Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Blaming the Sixties, Again



An op-ed column in today's Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader blasts the "lefty loonies" of the 1960s, blaming them for the nation's inability to wage war and defeat terrorism. Lexington's own right-wing pundit Jenean McBrearty assures us that the flower children of an earlier era hate the military, hate Western civilization, hate patriotic Americans, and hate "imperialistic corporations."

We at Alernative Tulsa are stunned. We had no idea that our 1960s ideals were so utopian and so harmful. And who knew that communism had failed? (Nobody ever tells us anything!) All we recall from those hazy college days is drinking cheap wine and singing along with John and Yoko.

But Ms. McBrearty has set us straight: "Love is not all you need," she points out. Perhaps she's right. Love is such a major lefty notion, after all, never actually mentioned in, say, Holy Scripture.

Before we accept this and other indictments of the 60s generation, we might want to recall others who were in college during that decade. (Our Lexington correspondent, for some reason, fails to mention a single American-hating hippie who, in her words, "supports the aims of the enemy.")

In any case, the 1960s gave us such sunshine patriots as George Bush, Dick Cheney, and even Rush Limbaugh. These guys love America now (as they always remind us), but not so much that they bothered to defend their nation in the 1960s. True, Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard, but this was a plum assignment and carried little risk of combat. Besides, he was in Alabama working on a political campaign for part of his tour. (Just a lucky break, we suppose.) Cheney managed those five (5!) deferments, explaining that he had "other priorities." Rush, the story goes, had a boil on his behind, and managed a medical deferment. Pardon us for pointing out the irony here, but it wasn't 1960s utopianism that kept these good Republican "patriots" out of Vietnam.

Ms. McBrearty is serving up the latest helping of Richard Nixon's enemies list: blame the radical left. (There are so many hiding right here in Middle America, after all. And they've embraced radical ideas like love and peace!)

Given the choice, we prefer the naive idealism of the 1960s Radical Left to the cynical, self-serving pieties of the Right, especially those who failed to serve when they had the chance.

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