Like the psychedelic and drugs that were popular during the decade, the history of the sixties can be a mind-altering experience. How do I know I was a first grader that time. Famous dances in the sixties were often associated with a song. In some cases, the lyrics instructed listeners in how to perform the dance. However, often the singers just implored dancers to “do the [name of dance].” It was up to friends, DJs, and television programs such as American Bandstand to spread the moves to the latest dance craze. Many famous dances from this era were actually short-lived fads. Yet they remain in our consciousness today thanks to nostalgia.
In 1969, Dick Cheney was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, the setting for the Sixties documentary, “The War at Home.” On a campus famous for its tolerance of political dissent, home to the New Left journal Studies on the Left, to radical historians such as William Appleman Williams and Harvey Goldberg, to a powerful movement against the Vietnam War which targeted university complicity in the war effort with protests against the napalm-producing Dow Chemical Company–on such a campus, Dick Cheney began his career as a rock-solid conservative politician.
Colorful reform movements shift, reshape and overlap as in a kaleidoscope. consumer advocacy reform,environmental reform. organic foods, communal living, the sexual revolution, personal growth groups, feminism, civil rights, the anti war crusade and a dozen more issues clamored for attention.
President John F.Kennedy tells Americans to ask “What can You Do”
For people who did not come of age in the sixties, it may hard to grasp what those years were-the pride and overpowering self-assurance that prevailed.There was a war in Vietnam. War is always attractive to young men who knew nothing about it, but,they had also been seduced into uniform by Kennedy’s challenge “ask what you can do for your country” and by the missionary idealism he had awakened many. America seemed omnipotent then; the country could still claim it had never lost a war, and they believed they were ordained to play cop to the Communist’ robbers and spread there own political faith around the world. Like the French soldiers of the late eighteenth century, America saw themselves as the champions of ” a cause that was destined to triumph.”
So, when they marched into the rice paddies, carried along a packs and rifles, the implicit convictions that the Viet Cong would be quickly beaten and that they were doing something altogether noble and good.They kept the packs and rifles: the conviction. They Lost. The discovery that the men they had scorned as peasant guerrilla were, in fact, a lethal, determined enemy and the casualty list that lengthened each week with nothing to show for the blood being spilled broke there early confidence and they begun as an adventurous expedition had turned into an exhausting, indecisive war of attribution in which they fought for no cause other than their own survival.
If my elder brother and cousin were alive today, they will vote for Mc Cain. If they had a free choice, would they want to burn and torture in Vietnam or to build a Democracy at home and overseas? There is only one way to make the choice real: let us see what happens if service to democracy is made grounds for exemption from the military draft. I predict that almost every member of my brother generation would choose to build, not to burn: to teach, not to torture; to help not to kill. And I am sure that the overwhelming majority of our brothers and cousins in the army in Vietnam would make the same choice if they could-to serve and build, not kill and destroy.The Vietnam War remain a political issue in modern America. One of the most contentious problems remain the necessity of the conflict.
The counterculture of the mid-60’s was only picking up on debate under a way in mainstream America. Why Casuis Clay dogged the draft and freeze his ass in a cold cement of the slammer? Disputes about long hair surfaced not in 1966 with the counterculture but in 1963 when the Beatles frat became known in the United States. Adults who disliked the bangs claimed they blurred gender lines. Boys looked like girls something both disquieting and disgusting. Nevertheless, the conservatives on this issue were like the “Long Hair” kids in not talking about the mop top as a frontal assault on civilization but in the more restricted terms of a threatening relaxation of order. It was only in 1966 that certain forms of male hair became associated with a wholesale attack on what was known as “The American Way of life”–ginaya naman ni Victor Wood si Tom Jones, that time less rape occurs, it is hard to distinguish which one has a hole and who’s carrying a stick.
When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world. The least scarred by modern war, an initiator of the United Nations that would distribute Western influence throughout the world.Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people–these American values we found good, principles by which we could live as men. Many of us began maturing in complacency. As we grew, however, our comfort was penetrated by events too troubling to dismiss.
The world is very different now, For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all form of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forefathers fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the sate but from the hand of God.
Kennedy consistently emphasized the theme of citizen responsibility. exhorting Americans “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.”