Another '60s Legacy
One legacy of the early sixties - the civil rights movement for black Americans - is regarded almost universally as positive regardless of where one is on the political spectrum. Conservatives, however, don’t agree with liberals that civil rights should morph into a “constitutional right” for women to abort their babies, or into a “constitutional right” for homosexuals to sodomize each other as Supreme Court decisions since the sixties have asserted.
Having commented in two previous columns on the sixties legacy in the areas of drugs and then sex, marriage and family, I now turn to how that legacy has affected America’s view of its military. Sixties slogans such as “Make Love, Not War” or “Drop Acid, Not Bombs” or “What If They Gave A War And Nobody Came?” or the more recent derivative “War Is Not the Answer” are purported alternatives to military action. While many liberal boomers have thankfully stopped dropping acid, they still abhor the military.
Liberals have believed since the Johnson Administration that crime is caused by poverty, and if we can eliminate poverty we can eliminate crime. That Johnson’s $2 trillion “War on Poverty” was a failure and crime rates skyrocketed does not affect their belief system. They apply the same flawed rationale to war, believing firmly that our present conflict with Radical Islam results from “oppression” of poor Muslims by British and American oil companies in the Middle East. How many times have you heard someone insist that “It’s all about oil”?
Liberal boomers saw the Vietnam War as a struggle of poor peasants, championed by the communist National Liberation Front (the “Viet Cong” as our soldiers called them) against neo-colonial oppressors backed by the United States. Many like Jane Fonda openly cheered for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. Others like John Kerry depicted American soldiers as murderers and rapists in the tradition of Genghis Khan. I remember people insisting that oil had been discovered under the South China Sea and that’s why the United States was fighting.
Liberal boomers who comprise most of the mainstream media today believe they stopped the Vietnam War, and they’re not entirely wrong. They certainly undermined America’s confidence in its military and in itself. Many believe they can stop war forever. If only the Wall Street Warmongers would stop exploiting other countries, then poverty would be eliminated and there would be no reason to fight. Everybody would get along. Conservatives know it’s an impossible dream this side of heaven, but liberals believe it fervently.
That they sympathize with our current enemy, Radical Islam, puzzled me at first. Islamofascists stone adulterers and homosexuals to death. They degrade women. They impose sharia law - far harsher than any Republican get-tough policy ever was. They force conversions. All this is antithetical to social policies precious to liberals, so why support them? Then I realized: the ’60s mindset of today’s liberals holds that Islamofascists are victims of US imperialism. Their dogma of multiculturalism preaches that it’s heresy to criticize Radical Islam because all cultures are equal. All, that is, except for conservative American culture which is the root of all evil. Islamofascists call America the “Great Satan” and that fits the ’60s world view pretty well. Islamofascists may say they want to kill us all right now, but when they discover how nice and tolerant liberal boomers are, they’ll lighten up.
Point out that Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Atta, the eight British doctor/terrorists and many others are (were in the case of Atta) affluent Arab Muslims from privileged backgrounds and not poor or oppressed. It won’t change their minds.
Eliminate the military and you eliminate war, they think. They apply the same philosophy to guns - eliminate guns and you eliminate killing. Point out that cities with the highest murder rates are also the ones with the strictest gun control laws and it doesn’t sway their thinking, if you can call it thinking. Point out places like Maine and New Hampshire with the lowest murder rates and also the loosest gun control laws and that won’t sway them either.
Liberal boomer President Clinton “loathed” the military, remember? His supporters believed we have wars because we have a military, so he cut it back drastically. Al Qaeda blew up our embassies? Our ships? Exploded a truck bomb under the World Trade Center? Then shoot a few missiles at them but don’t send any troops. That’s what we did in Vietnam and look what happened. Good thing we pulled out of there, huh? Now we should pull out of Iraq too because “War Is Not The Answer.” Send UN Peacekeepers with blue helmets and talk about the problem. When we fight them we only create more terrorists.
That’s the mantra of the new Democrat majority in Congress and the Democrat presidential candidates for 2008. It’s also the predominant theme in Humanities departments on college campuses where ’60s liberals dominate faculties and write the multicultural history books used in our schools.
Islamofascists are aware of how America has changed since the sixties. They know we still have a powerful military, but they’re banking on our lack of will to use it. Bin Laden said as much when he declared war against us in 1996. Perhaps our enemies know us better than we know ourselves.