The college years are a time of learning and awakening to the life we will live as adults. It should be a time of exploration … not of fear. Fear of: being ostracised for one’s beliefs, being abused, being called names, being socially isolated.
UC Berkley on February 1, 2017? Nope …. the University of Washington (UW) in 1968.
After high school graduation, I was accepted to the UW and one the main reasons was the university offered Air Force ROTC. Since I had seen jet fighters from nearby McChord Air Force Base soaring overhead when I was in grade school, I had wanted to serve our nation as part of it’s Air Force. When I started classes at the UW, the AFROTC quickly became my favorite class.
But, this was 1968 and the war in Vietnam was increasing unpopular. The far left had discovered it’s issue (stop the war!) and it was embarking on a brutal and violent path to ensure their success. Their primary target on campus was ROTC and the military in general. To those members of the SDS – Students for a Democratic Society – we were the enemy … and we were WRONG! We were to be scorned and treated like the dogs they felt we were. One day a week, we wore uniforms to go to and from our drill class, and on those days we were called “Baby Killers” and much worse. They through raw eggs at us and praised the “heroic actions” of the North Vietnam and the Viet Kong as they killed American soldiers and airmen fighting in Vietnam. They even made getting a date difficult … and I am absolutely convinced that we were held to a different grading standard when we attended a class in our ROTC uniform. After two quarters of this academic, verbal and even physical abuse, I quit and enrolled at Tacoma Community College for the final quarter of the year. During the quarter, I applied for Washington State University and was admitted in the Fall of 1969 as a sophomore.
At WSU the environment on campus was 100% different. We had a SDS club and some other radical groups, but they were a tiny minority of the students and we certainly never had any of the bullying that was a daily occurrence at the UW. For that I am thankful. I graduated in 1972, entered the USAF a month later, and was able to serve for more than twenty years.
Fast forward to 2017 … and once again radicals of the political left are at it again. Told by the left-leaning media that the election of Hillary Clinton was a “done deal”, they are horrified that the American people stood up to challenge their far left wing leadership and elected Donald Trump. Since election day, we have seen how the political and media elites have reacted … by violence in the streets, and an unremitting vitriol of lies and distortion in the media and from the entertainment industry. But, I guess we should not be surprised by this, I’m 66 … which means that a lot of those SDS members from the 60’s are my age. Many are now in senior leadership and management positions in the media and entertainment industries and they probably don’t see anything wrong with the bullying that is happening. They learned a long time that it was “OK” to demonstrate in the streets and call opponents names.
Although I will agree that there are the occasional right wing nut jobs that do something violent or preach hate, in general folks in the middle and right just don’t follow the left’s guidelines. When we demonstrate, we carry the US flag with honor and sing it’s praises … we don’t burn it. We carry signs that express our opinions …. not use fences to break windows and damage property. We sing “America the Beautiful” and thank our God for the freedoms we enjoy … we don’t rant about our President or people we disagree with using foul language.
What truly makes me sad is not that the Democratic party disagrees with President Trump or those that voted for him; no one is perfect nor does one party have all the answers. What hurts is seeing these far left radicals who take to the street and the Democrats do nothing to stop them. When a nutty group such as that so-called church in Kansas that shows up at military funerals to spout their hate, conservatives line up to stop them and protect the family of the fallen from the church’s hateful comments. Which Democrats step up to stop the violent protests on campus or in the streets, and condemn the violence? No one. In fact, some Democrats even rush out to help them by giving hate filled speeches.
And, don’t assume that I’m wildly anti-Democrat either. For most of the years I was in the USAF, I voted for many Democrats. People like our Washington senators, Henry Jackson and Warren Magnuson got my vote every time they ran for office. I also fondly remember Sam Nunn for Georgia who was a staunch supporter of the military at a time when few of his party colleagues would stand up for the troops.
At some point, most of the moderation in the Democratic party disappeared and the far left, and their allies in the streets, took over control of the party.
It was a sad day for Democrats … and for ALL Americans.