I thought, "This is just the demographic Bernie is supposed to own."
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I voted for Bernie in New Hampshire, but as I told my friends--I'd rather see Hillary President.
The thing about revolution is that it's risky, and can veer off in unanticipated directions and when I last saw a revolution in full swing, as much as I wanted change and hated the entrenched powerful forces being attacked, I was not thrilled by the folks who were leading the charge.
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They seemed to have nothing better to do, and they struck me as superficial and I could not imagine them as old people clinging to the beliefs they espoused--Tom Hayden wouldn't allow Jane Fonda to own a clothes washing machine because it was too bourgeois and it was part of an economy which oppressed the workers. I kept comparing Tom Hayden to my grandfather, who joined the first, unsuccessful Russian revolution, who held guns and when things fell apart, he had to leave his homeland and start a new life. None of these 60's "revolutionaries" were going to leave America and start over if the "revolution" failed. They were weekend revolutionaries.
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One thing you can say for those delusional adolescents who are hopping airplanes for the Middle East to fight with ISIS--at least they are all in. They are idiots, of course, but all in. So many of the 60's revolutionaries were playing at revolution. They hadn't thought things through, but they had some underlying voice in their brains which told them not to go too far.
Those Black folks, however, had no where else to go. They had their backs against the wall. I could believe they did not just want revolution--they had to have it.
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The war in Vietnam had to be opposed, and the kids my age who opposed it were not phonies. Our lives were literally on the line. My friends had already gone and I was scheduled to go. My brother was over there. We had our backs against the wall.
|Fighting for Freedom Vietnam Style|
The sexual mores of the time were absurd and destructive: Be a virgin until you are married; never have more than one sexual partner your entire life, and, if you were Catholic, don't use contraception. That meant, of course, women had to stay at home raising kids and could not have careers and families grew to financially untenable sizes. That had to go.
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But the alternatives put forward by the revolutionaries went beyond what even I could embrace. I liked wearing clothes in public and thought sex probably ought not occur, even between consenting adults, in public places.
Also drugs. Never could see marijuana or LSD or cocaine as anything but weakness. If you couldn't get in the mood for sex without these, there was something wrong. If your own un-medicated senses were inadequate to appreciate a gorgeous day in New Hampshire, a swim in cold water, the fragrance of gardens, then you were pitiable, not someone to emulate.
The revolution of the sixties tied a revolt against malignant racism, with revolt against government authorities who foisted endless war upon a nation which refused to believe we had any good reason for making war and the sexual revolution, which was necessary to liberate women from the status of being baby making machines who had no better prospect in life than earning the title "Mrs." It was all of a piece, although some people embraced one or two parts of the rebellion, not all three. But even someone like me who embraced all three could not help finding many of the leaders, much of the rhetoric, repellent.
You could understand, yes Louis XV and Marie Antoinette might be decadent, but eventually, with enough heads in baskets and the tumbrels filled, you began to feel a wave of nausea carrying the revolutionary tide. Okay, the Czar was arrogant and needed to go, but what swept across Russia over the ensuing decades, the thought police, the gulags, the millions starving to death for the sake of a bankrupt ideology, then you began to wonder about revolution as an instrument of change.
If you had to go combing through the pages of history for a revolution which was both necessary and, overall, benign, the American Revolution comes as close as any. Men like Hamilton, Washington, Franklin and Adams kept it under reasonable control. We didn't have anyone like that in the 1960's, save for Martin Luther King, and thank God for him. He kept the most important leg of that three legged stool strong and firmly planted.
So, yes, I love listening to Bernie. There is a lot left to change. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer and the government can and should do something about that.
But there are some people who are poor for a reason. There is nothing much the government can do about that. Even Jesus observed: there will be poor always.
We can only do what we can do, and leave the rest behind.