Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ambrose's Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician 12

President Richard Nixon criticized the Baby Boomers who were protesting against the Vietnam War, calling the ones who were "blowing up the campuses" "bums" (Nixon's words).  Meanwhile, Nixon praised the soldiers fighting in Vietnam, portraying them as heroes.  Stephen Ambrose seems to find this ironic.  On page 349 of Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972, Ambrose says:

"By dividing the young males of the Baby Boom generation into bums and heroes, Nixon was entering territory as alien as the jungles of Southeast Asia.  To a large extent, the bums were the offspring of the rich and affluent, natural Republicans, while the heroes were the offspring of the working class, natural Democrats."

This reminds me of something that Michael Moore said near the end of his 2004 documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11:  "I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools and who have it the hardest are always the first to step up to defend that very system.  They serve so that we don't have to.  They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free."  See here.

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