I am 62. I remember the 60s and 70s well. Like teacherken I lived through those times. My memories of those times are slightly different than his and those of Frank Rich. I highly recommend that you read teacherken's diary Krugman: A Tale of Two Moralities, and my disagreement in part and Frank Rich's op=ed No One Listened to Gabrielle Giffords.
The purpose of diary is to discuss my views of the radical left during those times.
I remember all the sixties quite well. I remember an attack on a foreign country where the US trained the troops who attacked in the US and the troops attacked from US soil. After the Bay of Pigs Invasion came the Cuban missile crisis. Who can blame a nation that wishes to protect itself from an invasion sponsored by a foreign power. And then came the shooting of President Kennedy. I think we all remember where we were when we first heard of the shooting. And then there was the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald on live television. Despite the FBI, the Dallas police, and the Warren Commission, people questioned for years whether or not Oswald acted alone.
And then there was the campaign for President in 1964. I remember the Daisy Ad which was run due to Goldwater saying "defoliation of the forests by low-yield atomic weapons could well be done." Goldwater was the radical republican saying "sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea." During the early 60s the right was the radical group.
Was the left radical in the late 60s and early 70s. To this I answer yes. But was the left anti government as Frank Rich wrote that there "was an antigovernment radicalism as rabid on the right now as it was on the left in the late 1960s." I differ. There was an anti Vietnam War rhetoric that was at least as strong and the anti Iraq War rhetoric. But, that was not anti government rhetoric. There was also an anti government brutality rhetoric as I will explain below. That is not the same as anti government rhetoric.
teacherken expresses it this way
I am 64. I remember the 60s. I remember those on the left who argued that it might be necessary to resort to violence to prevent greater violence. Despite the legislative achievements under LBJ we saw the rise of those in the African-American community whose frustration was so great that the imagery of violence - Black Panthers or Fruits of Islam, for example - began to have a broader appeal. We saw the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee go from the leadership of the likes of John Lewis to that of Stokely Carmichael, who warned people that they if they were shocked by his style of leadership they would be even more perturbed by that of his successor, H. Rap Brown. During that period SNCC kept the letters but changed its title, replacing Nonviolent to National to acknowledge that some of its leaders were willing to turn to violence.
Yes the Weather Underground "issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government" and was responsible for bombings. However, the anti government position was in response to the government's anti people behavior. Two examples come immediately to mind, the Chicago police at Mayor Daley's direction beating the shit out of protesters at the Chicago democratic convention and the shooting of unarmed students by National Guard troops at Kent State University. The Weather Underground was formed in response to these and other similar incidents.
Now lets consider the Black Panthers. They were formed by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in response to police brutality in African American neighborhoods in Oakland California. Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown both left SNCC to become Black Panthers. The reason was simple, the violence the government perpetuated against African Americans.
In my mind when the government commits violent acts against people then we should not be surprised if the people commit violent acts to prevent the government of committing violent acts against the people. In other words the Weather Underground declared war because the government had declared war. This is not so much anti government as self protection.
Is high unemployment a violent act against the people? Yes it is. However, the violence is being done by the extreme right, the right, and the moderate left; not the far left. Is the Tea Party in large part a reaction to high unemployment? You can bet your ass it is. Unfortunately the Tea Party policies will only greatly aggravate the unemployment problem making it much worse. Sadly very few recognize what needs to be done and even fewer are in a position to do anything.
Bottom line is, expect the rhetoric and the violence to grow.