[sixties-l] Reply to Craig Kind

From: Sorrento95@aol.com
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 14:16:33 CUT

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    Craig M. Kind <ckind@uci.edu> 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
    that conflict.

    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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