If you’re old like me, you remember the 60s. Bellbottoms. Cool. Illegal pot. Bitchin’. Flower power. Groovy. Communes. Mellow. Rainbows in chalk. Dig it. The peace sign. It’s a gas. The twist. Cool. Students for a Democratic Society. Far out.
And “let’s make the world a better place to live in.”
We were there:
- Sixty-three years ago, when the first Americans were sent to Vietnam — and when the first protests began.
- Sixty years ago, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. To this day, some of us remember that day.
- Fifty-eight years ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr. led civil-rights advocates across the Edmund Pettis Bridge so that we all could vote.
- Fifty-five years ago, when King was assassinated — but the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.
- Fifty-four years ago, when 500,000 hippies celebrated unity and peace at Woodstock and seven million children were welcomed to the Sesame Street neighborhood, where everyone was invited regardless of race, religion, or culture.
- Fifty-three years ago, when the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee began winning contracts from grape and lettuce growers despite their leaders, César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, having had buckets of DDT dumped on them by the growers.
- Fifty years ago, when abortion became a constitutional right (Yay! Ruth Bader Ginsburg), women could decide when and if to have children, and more children were born wanted than unwanted
- Forty-seven years ago, when the nicest man ever to run for president, Jimmie Carter, won.
- Forty-one years ago, when Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” was something that to this day gives every one of us access to all the world’s knowledge, specifically, “The Computer.”
Now, here I sit in front of my computer in tears. I was there.
We were there. According to Statista, 39 percent of us in the silent generation, born between 1928 and 1945, are Republican with an additional 26 percent Independent and therefore unwilling to dilute Republican power. Put another way, 65 percent of us oldsters are contributing to Republican efforts to enrich the already rich and impoverish the rest of us.