Comparisons have been made between the current Republican Party convention and its outside protesters with the turmoil and unrest of the late 1960s. These comparisons usually include disparaging comments and observations about the protests and demonstrations from the 1960s.
As someone who was there in the 1960s, I would like to remind us that back in the ’60s we had an active military draft in place. Young men registered for the draft and then were actually drafted to serve in the military. Today, members of the military join because they want to, not because they are drafted.
When military service through the draft is required of more of us, then more of us will voice opposition to military actions such as war. And, the college students of the late ’60s were informed, opinionated and inspired to action by social injustice and war of that time.
In short, they were involved and made their thoughts known by way of protest. Yes, some of the protests were destructive. But the young folks had questions and ideas that deserved to be heard.
I keep hoping today’s college students will take up this banner of concern and challenge. We were the better for it.