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  •  What I'm thinking is how greatly overstated (0+ / 0-)

    the opposition to the Vietnam war really was.

    Oh, it made great media material.   Bearded hippies and hippychicks in short skirts with no bras. A little hint of danger and defiance ...  And the middle-class/college-class objection to the DRAFT was quite real enough.

    But what MATTERED was that Lyndon Johnson had left the Democrats open to the Nixon Southern Strategy ... and THAT was all about Race.  Senator LBJ had voted for the Civil Rights Act of '59 ... and as President signed the CRA of '64.

    And while some of us "commies" were ranting on about the Tonkin Gulf incident being a put-up job ... we were only guessing -- and mainstream Democrats weren't buying it.

    Of course, for rank and file Dixiecrats to cross party lines because LBJ was a Race Traitor would not have played well in the press.  But to back Nixon's imaginary Peace Plan ... that was as respectable as church on Sunday.

    And, yes ... had RFK lived and run, a great deal would have been different and probably much better.  I remember Humphrey's candidacy mostly through the Tom Lehrer's  Whatever Became of Hubert

    •  I lived in a college town, large university town (0+ / 0-)

      to be more precise. I was in jr high and high school through much of the war and my first two years of college. There were big protests all over the town and campus.

      So I may have seen a different prospective from where I was durnig Vietnam in the northeast. There was massive opposition in my corner of the world to the war and All the talk I ever encountered regarding LBJ was about the War.  

      Bobby's campaign and death was also huge in my corner of the world because of my parents involvement and activism and their friends too.

      So I admit, I was a teen and this was my world at the time ..what I knew and remember from that time.

      •  Mine too, I was in NYC (0+ / 0-)

        A couple of years older than you ... and from the perspective of the weekly Fifth Avenue Peace Parade march, WE all thought The War was the Big Deal of American politics, too.  And we were also  sure that -  we were sure we were shaking The Establishment to its roots.

        And we certainly made LBJ "the Goat" for the Vietnam war

        Hey Hey LBJ
        How many kids did you kill today.

        (And to tell the truth, Nixon's "Secret Peace Plan" played well with Republican voters with draft-age sons. )

        Now, by 1968 it wasn't exactly respectable for elected politicians to carry on with "Segregation today, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever" in public.  Which is not to say that the people who had cheered that slogan a few years before were not ready and eager to cheer it again, if only someone would lead them.   That someone was Nixon -- though on this issue he was more an insinuator than a cheerleader.

        It's only in the light of 20-20 hindsight over a long span of years that I'm coming to think how very little the law-abiding forms of anti-War protest accomplished by way of shortening the War -- and just how important the racial status quo was to how many elected Democrats.

        In that perspective, it seems to me that "withdrew" because of public opposition to the War is just a little bit pat, just the thing we wanted to hear, and probably nothing like the "whole story."

        Given the "arc of history" since then, I'm thinking it was not so much that the masses of American people had lost their patriotic enthusiasm for War ... but that Johnson had accomplished so many good things of a Left-ish complexion ... The Great Society and Civil Rights programs ...  that inside the Party he was held to account for THEM and the "reason" shifted from the embarrassing racial agenda to the more appealing "peace" issue.  It was more comfortable for Southern Democrats to advocate FOR "peace" (more or less) than AGAINST Civil Rights.

        I'll throw another Discordian observation into the works ... I'm not convinced that the quick passage of the Twenty Sixth Amendment was less about "old enough to fight, old enough to vote" ... which no doubt played well in the liberal strongholds you and I lived in ... but was more about diluting the new "Negro" vote in the States that had worked so long and so hard against there being one.  

        This parallels the idea that Women's Suffrage was seen by Middle Class Suffragists here and in England as a means of offsetting a rising Working Class electoral consistency.  

        •  on the other hand . . . . (0+ / 0-)

          the massive illegal COINTELPRO program directed against antiwar groups and student radicals demonstrated that the powers-that-be considered them an actual threat.

          And the fact that the COINTELPRO-type programs were again implemented twenty years later against the Central America antiwar movement, indicates that it too was viewed as a real threat.

          •  As I remember COINTELPRO (0+ / 0-)

            concentrated on the Civil Rights wing of the Peace and Freedom movement far more than on the "bourgeois dilettantes' of the Campus Peace Initiatives.

            I certainly don't remember anyone suggesting that  anyone in the Peace wing  "commit suicide" so as to prevent J Edgar  from revealing horrible secrets about their sex lives.

            But what the hell ... today's FBI seems to think Imams and Moslem Centers are the new Communist Threat ...

            It all makes work for the snooping men to do.

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