As you cruise the back alleys and mean streets of Bloggerville, you may run across a recurrent meme, which compares the current anti-war movement to that of the Vietnam days, and finds the former lacking, particularly vis-à-vis the support and enthusiasm of today’s college students. The intent, of course, is to paint anti-war activism as some sort of pathetic apatosaurus, hopelessly trying to lumber out of the tar pit of outdated liberalism in which it is ensnared.
Two quick thoughts on this. First: the war hasn’t even started yet and we’re seeing protest marches draw hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans into the streets of our nation’s capital. It took the Vietnam-era peace movement years to reach this point.
And secondly, as for the college students: this seems so obvious, it’s almost an insult to the reader’s intelligence to have to mention it, but, um, there’s no draft. No disrespect intended to the previous generation, but let’s face it: nothing focuses political awareness like the prospect of getting one’s own ass shot off in the service of a dubious foreign policy. Try reinstating mandatory service and let’s see how popular the war becomes on campus.