Craig M. Kind <email@example.com> writes:
"What were Americans saying when they turned
against the war? I have taken what you have
all said about your own personal histories to
heart, and I hope to convey such sentiments
to my students when I teach this time period
again. But what do you consider the range of
responses to the war, the complexity of antiwar
sentiment? What was going on beyond the moral
arguments against the war?"
Clearly, the pressure from the draft was a factor
in motivating antiwar protest among baby-boomer
youth. As one who joined the antiwar movement
in 1966 and was still active as late as 1974,
let me be the first to confess that I did not
want to be drafted and physically sacrificed in
But did I have sincere moral feelings against
the war, or was I just trying to save myself?
You can inspect my record to answer the question.
In the December 1969 draft lottery, I drew a 327.
They were only drafting people who had numbers
in the range of 1 to 85. This event guaranteed
that I had no more worries from the draft.
On December 13, 1973, I entered a federal prison,
which would be my residence for the following
four months. I had been convicted of "trespass"
on Tinker Air Force Base during an antiwar
demonstration on May 4, 1972.
In my view, among the most reprehensible
people were the rich boys like Dan Quayle, who
supported the war but thought it was up to others
to fight it. Due to Quayle's family influence,
he enjoyed an assignment to the National Guard.
This is in stark contrast to the "nobless oblige"
ethics of earlier times, when the sons of the
wealthy were obliged to pay their dues in warfare
along with the plebians. JFK was a good example.
After the death of Joe, Jr., the elder Joe Kennedy
used political influence to have the young playboy
Jack transferred from easy duty in Washington to
the South Pacific. Old Joe knew that a war record
was necessary for one of his sons to have a
successful political career. The Quayle family
did not have the same sense of obligation.
Along these lines I find Al Gore to be rather
peculiar. It is my understanding that he
identified with the antiwar movement during his
college days, but later signed up for duty in
Vietnam. The only thing I can figure is that
he wanted a war record to look good on his
resume in preparation for a political career in
Tennessee. If I am correct, then I find him to
be just as shallow and unprincipled as Dan
~~ Michael Wright
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