 1960’s were children playing at revolution – with an emphasis on “playing.” For today’s radical left, comprised largely of graying or balding remnants of those campus revelers of yesteryear, the bad news is the current antiwar movement reflects a whiter shade of pale. Here is why:

First, while young people fueled the fires of the antiwar movement, the draft ignited that fuel. By 1969, two-thirds of college males were selecting academic majors leading to draft-exempt career fields.

Further, as graduate programs in universities and seminaries expanded, accommodating administrators lowered academic standards, opening their doors even wider to as many draft-dodging young men as possible. For the American academy the result was a generation of scholarly decline as curricula forsook traditional academic subjects for courses more attuned to multi-cultural, gender and class-oriented themes.

On the American religious scene there followed a 40-year membership decline in mainline Protestant denominations where church leaders – seminarians of the 60’s – seemed more concerned with pushing “progressive” issues like gay ordination and women’s reproductive rights than with presenting traditional Christian theology.

Second, the current student body differs markedly from that of the 60’s. Women constitute a majority of today’s undergraduate cohort, especially in the liberal arts. Male students, more concerned with future career aspirations, tend to practical majors in business, engineering and the hard sciences. Across American academe, as graduate programs in the liberal arts shrink, new offerings in subjects associated with national security studies and intelligence analysis expand.

Third, the Vietnam antiwar movement started small in early 1965 with teach-ins and then mushroomed into massive demonstrations by the decade’s end, its growth driven by the rapid escalation of American involvement and rising draft quotas. By contrast, the current antiwar movement started large and then rapidly dwindled.

One big reason is the absence of any threat of conscription. “Hell no! You won’t go!” (currently expressed as “Bring the troops home now!”) doesn’t hack it when America’s best and brightest fill the ranks of our all-volunteer military. And the left’s continuing insistence on its “support for the troops” echoes of nothing so much as the proverbial skin of a lie stuffed with a reason.

Fourth, while the moniker “war on terror” lacks strategic precision, most Americans understand the vicious nature of those Islamist terrorists who murdered 3,000 innocent people on 9/11. The reasons for fighting this war are much more apparent than were those ill-defined objectives offered by the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Further, while some trendy 1960’s academic lefties waxed eloquent about the Viet Cong constituting the “moral equivalents of our founding fathers,” only the most jaded adherent to “America-as-behemoth” worldview could dismiss the pernicious evil motivating terrorists who praise Allah while slaughtering their victims.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Where Have All The Flower Children Gone?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Faience amulets depicting images of Egyptian gods.
Egyptian Culture Rife in Israel ‘For Years’ After Exodus
Latest Indepth Stories

Indeed, some caucus members based their decision to stay away from Mr. Netanyahu’s speech on their contention that the Israeli leader had disrespected America’s first black president.

These are fundamental issues for Israel’s security and yet Mr. Abbas refuses even to acknowledge them as grist for negotiations.

Those seeking accounting, finance, business, healthcare, technology, etc., will often enter a specialized graduate degree “track” created by Lakewood’s Professional Career Services, in conjunction with local institutions of higher education, for our alumni.

We are grateful to Hashem that we have been privileged to institute this program and that over the years we have experienced tremendous siyata d’shmaya, with the program spreading throughout the world and its membership rapidly rising.

Indifference to the pain of the many singles should require us to have our heart, not head, examined

The rededication of the Hurva caused international hysteria.Arabs called the action a “provocation”

{Originally posted to author’s website, FirstOne Through} TRUST Trust is the bedrock of a functional relationship. It enables one party to rely on the other. A trust that includes both intention and capability permits a sharing of responsibility and workload. The relationship between US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu started off badly and further […]

Jabotinsky said “Go To Hell” was a good retort to opponents of the Jewish people; fitting for Obama.

Obama pulled off one of US history’s greatest cons,twice fooling a gullible electorate and most Jews

While in Auschwitz I felt a tangible intensity. I could sense that I was in a place of sheer evil.

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu but Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,IS

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

More Articles from Dr. Earl H. Tilford
Tilford-021712

Read the first five books of the Bible and the Book of Joshua. In them, God clearly specified what was expected of Israel: obedience, righteousness and faith being the gist of it. God blessed Israel when it obeyed, and when Israel faltered, God unleashed abundant wrath.

As Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary last month, there were the usual voices raised accusing Israel of victimizing the Palestinian Arabs and “running them out” of the Jewish state.

Most Christians, including many (if not a majority of) members of the mainline Protestant denominations, support Israel. Nevertheless, the Christian Left persists with its sometimes vehemently anti-Israeli and unabashedly pro-Palestinian sentiments. Why?

For a generation after World War II, particularly given revelations of the Holocaust, most American Protestant denominations embraced a more tolerant attitude toward Jews. Since the 1980’s, however, there has been a marked shift, evident in the anti-Israel positions adopted by more liberal denominations like the United Methodist Church (UMC); the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in America (ELCA); the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA); and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA).

The American left clings to the myth that the antiwar movement ended the U.S. war in Vietnam. In fact, the antiwar movement failed to prompt any substantive changes in U.S. war policy.

According to recent intelligence reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed 40 Hamas terrorists in Gaza last month without inflicting a single civilian casualty. In fact, over the past five years, collateral damage and civilian casualties caused by Israeli military actions have decreased dramatically. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire Kassam rockets indiscriminately at the working-class town of Sderot and into the suburban areas of the nearby seaside city of Ashkelon.

Recently, after I’d given back examinations in one of my classes, one student who received a failing grade laughed, showed the exam to students on each side, and laughed again.

Former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant said, “I hate to lose worse than anyone … but if you lose with humility you can come back” a winner.

Back in the early 1970’s I served as an Air Force intelligence officer at Udorn Air Base in Thailand, home of the 432nd Tactical Fighter Reconnaissance Wing. Most of the bombing in 1970 and 1971 focused on Laos, especially the Ho Chi Minh Trail logistical network down which Hanoi funneled troops and supplies onto South Vietnam’s battlefields. Occasionally, the 432nd’s F-4 Phantoms would “go North,” striking targets inside North Vietnam.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/where-have-all-the-flower-children-gone/2008/01/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: