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The more things change ...

Oklahoman Published: August 4, 2014
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The radical excesses of the 1960s have left a sour residue. Some examples include shouting obscenities at combat troops returning from Vietnam, burning American flags and law books, throwing feces at police and urinating in university hallways. An especially bizarre example was a bank robbery in which the granddaughter of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst became a willing participant with a paramilitary nut bag group calling themselves The Symbionese Liberation Army. The manifesto for this internecine warfare was set forth in 1962, in The Port Huron Statement. The author was Tom Hayden, sometime husband to noted patriot Jane Fonda, and founder of Students for a Democratic Society.

If you intend to read this sulfurous diatribe, have antacid and migraine remedies handy and remember that in the Sixties the Vietnam War was a fissure in our national resolve as expressed in their troubling slogan “Better Red than Dead!” All political movements mutate over time. Rampant activism has morphed into the infinitely more sophisticated tactic of cultivating divisive issues that feed the dogma of a regulation for every occasion.

A partial list of domestic issues includes race, the environment, gun possession, health care, water rights, religious expression, fracking, global warming, surveillance, income redistribution, political contributions, taxes, abortion and, most recently, immigration and amnesty. If the new activists are intent on preserving these issues as issues, then prolonged conflict has become an objective unto itself.

If the only acceptable solution is more government, then it’s about power. Just like always.

Richard Day, Nichols Hills