October 25th, 2016

Max’s View

The Day the 60s Died
I believe we can stop the next war that the government wants us to fight.

It won’t be that hard, either. Before the war begins, compose a Facebook post and a Tweet about why the war is unnecessary. Then write an email to your congressman saying that you will vote for him if he publicly opposes the war. Or you will donate $100 to his opponent’s campaign if he votes in favor of the conflict.

We can make a difference. We proved it. In 2013, the President proposed a plan to take out Syrian President Assad by force.

The American people didn’t want another myopic military mission and we made our voices heard. Obama backed down. And thank goodness he did. We could conceivably be in a Syrian war against Russia right now.

Do you know what doesn’t stop war? Protests. Especially protests years after the war has already begun.

Stopping a war in the planning stages is easy. Ending a war that is already happening is hard.

President Obama took his oath of office in 2009. He has never been a huge believer in our conflict in Afghanistan. Since Bin Laden’s death in 2011, he has been actively trying to wind down the mission. And yet we’re still fighting. The President doesn’t have the power to end a war. Do you really think you and your “Peace Now!” poster is going to do the trick?

“The Day the 60s Died” is a fast-moving, clear-headed documentary about the anti-war movement of the 1960s and its unintended impact on our society.

Like Obama with Afghanistan, President Nixon inherited a war that he wished had never happened and was struggling to bring to an acceptable end. He did a lousy job.

The film begins in 1970, with Nixon’s ill-fated decision to expand the fighting to Cambodia. This sparked a spring of heavy protests on college campuses across the nation.

After a particularly destructive weekend of student rioting in Kent, Ohio, the hardline governor sent in the National Guard. Guard troops shot four protestors dead on Monday, May 4.

Documentarian Jonathan Halperin argues that the Kent State killings marked the tipping point in the anti-war movement. It sparked public outrageÉagainst the student protestors.

The film argues that the average working man viewed the campus demonstrators as over-privileged, ill-behaved, and anti-American. They weren’t especially in favor of the Vietnam War, but they were sick of protests and domestic unrest.

For a century, patriotic working class white guys generally voted Democrat. In the early 70s, they became the backbone of the GOP.

By 1972, the anti-war movement had fizzled out. By any reasonable measure, it had been a spectacular failure. The war raged on. And Nixon won a landslide reelection victory.

Sometimes I feel like my point of view is a little contradictory and weird. I’m totally opposed to all our interventionist foreign wars. But I’m also disgusted by public protests; they seem obnoxious and futile. According to “The Day the 60s Died,” I’m not weird at all. I’m the Great Silent Majority.

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