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Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
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tanqtonic Offline
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Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
I had a really neat conversation with a guy I met last night who is in in his early 70's and was in his 20's in 1968. We both agreed that the nation went a fundamental metamorphasis in this time frame, and how the opposing factions were quite hostile, even violent, with those that disagreed with them. The conversation then turned to comparing that era to the present day.

He made some observations on how he thought this country of ours is undergoing the same types of schisms, both socially and politically, today as he had experienced then.

Would love to hear some of our older members comments in this vein.... mine arent too clear as I was three years old then, and only somewhat remember Nixon resigning 6 years later in '73 (or '74)....

But I found his conversation quite interesting and would love to hear other views on this, both in support and in opposition; or how some aspects parallel and some dont match.

And, heck, since we are kind of bloviating people around here, would love to hear any comments from those too young to remember (or even be around) on how they perceive the time period 1968-1976 and how it may or may not differ from today.

Btw, this is cross-posted in the Rice political swampland (forum) as well...
05-19-2018 06:24 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
People were hijacking planes and bombings were pretty common.

Study says we go through roughly a 50 year cycle where anger and violence become very common. It's referenced in this article.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018...rage-cycle
05-19-2018 10:34 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
I don't think it was nearly as nasty. It started out about love. My sister tells of being in a peace march and giving flowers to the police officers. Lennon's Revolution tells a story of reconciliation, not Revolution.

Now the McGovern wing of the Democratic Party got pretty nasty, but that was only part of the party. There were moderately liberal Republicans still and very conservative Democrats still.

On race, however, there were a number of race riots. Changes weren't keeping up with expectations of change.
05-20-2018 09:05 PM
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tanqtonic Offline
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
Chicago '68? Pure political riot....

Weatherman? SDS? Seems a lot like alt-right and antifa these days....
05-20-2018 09:14 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(05-20-2018 09:14 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  Chicago '68? Pure political riot....

Weatherman? SDS? Seems a lot like alt-right and antifa these days....

Weather Underground bombed the US Capitol building, the State Department, the Pentagon, NYPD a total of just over 20 bombings but no deaths except their own members from those bombs.

FBI reported a total of 1500 civil unrest bombings in just 1972
05-22-2018 03:27 PM
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Claw Offline
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
There were a few fundamental differences.

The draft and the war made young people much more politically involved than they have been at any time since then. The voting age and the drinking age dropped to 18. Young men's entire lives revolved around the draft.

The baby boomers were so large in number that they became a bigger market than their parents. That threw the economy of the nation into uncharted territory.

The birth control pill arrived. With it came major sexual shifts destroying social patterns in place for hundreds of years.

The beginning of school integration changed a lot things in many ways - both good and bad. There is nothing in today's events that remotely touches the levels of instability, contention, violence, and change that desegregation wrought. It is probably the second largest, most rapid change in the nation's history with first place belonging to Pearl Harbor.

So, the divisions in the nation may have some similarities. But the level of societal change in the last decade here isn't that large compared to 68- 74. We have the internet and cell phones now, and those are a big deal. But no one was trying to stop those from happening. So much of what happened back then had opposition at every turn.
05-25-2018 03:53 PM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
I honestly believe the differences far, FAR outweigh the similarities.

Neither “side” has resorted to violence nearly as often or as extreme — as happened in the ’68/’74 era. Yet paradoxically both “sides” in the past were still watching the same TV news-broadcasts, reading the same magazines/newspapers, and their larger/extended families were still attending the same schools and churches. None of that is true today. And common-trust in big social institutions was much higher/stronger than it is today.

I’m honestly not sure what accounts for the differences.
05-28-2018 06:00 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(05-28-2018 06:00 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  I honestly believe the differences far, FAR outweigh the similarities.

Neither “side” has resorted to violence nearly as often or as extreme — as happened in the ’68/’74 era. Yet paradoxically both “sides” in the past were still watching the same TV news-broadcasts, reading the same magazines/newspapers, and their larger/extended families were still attending the same schools and churches. None of that is true today. And common-trust in big social institutions was much higher/stronger than it is today.

I’m honestly not sure what accounts for the differences.

Oklahoma City, Atlanta Olympics and World Trade I and II changed how people view such things. Boston as well

People now view bombing as an activity to create mass casualty rather than calling in a threat to get a place evacuated before trying to cause property damage.

68-74 the minorities fighting for civil rights, had rights obviously protected in the Constitution by amendment. The minorities were significantly below the national median in economic success and education access. The minorities struggling to assert rights were identifiable on sight. You had the disconnect of citizens with legally restricted rights being conscripted to fight despite having no capacity to vote for or against candidates.

Today's conflicts are significantly smaller.
LBGT issues directly impact fewer people. Those in that minority have no restriction on their voting rights and are a significant voting bloc in most any urban area. Membership in the class is of lesser economic impact and in some fields arguably a positive.
Illegal Immigrants have no voting clout (despite propaganda to the contrary), no access to Federal benefits (propaganda not withstanding) and anyone who thinks hard about it understands that the people fighting for the protection of them are being funded to some degree by business owners who profit from the wage and price depressing impact they have on the economy.
The Muslim issues basically boil down to some using them as boogey men by painting all as the fringe nutters, and the fringe nutters aren't interested in any civil rights issues but rather US policy toward Muslim areas that work against US interests, the rights and economic access keeps the nutter population very small.

The modern situation is vastly different.

The fights today mostly are about being miffed rather than aggrieved over the impairment of fundamental rights.
05-29-2018 10:33 AM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(05-28-2018 06:00 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  I honestly believe the differences far, FAR outweigh the similarities.

Neither “side” has resorted to violence nearly as often or as extreme — as happened in the ’68/’74 era. Yet paradoxically both “sides” in the past were still watching the same TV news-broadcasts, reading the same magazines/newspapers, and their larger/extended families were still attending the same schools and churches. None of that is true today. And common-trust in big social institutions was much higher/stronger than it is today.

I’m honestly not sure what accounts for the differences.

The violence is a lot more mainstream. It was the flaky extreme groups in 68-74. Now its the liberal female professor next door calling for violence or the little ole lady at the Trump rally.
05-31-2018 08:51 PM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(05-31-2018 08:51 PM)bullet Wrote:  The violence is a lot more mainstream. It was the flaky extreme groups in 68-74. Now its the liberal female professor next door calling for violence or the little ole lady at the Trump rally.
The *rhetoric* of violence may be more widely-accepted and commonplace in the Obama/Trump era (the “Obama/Trump era” —how weird that phrase sounds!)

But the *acts* of violence were far more extreme and far more frequent, IMHO, in the 68/74 timeframe.

When I look back at that past era, I think of the murders of Medgar Evers, Martin King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Not to mention the murders of non-mainstream figures like Malcolm X and George Lincoln Rockwell. Murder-attempts against George Wallace and Gerald Ford. Large-scale prison riot of Attica NY. Law-enforcement or military shooting into crowds at Kent State, Jackson State, and S.C. State. Mass demonstrations/riots at many campuses and inner-city ghettos. Bombing of campus buildings at Madison WI and Stanford Univ., and of government buildings like US Capitol (March 71).

The violence we have now, I would put in two main categories. One is the non-political shootings at public places (mostly soft targets like schools and concerts). The other is Islamic-related terror attacks carried out by immigrants and first-generation citizens (San Bernardino, Boston Marathon, etc.). I just don’t see the comparable actions (over the past 6-7 years) to what was going on in the days of LBJ and Nixon. Some exceptions like the attempt to shoot the congressmen playing softball. But just not nearly as frequent as the old days.
(This post was last modified: 06-12-2018 09:32 PM by Native Georgian.)
06-12-2018 09:30 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(06-12-2018 09:30 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  
(05-31-2018 08:51 PM)bullet Wrote:  The violence is a lot more mainstream. It was the flaky extreme groups in 68-74. Now its the liberal female professor next door calling for violence or the little ole lady at the Trump rally.
The *rhetoric* of violence may be more widely-accepted and commonplace in the Obama/Trump era (the “Obama/Trump era” —how weird that phrase sounds!)

But the *acts* of violence were far more extreme and far more frequent, IMHO, in the 68/74 timeframe.

Excellent distinction upvoted
06-14-2018 03:09 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(06-12-2018 09:30 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  
(05-31-2018 08:51 PM)bullet Wrote:  The violence is a lot more mainstream. It was the flaky extreme groups in 68-74. Now its the liberal female professor next door calling for violence or the little ole lady at the Trump rally.
The *rhetoric* of violence may be more widely-accepted and commonplace in the Obama/Trump era (the “Obama/Trump era” —how weird that phrase sounds!)

But the *acts* of violence were far more extreme and far more frequent, IMHO, in the 68/74 timeframe.

When I look back at that past era, I think of the murders of Medgar Evers, Martin King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Not to mention the murders of non-mainstream figures like Malcolm X and George Lincoln Rockwell. Murder-attempts against George Wallace and Gerald Ford. Large-scale prison riot of Attica NY. Law-enforcement or military shooting into crowds at Kent State, Jackson State, and S.C. State. Mass demonstrations/riots at many campuses and inner-city ghettos. Bombing of campus buildings at Madison WI and Stanford Univ., and of government buildings like US Capitol (March 71).

The violence we have now, I would put in two main categories. One is the non-political shootings at public places (mostly soft targets like schools and concerts). The other is Islamic-related terror attacks carried out by immigrants and first-generation citizens (San Bernardino, Boston Marathon, etc.). I just don’t see the comparable actions (over the past 6-7 years) to what was going on in the days of LBJ and Nixon. Some exceptions like the attempt to shoot the congressmen playing softball. But just not nearly as frequent as the old days.

Ferguson riots. Baltimore riots. The shooting of Rep. Scalise as you mentioned. The attack on Senator Rand Paul. The shooting of the Dallas policemen. There may well be political components in some of the school shootings. The shooting at the church in Texas appears to have had anti-religious undertones, although it might have just been family violence. The shooting in the church in South Carolina. We don't know why the guy did the shooting in Las Vegas. There have been numerous antifa-rightist riots like Charlottesville. The occupation of government property and FBI shootings in Oregon. You are forgetting about a lot of comparable actions. And our greater technology may have stopped a number of actions. I'd be surprised if a bunch of plots on Trump's life haven't been stopped.

I will grant that there were more race riots.
06-15-2018 01:47 PM
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tanqtonic Offline
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
Are the various social/political divides as strong as that period?

I think that a good case could be made that they are definitely deeper and more pronounced. I think of that period and the time from 2000 to this point as the periods where those differences are drastically more pronounced than the period preceding '68, and the period from '76 to 2000.

But compared to one another, absent the 'violence' component: are the political/social divisions more pronounced now as opposed to then?
06-15-2018 02:02 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
That is kind of the point I was making. You had fringe groups with the violence. But the divide between Democrats and Republicans was less than the divide within each party. There weren't huge differences between Republicans and Democrats in the midwest, south or mountain west. Probably not that big on the west coast. And in the east, Rockefeller Republicans dominated the Republicans. The Democrats were liberal in the east, but not as much as today. JFK pushed tax cuts!

Now you have almost all of Hollywood, the MSM and Democratic party leadership promoting hated and class divisions. Trump is not exactly the great compromiser. You have consumer boycotts on almost anything. You have the type of behavior that was tolerated in the FBI and at Google.
06-16-2018 01:23 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
This country is more ideological than what it has ever been. Access to news media has mushroomed.

Understanding of abstract concepts such as the winning party as being crucial to keeping the balance of the supreme court are now connected with voters in a way they never were before.

The electorate has become more sophisticated. They've elected two change presidents in a row. The free market pro corporate approach to politics is being challenged after a few decades of steering our country toward inequality.

Trump is finally becoming the Trump that a lot of voters were hoping for; throwing on tarrifs, putting pressure on NATO to absorb the costs of their defense. Pulling out of Syria and backing off on North Korea. New tax code encouraging companies to bring their money back overseas and discouraging the run up in real estate prices with the SALT tax.

In the early Obama years it was a plea to have the conscious for universal health care. The next president might be a democratic socialist and by then we have a single payer system. Minimum wage is approaching $20 dollars an hour in some places already. Financial pressures have come to the point where directing everything to the free market isn't going to work anymore.

High cost of housing. High cost of college. High cost of medical insurance. Low paying professional jobs and few opportunities. Politicians can't coast anymore when too many people want to make a difference and are making a difference at the local level. When even the corporate barrons of this generation are into change.
06-19-2018 11:15 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(06-16-2018 01:23 PM)bullet Wrote:  Now you have almost all of Hollywood, the MSM and Democratic party leadership promoting hated and class divisions. Trump is not exactly the great compromiser. You have consumer boycotts on almost anything. You have the type of behavior that was tolerated in the FBI and at Google.

The democrats really don't have anything to do with it.

The country has become more liberal. People aren't as ignorant as they once were and disrespectful of the outside world.

The movement to go corporate with everything has died. Corporate schools, corporate educational system, corporate everything. Resort golf courses surrounded by McMansions is a dead concept. Its just not cool anymore like it was for middle aged professionals 20 years ago that wanted to get theirs too.

The world has definitely changed.
06-19-2018 11:30 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
I wasn't alive then, but during college I did an in-depth report of the Kent State shootings.

The sheer number of riots in the late 60's/early 70's was staggering. You think the Ferguson riots were bad? Every single major city (and many minor ones) had riots bigger than that in the late 60s. Race riots, draft riots, you name it.

My undergrad institution (Case Western in Cleveland) resorted to hiring only ex-marines as bus drivers to protect the students.

There was even a story of a National Guard unit that went into a restaurant in Cleveland's Little Italy, and when they came out their .50 cal machine gun was missing. The Italians had taken it to (supposedly to use on the blacks during the next race riot).

Much like today, the radical Left was behind the majority of the Riots, although many 60s' era race riots were spontaneous and were not politically alligned. Nixon's "silent majority" was a lot more silent than today's center-left, center-right, and right wings because there were fewer major news channels.

In one sense though, I get the impression that people were more tolerant of differences of opinion back then. Political issues didn't spill over into the workplace. Today you're seeing a lot more people fired for sincerely held political beliefs in media, Hollywood, and academia. So in a sense today is more similar to the 50s McCarthyism scares than the late 60s.
06-25-2018 02:00 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(06-25-2018 02:00 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  I wasn't alive then, but during college I did an in-depth report of the Kent State shootings.
The sheer number of riots in the late 60's/early 70's was staggering. You think the Ferguson riots were bad? Every single major city (and many minor ones) had riots bigger than that in the late 60s. Race riots, draft riots, you name it.
My undergrad institution (Case Western in Cleveland) resorted to hiring only ex-marines as bus drivers to protect the students.
There was even a story of a National Guard unit that went into a restaurant in Cleveland's Little Italy, and when they came out their .50 cal machine gun was missing. The Italians had taken it to (supposedly to use on the blacks during the next race riot).
Much like today, the radical Left was behind the majority of the Riots, although many 60s' era race riots were spontaneous and were not politically alligned. Nixon's "silent majority" was a lot more silent than today's center-left, center-right, and right wings because there were fewer major news channels.
In one sense though, I get the impression that people were more tolerant of differences of opinion back then. Political issues didn't spill over into the workplace. Today you're seeing a lot more people fired for sincerely held political beliefs in media, Hollywood, and academia. So in a sense today is more similar to the 50s McCarthyism scares than the late 60s.

I think you may have hit on the biggest difference. People had sincerely held different beliefs, but it didn't necessarily devolve into "He/she disagrees with me on (insert issue) and therefore he/she is an a-hole." It was more some level of respect for each other as individuals, we just disagree. Of course, on those occasions when things got violent, that mutual respect disappeared. But among the political leadership, there were moments like LBJ's anti-Goldwater atom bomb advert, but by and large the two sides of the aisle dealt with each other in a more respectful fashion. Just look at the light years between Barbara Jordan and Sheila Jackson Lee.

One other difference as far as my own reaction. I recall a number of occasions in the 60s and 70s when I felt some degree of fear. I haven't really felt that this time. That may be because I spent times in the 60s and 70s being a lone southern boy in places like Oakland and Watts and South Philly, whereas now I live in an area where my social views probably make me somewhat left of center, and I teach at a university with a very libertarian/conservative student body, so I'm just not out of my element as much as I was back when I was younger and dumber.
(This post was last modified: 06-25-2018 03:57 PM by Owl 69/70/75.)
06-25-2018 03:56 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
bumped in light of this Politico article:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/...nce-218948
07-06-2018 01:31 PM
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RE: Thoughts on comparing '68 - '74 to the present day
(06-19-2018 11:30 PM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(06-16-2018 01:23 PM)bullet Wrote:  Now you have almost all of Hollywood, the MSM and Democratic party leadership promoting hated and class divisions. Trump is not exactly the great compromiser. You have consumer boycotts on almost anything. You have the type of behavior that was tolerated in the FBI and at Google.

The democrats really don't have anything to do with it.

The country has become more liberal. People aren't as ignorant as they once were and disrespectful of the outside world.

The country is more libertarian. Parts are more liberal, but overall, the country is more conservative than in the 60s. And on history people are pretty ignorant.
People were far better educated on history in those days.


The movement to go corporate with everything has died. Corporate schools, corporate educational system, corporate everything. Resort golf courses surrounded by McMansions is a dead concept. Its just not cool anymore like it was for middle aged professionals 20 years ago that wanted to get theirs too.

Just because its not "cool" doesn't mean its not still popular. They do the same thing but market it differently. We do have charter schools and the University of Phoenix. Google and Apple are corporate, just a different style. Big corporations dominate the economy more than they used to. Middle companies get wiped out.
You have to be big or really specialized.


The world has definitely changed.

I agree that it has changed.
(This post was last modified: 07-06-2018 04:03 PM by bullet.)
07-06-2018 04:02 PM
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