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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:20 AM
Original message
Vietnam-era protesters....are you getting angry?
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 11:27 AM by Neecy
It's more than four years into a war that the public overwhelmingly rejects, yet if you attend Iraq war protests or watch the coverage of them you'll notice that the vast majority of marchers are in the 40-60 age range.

There's a generation missing in action. The same generation which is currently doing the fighting and dying in Iraq.

I bring this up because a small blog I frequent posted some old footage of a Vietnam-era protest and the comments that footage prompted showed, shall we say, a certain fraying of patience with those who aren't making the same sacrifices we made 40 years ago. Perhaps seeing footage of just how violent some of the protests got - violence against us, violence in return for violence - presented a real contrast to the meek, tame, and silent generation of today. I speak broadly, of course. I know that many young individuals are starting to act, but not nearly enough. How long can we continue to carry their water? Are you getting resentful?

Here are a couple of samples of some of the comments I read:

Too many talkers and not enough doers - that's the problem. The ones with the guts are the ones that's too old to do it all over.

A good question though ~~ were are today's young lions?

Watching TV, playing video games, chatting in chat rooms, stuffing themselves with junk food, ahrw....
forget 'em and eff 'em they deserve to grow old in the country they've helped make what it is

me and the others who did the job last time will be out of the whole effin mess soon enough -- the cowards that are left deserve all the get!!!!!!!!!


Those old footages evoked long buried memories, and many complex, contradictory thoughts.
My first routine reaction was a pride for belonging to that depicted generation, and the frustration I feel about the present one, who doesn't 'rattle the cage', or clashes with our oppressors as energeticaly as we once did, along the line of anoymous and jukebox.

Then the more I thought about it, the more it troubled and humbled me. In one of my somber mood I observed, how little we have accomplished through all that protestation: We couldn't even hold-on what we had inherited from our elders, instead we lost a significant portion of it, and as a result, we give markedly worse Human and social conditions to our inheritors to deal with, than what we have enjoyed during the post-war boom.

...It appears that the 'masters and the 'oligarchs' have the upper hand now, and scant hope left for us. We need to face the reality, that they have almost succeeded to atomize and alieanate contemporary Western society, in order to eliminate social solidarity and cohesion, and indeed sowed plenty of animosity among us worldwide, using any characteristics which might divide us, be it religion, nationality, language or culture, so they never have to face all of us at once, and also how they harnessed technological powers to their diabolical purposes, such as to keep Humanity under constant surveillance and in chains, instead of using it to liberate Humanity.


Why haven't we done a very good job getting this generation involved in the war policy? Is it impossible to break through the apathy? Or have we dominated a leadership that should properly be turned over to the next generation?

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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. They are not being drafted, they have nothing to loose.
Bringing back the draft will bring back the young protesters
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greyghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. If there were...
a draft they would be rioting, not protesting.

That was the one lesson the MIC learned from Viet Nam
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Indeed
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
54. Hi greyghost!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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greyghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. Thanks...
:toast:
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. That's why there aren't more
If they thought they would get drafted DC would explode with protesters.
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. What do you mean...
..."getting" angry?

I have been angry from Day One when the BS about invading Iraq first came up. And, yes, I am a senior citizen and a war protestor from way back when.

I noticed that in the protests in which I have been involved, there are a LOT of gray heads there. Yes, some young 'uns there, too, but a ton of us oldsters who were doing this back in the 1960s and 70s.

IMO, the difference today? No draft. During VN, our then age group was being directly effected by VN because of the draft lottery. Although I am female and we were not involved, our boyfriends, brothers, male cousins, etc., sure as hell were.

If there was a draft today, IMO, we would see the same thing we saw back then.
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I agree with this...
But why are they *waiting* for a draft, like sheep going to slaughter? Why not act now, while a draft can still be avoided?

If I were a draft-age young man, I'd be hellishly worried about the sabre-rattling over Iran. Yet...silence.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. There is a concerted effort to
not let any information about what is really going on in the war to surface, especially on high school campuses. Yesterday, I started a thread on this

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

They don't show bodies coming home, only local coverage of the grief of the families, and little about the carnage over there except that which they have carefully screened. Kids have no idea of what is really going on--and rest assured the recruiters at school aren't telling them.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm seeing more and more college kids getting involved.
I don't think we have critical mass yet, but change appears to be a-coming.
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Yep
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. Aw, rubbish!
Most of us during the Vietnam era also had other things to do. Those of us on the front lines who were protesting, putting signs up all over the place, composing and printing leaflets (all hail, St. A B Dick!), buttonholing anyone who would listen, and alienating our much more conservative families were a minority. Most of us were against the war, yes, but not all of us who were spoke out about it.

I see plenty of college age folks out there marching with the rest of us. I would imagine, from the numbers, that their percentage of activists might be even higher than ours was.

I'm sick of this intergenerational horse shit.
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MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. Yay, ageism!
:sarcasm:
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. I marched on Washington twice with a group of 20somethings
Sure there are a lot of grey heads like mine there but I saw mostly younger folks. I saw a lot of them volunteering in the last election, too. I don't think the problem is getting a certain generation to care. The problem is getting everybody in every generation off their asses.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. I agree - a lot of young kids - but they do not number in the thousands - and
they walk too fast! :-)
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. LOL, Fortunately I'm a fast walker
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 12:01 PM by nuxvomica
Us Boomers don't like to look like we can't keep up. ;-)
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. might be even more interesting than 60's as the lottery system has replaced the
18 1/2 through 25 years old, oldest first.

There would be less uncertainty - but the go to college to avoid the draft would no longer work.

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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. IF (BIG IF) there is a draft...
...then NO deferments, IMO. Yeah, those with physical and/or mental disabilities which would prevent them from serving, that would be the ONLY thing and they would basically be a 4-F and not a deferment.

Line 'em up and issue a draft number. IMO, does not matter if a lottery or older ones first.

Want to end this war??? Start a draft with basically NO deferments. The outrage would have EVERYONE out on the streets and that would include parents like GWB's who might have the strings to pull to get their kid into the champaign unit of an ANG unit.

Like Rangel proposed ~~ put their feet to the fire and watch the sentiment turn to the point that Iraq would end post haste.

JMHO
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4bucksagallon Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Amen............... from a vet.
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. IMO, Rangel had the idea on this.
And if the Dems are serious about ending the war, issue the draft. That IMO would do it in a heart beat. I can clearly recall what it was like on a college campus in 1967 when the numbers were drawn. Outrage and anger.
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. To the Seniors....a question:
Since a lot of us were in the protests in the 60s and 70s, I am trying to think back on the make up of the crowds. I do not recall the numbers of older protesters like we are seeing today. Primarily, IIRC, it was the 20-ish crowd and on the college and university campuses, the liberal older profs. I gotta laugh ~~ back then, a 35 year old prof was old to me and now 60 sounds YOUNG! Oh, my....where have all the years gone!?!?!?!
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I have the same memories!! :-) Pass the pill box, will'ya? :-)
:-)
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. OK....but....
...let me take a second to get the heating pad off my arthritic knees, OK?
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #15
44. Sigh..you can't take yout meds to jail..
there are mostly seniors at the protests here, but they are in Palm Springs, so there is demographics to consider.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. actually my father, the Marine Corps sargent during WWII
marched right along my side during the Vietnam war protests. He would be 85 years old if he was still alive. He had learned the hard way to really hate war.

:kick:
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. Blessed be your memory of a real patriot! n/t
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. thank you
My father was a fine man. I have his uniform and all of his war things which were left after he passed away.

I often wonder what he would say/think about all of this today. At times I am glad he is not here to witness this as he fought the fight for the next generation.

Too bad others don't see things as he did.

And oh yes, he was also a Democrat and a Union man himself.

He was a true patriot, no doubt and I'll never stop missing him. :patriot:

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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. You are more than welcome....
...and my late hubbie was a WWII vet and I still have his uniform and all this military things. He flew bomber escort as a gunner escorting bombing raids over Japan. Brown shoe Air Force. Served in the South Pacific in Saipan. And...a Democrat ~~ very liberal ~~ and against war.

Great memories and I thank you for reminding me of some very nice things today! They will always be in our hearts.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
47. Sounds like a great man.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
30. Yep
in the one long march I was on, there was one older lady, a Quaker. She wore a suit (skirt and jacket) whose style was from the 1940s and had her grey hair drawn up in a bun. Everyone else was in their late teens, early 20s that I saw. Now the protesters come from every generation.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. I ran into folks from the 30's.
Anarchists and communists and assorted others who were in their 60's, 70's and older who were glad to see us youngsters out in the streets again. The wheel has turned and now we are the old ones.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #31
46. But ... but ... Doesn't Obama want
us to turn over the reins?
HA
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
49. My first protest was in 1962.
I stood out every week with the Quakers who were doing a silent vigil against the war. A lot of them were the archetypical old ladies in tennis shoes.

After that, it was all kids.
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. The SDS has come back
with nearly 3000 members now and it is largely the young students too with a fair number of us "elder advisers" with them. College kids got it going again and it is going well even without a draft. The repugs will be startled to come up against a REAL Left after calling liberals "commies" all these years.
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
17. It's growing.
I have been manning a lit table in a college town every weekend for the past 3 years. In the beginning it was mostly 60's folks who were manning the table and the young people would pass right by our table...not interested al all. In fact some of the nastiest comments came from young, draft age guys. Over this last year I have seen this change. More and more young people are getting involved. I first thought it was the lack of a draft but now I'm not sure. During Vietnam, I was involved with the early "Dump Johnson" movement and the people who organized that were the older folks. I think these kids were expecting to go on with their happy, carefree young lives and that we, the older generation, would solve this problem. As it became apparent that we were not, they got involved. Pretty typical of kids...mom and dad will take care of things!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
26. I'm sick of the boomers telling my generation what is the "right wat to protest."
Us Millennials (people born from 1982 to around 2001) are having far more of an impact via grass-roots stuff on the Internet (like Ava and Co.) then by marching around dressed like hippies and anarchists and saying catchy slogans.

:hide:
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. There was no internet back in the dark ages...
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 12:16 PM by Hepburn
...when I was your age, OK?
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Then you are saying
that the methods of protest have changed. Do you feel that the internet alone will cause enough movement of opinion that things will change? If yes, we shall see. If not, what else would you suggest be done?

I think that the marches of the '60s and early '70s in and of themselves didn't sway public opinion against Viet Nam. What did was the fact that we were stuck in a quagmire, and we had people who were willing to run for public office who wanted us to get out--and a great number of people who were willing to devote money and time to help them.

Just one question from your post--why the hostility towards hippies? And why are people of the 60s who protest anything always labeled thus? A curious question from a person who never turned on and dropped out, though she did tune in later in life.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I'm not hostile to hippies per se.
It's just that "Hippie" in my mind is associated with "New Age woo woo."
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. There has been a lot of propaganda against
what some call "New Age" and some call spirituality. From my personal experience, those who are really into spirituality leave those who think it "woo woo" alone. The ones who make fun of it and say it exploits others were never really a part of the movement.

What about the other questions I asked? How else do you see your generation helping educate the general population about the folly of this war? I just read on another thread

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

that nearly a third of American households don't have the internet. How do you propose to get the the message to those folks? I'm looking for ideas here.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. 75% of the American people are against the war. So why should the younger
generation need to help "educate the general population about the folly of this war"?

Most people already know.

And never forget that 56% of the American people opposed this war from the beginning. Feb. '03. 56%!

It is not a matter of the people understanding the folly of this war. It is a matter of deliberate, systematic disenfranchisement of the majority, primarily by means of the Bushite corporate takeover of our election system, with extremely insider hackable electronic voting machines, run on 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code--a coup that, very unfortunately, most our Democratic Party leadership aided and abetted.

The American people are NOT the "sheeple" that they are often described as, here at DU. They DON'T need to be educated. From what I can see, they are extraordinarily intelligent people, who have strongly resisted the relentless, 24/7, fascist war propaganda that has been thrown at them. What they need is to be re-empowered and RE-ENFRANCHISED.

And this is a far different problem than public education--except for public education on how our votes are being "counted" (or not counted). This is the hardest thing for them to see, and the hardest for them to take in--that the "counting" of our votes has been made almost entirely non-transparent. And behind that veil of corporate secrecy, they can do almost anything they want to our "votes" (manipulable electrons), without detection.

We must focus on where power resides: in the vote.

We cannot stop the war--and we cannot reform any aspect of our government--without transparent vote counting--vote counting that everyone can see and understand.

75% opposed to the war and wanting it ended. And all we could get was a 50/50 Congress. What's wrong with this picture?
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
50. We must all work together
to make sure our vote counts--I find it interesting that in the mostly Republican county where I live, they had a choice this last election--voting machines or paper ballots. 80% chose the latter. So you are right on the voting, though I think the distrust in the machines is a bipartisan issue.

One of the reasons we have the disparity in polls and in Congress is the plethora of "safe seats". Arkansas 3rd has been Republican since the Dixiecrats bolted the Democratic Party in the '60s, over the Civil Rights Act. Even Bill Clinton couldn't unseat the incumbent Republican. Usually, the Democrats around here don't even bother to mount a challenger--and when they do, he doesn't do any campaigning. The exception was Jan Judy, whom I helped in her campaign back in 2004. Though she made inroads, her momentum was not kept up by the challenger in 2006.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. Marnard G (for Walter) Krebs (Bob Denver as a beatnik) would see "hippies" as the new kids :-)
Dobie Gillis' best friend was a role model for me -

whenever the word "work" was said, he would shudder.

Someone said SDS was back. We had our first SDS demonstration on the Boston Common on an early spring day in 63 and had maybe a dozen listen to a 10 minute get out of Vietnam speech - as a few hundred walked by ignoring us. And that was after sticking up in hallways at all the downtown Boston/Cambridge schools pink colored notices of the "rally". SDS - I have no clue as to who started it in Boston as my only real role was attending that rally and sticking up those pink sheets - must have been the fellow that gave the 10 minute speech. There wasn't even a sign up sheet. As I recall the big deal that was being protested was the JFK move from the Eisenhower 2,000 "advisers" in Vietnam plus CIA to about 20,000 actual troops.

It seems so long ago. So many friends died or came back broken. Makes one get very angry about the VA / Walter Reed problems. Makes one hate corporate controlled government.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #39
51. And "New Agers" go back even further than that
with the Theosophical Society ca 1910, Inayat Khan (1884-1927) bringing Sufism to the West around the same time. Most of the Eastern mystical schools that became known in the West have their roots that go back hundreds of years. Even Spiritualism was popular in the latter half of the nineteenth century; I'm sure my great great great uncle Andrew would be quite at home with some of the things I do today.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
52. What better than a 'protest' people can turn off?
:rofl:

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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
34. I blame it on Ipods.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
35. Too late for "Getting" angry. I've been angry since the run-up to Bush's War
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 12:58 PM by mcscajun
started. It put me Back out on the streets, something I hadn't done since the Vietnam War. BushCo and the "Patriot" Act is what got me to join the ACLU. My anger led me back to participatory politics, to the DraftClark movement, to DU, and to seek public office myself. (I lost, but hey, at least I tried.)

The younger generation isn't subject to the draft, and with exceptions, of course, they're too busy trying to survive economically in the new globalist economy to care about much else. Unless you have skin in the game, or are a truly politically-oriented animal, it's easier to let others get worked up over things, and to do the work.

The bread-and-circuses of faux-reality-TV, Paris Hilton, and American Idol has a lot to do with it, too.

I'm heartened, though, by the many younger people here at DU, and the real youngsters like Ava. There's always hope in the young. :)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
37. It's our job. We blew it in the '60s. We failed to dismantle the aggressive war machine.
Now we've got to fix this, if we can. It's not the youngsters' fault. They were born into a world of forgetting--the Reagan era. Forget what Ike said. Forget Vietnam. Forget all of our progressive leaders getting assassinated. Forget Nicaragua. Forget (never know about) Guatemala. (Do you know what they did? Do you know what they goddamned did in Guatemala? I didn't. I just found out.) Nationwide Alzheimer's (or feigned Alzheimer's).

Broke my heart, in 2004, when so many young people came out, with such great passion that they were saving their country, and worked so hard on voter registration and get out the vote, and helped the Democrats to a blowout success in new voter registration in 2004, nearly 60/40.

Then to have all their votes and our votes stolen. What a tragedy. I felt it deeply. The first sign that American democracy was alive and well--such an awesome movement to get Bush out--smashed to the ground.

I knew it would take years before young people got involved again. They don't have a virtually free college education, as we did. They have a much harder time. They don't have the Draft, as we did. That takes away the immediate motivation to activism. And these are youngsters, after all. They pay attention to what's in front of them. Always have, always will.

Then to find out that our Democratic leaders had colluded on electronic voting with 'trade secret,' proprietary programming code, owned and controlled by Bushite corporations.

That really, really puzzled me. Then it made mad, and very determined. If I seem like a broken record about it, here at DU, forgive me. But it's the election machines, stupid! It's staring us in the face.

2004 was kind of like when Nixon got elected in '68. We thought we'd taken care of that McCarthyite asshole in 1960. Nope. All that effort of the peace movement, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the hippie movement, the music--ah, the music!--the gay rights movement, the Eugene McCarthy peace campaign, the RFK peace campaign (bang, bang, shoot, shoot). All that awesome awakening and fervent effort--and sorrow, and head-bashing, so many protests, so many marches. And we got stuck with Nixon, and with another million people slaughtered in Vietnam.

I think the one thing we accomplished, in practical terms, was we prevented Vietnam from being nuked. And we created a consciousness--or channeled a consciousness from somewhere (that's how it felt, like a bulb suddenly lighting up in the brains of an entire generation)--that peace is possible, and that consciousness was very powerful and is long-lived, and scared the shit out of the war profiteers. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove, and their fascist billionaire backers, are still trying to stamp it out.

We did that. But we did not dismantle the offensive war capability that Ike warned of--the "military-industrial complex." It was perhaps too entrenched by then, and we were young--how could we really understand how bad it was, and how much it needed to be demobilized? But that was our chief failure as a generation.

Now we see the result, in an all-out fascist coup--the big military machine created by WW II and never demobilized, hijacked for a corporate resource war.

American young people have to negotiate a very different political world than the one we knew as young people. It is a world of hypocrisy and denial. It is a world constantly infused with a false rightwing narrative, created and promulgated by the 5 billionaire CEOs who control all "news" and opinion. It is a world in which democracy hardly exists any more, if you consider the Bushite-controlled voting machines, and other dismal facts--like, it takes a million dollars to even think of running for Congress (if you're going to play the game by their rules--pass money from sincere, hopeful, citizen donors, right into the pockets of the war profiteering corporate news monopoly moguls, for TV campaign ads). It is BushWorld.

The optimism (despite all the bloodshed), the hope, the passion, the belief in democracy of the '60s seem absent from this world, on the surface. I open the newspaper today--or Time magazine--and the word "dead" comes to mind. A dead culture. But I know that what is roiling beneath the surface is something else again. It is the volcano of social justice--and of defense of the planet--that the global corporate predators fear so much from the American people that they felt the need to take away our right to vote.

I have been closely studying the awesome, leftist (majorityist), democratic revolution that is occurring all over South America. We need to look beneath, and outside of, this dead corporate culture that is oppressing us, for new inspiration. And it there, let me tell you. In the '60s, the thing that saved this country's soul was the youth culture. Privileged white kids from the north traveling to Alabama and Mississippi, to support the black civil rights movement. Really remarkable things like that happened, because something was happening with young people--this awakening that I tried to describe. Well, that awakening is now happening in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Nicaragua--all of which have elected leftist governments in the last few years--and also there are great leftist movements occurring in southern Mexico and Mexico City, in Peru and in Paraguay (and even in Guatemala). And much of this inspiration is coming from the indigenous--the most oppressed people in the western hemisphere--finally coming into their own, as a political force. It is a beautiful thing to see.

So, rather than wondering why young people are not more mobilized here, considering the horrors of the Bush government, and the tremendous impacts those horrors are going to have on their futures, I want to pass along three lessons from the South American revolution that keep coming up again and again, and seem to be the keys to it:

1. Transparent elections.
2. Grass roots organization.
3. Think big.


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PhilipShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. This is a different generation then the 60s...
so I can give a impartial -- point of view -- because I was a infant when JFK was shot, and I have researched and done some protesting in college.

It basically, is a very different ball game then the 60s, because the game is now all about psychology -- the rules of the game -- are who can out psyche the opponent.

If we could all afford shrinks; real shrinks, ones like Sigmund Freud, and study the techniques of the great actors like Brando -- the world would be at peace.

The problem, is all the madmen are in control of the government, and with all this new age feel good "pop psychology" going around -- the only message is be happy and comfortable; with the false message of, that is all that matters.

In the 60s, that generation of protestors was insulated from the Military-Industrial-Complex; probably because of the Kennedy assassination. The powers-that-be figured it out in that, if they could psychically kill the spirit of man, that would kill the creativity to envision and work for social change.

I did not witness the assassination, so I have not gone thru the trauma, that most of the nation went through.

But, I am amazed about how many people today, are talking about the Military-Industrial-Complex, from the early 80s to around just a few years ago, no one ever even heard of the Military-Industrial-complex.

Now -- in 2006 Congress changed hands from Republican to Democrat; most of the people thought that liberal Democrats would be the new sheriff in town; not true -- but the Dem's, did put in the chairs those -- that at least appear more liberal, then Conservative.

It does not take much for people to shift to be a genuine liberal, just the ability to "speak the truth to power" and the world will change, and it is that simple tactic that the warmongers fear, most.

The psychology of fear is a powerful weapon, it is that same fear that was exploited to convince the people that we needed the Atomic bomb -- and Nuclear Energy; but the mind -- the open mind is more powerful then all the Atomic bombs in the world. It just takes a few enlightened people, to change the world.

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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. thank you for your thoughtful comments
I think what you say about Nixon in '68 is very close to what the second comment in the OP was trying to express. In a period when (we thought) we were changing the world for the better, in the end we got Nixon, Reagan, and the BFEE - and the subsequent generations lost many of the things we took for granted. Maybe our failures are keeping others cautious and/or looking for a new way. Hopefully they'll do better than we did.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. Actually Ike fed the corporate whores, but only gave then 2,000 advisors in Vietnam -
Ike should be remembered for not bending over and taking one for the rich and corporate the way Nixon, Reagan and now Bush have done.

I do not really know what we could have done to end corporate control - the rich were as powerful then as now. As to school being near free, MIT'S tuition moved from $1,500 to $1,700 in 62, and we had a riot ($2.00/hr was high union level pay that year - #1.00/hr was not uncommon)! At least companies like Raytheon no longer advertise "hiring at $7,000 for electrical engineers" while having ads on the next page saying "highest females wages in Boston area - hiring female electrical engineers at $6,000" - the way they did in 65 (I cut out and kept the ads for a long while!).

Indeed a car she, who was working, bought in 64 could not be purchased by her unless a male - myself who had no steady income - signed as the co-owner. Likewise credit card applications required a male if a female dared to apply - and that lasted to the end of Nixon's term as I recall. We no longer hear the "If we let blacks have entry level jobs, where is the uneducated white kid going to get work" - I lost my temper over that one. I was at Malcom X's Harvard speech, and in the q&a afterward, 3 or 4 southern kids thought it cool to loudly dis him - the crowd other than that was polite. You don't see - I think - that attitude that you can dis in public anymore - at least I hope not.

No - a lot was accomplished back then - more by MLK and Bobby Kennedy than by marches by college kids and new hires without homes to lose.

In any case I am rambling today -let me just say I agree with your 3 points:

1. Transparent elections.
2. Grass roots organization.
3. Think big.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
41. I am disturbed
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 02:31 PM by junofeb
by the number of people calling for a draft...What makes you think the repub types kids would ever see combat...they did a damn fine job of weaseling out of Vietnam.... I have a 16 year-old son who is bright, articulate and very liberal. if there are no exemptions for college or medical problems (he has mild asperger's) would he get sent to fight a war he hates? Would I have the grim knowledge that I made the choice to bear him and he was used as cannon fodder by the same people who would have forced me to have him if they could. No draft, we need to get this under control before it comes to that. I cannot afford it, but if he turns 18 and this shit is still 'on the table' as it were, he's going on a one-way trip to Canada. I have known too many former Vietnam era vets to allow that to happen to my kid whom I suspect to be part of the solution....

on edit: I am 43. Not old, not young.
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MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. My husband is 25
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 02:43 PM by sleebarker
So he's not out of the woods yet.

Even if he was - I always wonder if people who call for a draft have loved ones in the 18-26 age range that they'd be willing to sacrifice.

Not me. You'd have to kill me to take him away from me to fight and possibly die for such unadulterated evil.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
48. It's because there is no draft. nt
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Cabcere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
53. I am 21 years old
and a part of the generation of which you speak. I can only speak for myself in definite terms, but some of my circumstances may apply to others in my age group. I will not try to make excuses, but simply to provide some of the background information that has shaped my actions (or inactions) and mindset over the past six years.

As you might have guessed, I am not indifferent to this war. Even without a draft, I have several friends in the military, and one of them has already been killed in Iraq. He was nineteen, and not a day has gone by since his death that he hasn't been on my mind. Every day now, I worry about my other friends who went into the military, wondering which one's funeral I will have to go to next, which life will be the next one to end much too soon. (I know that's morbid, but in my darkest moments I can't help but think about it. And I've had a lot of dark moments since February 14th, 2007.) I also have a younger brother, age 16, who will quite likely be affected if the draft is reinstated (for instance, if we go to war in Iran and the Bush machine needs more bodies and blood to be traded for oil and power).

It's not just the war, though. There are many other factors that play into my worldview as well. Six years ago, I never would've thought it possible that one day we would have a leader who would so blatantly and extensively abuse not only the Constitution, but also the people and the country he is solemnly sworn to protect and defend. Never did I imagine that this president (or any other, for that matter) would label those who disagree with him, no matter how peacefully, "enemy combatants." Never did I dream that a government of the United States of America would not only condone torture, but specifically authorize and even brag about it. It seems that many of the practices of the Bush administration are so bizarrely contrary to American principles that they must be fictional, and often I think that maybe this whole thing is a bad dream. But it's been six years, and I still haven't woken up - and neither, it seems, have the nearly 30% of the American people who still blindly support these criminals. I doubt even George Orwell could've envisioned the way things are today when he wrote "Nineteen Eighty-Four" - indeed, this administration's blatant lies, extensive spying on its countrymen, and ruthless destruction of anyone who gets in its way would put Big Brother to shame.

Faced with all these realities, plus the fact that I live in an extremely conservative area of the country where voicing any type of dissent or disapproval of the President will, at the very least, result in mocking, shunning, or verbal abuse, and at the most might very well result in termination of employment, property destruction, death threats, and other forms of violence, it is difficult to even begin to see a way out of this mess. It is, indeed, even difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, sometimes - this country under Bush has become a cartoonish nightmare where even the most outrageous misdeeds by those in charge go unprosecuted, and are sometimes even praised. Left is right, black is white, day is night...war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. But the November elections have given me a glimmer of hope - that maybe this nightmare can be ended, and maybe these crooks will face punishment for their misdeeds. Things are beginning to seem not quite as futile...and that gives me some strength. Maybe now I will be able to renew the fight - I had not entirely given up, but before November, I was very, very close to admitting defeat. Peace.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. Very well said, sir.
n/t
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Cabcere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Thank you very much
(but I am actually a ma'am) ;) :hi:
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. Whups. My apologies. I mean "very well said, Ma'am".
:hi:
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Cabcere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. No worries
:) In high school marching band, we were taught to refer to our female drum majors as "sir," so it's not particularly offensive to me - just thought I'd set the record straight. :hi: Peace.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
58. Oh please. I am damn tired of Baby Boomers trashing younger generations
you protesters are so proud of yourselves, and don't think this generation is living up to the stellar example you set?

By many accounts, the Vietnam War, US involvement at least, lasted nine or ten years.

So tell me... if you protestors did such a fantastic job then why the hell did it last so long?
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