Hello surviving Hippie(s)!
Despite Bob Dylan’s Victoria’s Secret ad, I know not all of you have sold out. So where are you? What happened? Did you just go into hiding? I need you. Your country needs you. The world needs you.
I get it, ’68 was a very tough year. It was your Empire Strikes Back. But why haven’t we seen the Return of the Jedi? Is it the fear? That would be understandable. I mean, Bobby, Martin Luther King, Kent State…scary stuff, I’ll agree. But, as you may or may not be aware…you are going to die. And it isn’t as far off as we’d all like to hope. It could be tomorrow. Why weren’t you expecting a backlash when you posed a threat to the people pulling the world’s strings? When you attempt to wrest power from those who hold it, they are probably not going to respond well.
Or maybe you have abandoned your ideas. It would make sense, some of them were terrible. The copious amounts of hard drugs, the communes, the unprotected sex and resulting unplanned pregnancies with anyone and everyone; not your best moments. But are you going to let your mistakes define you? On some things, in my opinion…you were either dead-on or pretty damned close.
Let’s go over some of those abandoned ideas…shall we?
How about not getting involved in the civil war of another country? How is abandoning that idea working out for you now?
Or what about non-violent resistance? Did giving up on that work out for you?
Or let’s revisit those communes…could you have been just a little off? We’ve seen that communism doesn’t really work in practice. But do you know what is working? Democratic Socialism. Look to the nations of the North. They have the highest quality of living. The highest quality of living. Yet they are taxed as high as 70%. That seems awful, right? It is taking away people’s economic freedom. Only…not so much. When all basic necessities are provided for you, 30% of your income is a lot of money to have left over. Do you have 30% of your paycheck left over after all of your basic bills are paid? If you are like the vast majority of Americans, don’t bother answering, I already know.
So I ask you, the highest quality of life (and it must be pretty awesome, given the cold) infrastructure, basic necessities met; the right of freedom of speech, the right to vote, (Because remember, it wasn’t No Taxes, it was No Taxation Without Representation as the rally cry for the American Revolution), and more money to spend as you see fit; instead of the economic slavery many of us are currently living under. Who is more free? Isn’t that freedom? See Hippies, you were close.
So quit beating yourselves up. Heroes have flaws. There is still time for you. Do you want to be remembered as the ME generation, or as the US generation?
Your expertise is desperately needed in a few areas. Missouri could use your help in non-violent techniques. Actually, large swaths of the country could use that, given the rollback of so many of the rights you fought so hard for. There is something quite a bit more powerful, and worthy of support when a Hippie puts a daisy in the barrel of a cop or soldier’s gun, then when a cop or cops are ambushed and shot in their patrol car.
The silent majority (Nixon may have been right at the time, but we are that silent majority now…suck on that, Tricky Dick!) can use your help in finding their voice. They need leaders. Someone who can mobilize the people who see this horrible shit happening around them and want desperately to do something about it but don’t know how. Who better than a peace-loving Hippie than to reign in the radicals screwing up every popular movement? Who better than a Hippie to soothe tensions between the multitude of good, honest police and the people justifiably upset over real acts of brutality?
I personally think President Obama has done a pretty good job, as far as Presidents go. There are a few exceptions, but nobody is perfect. Heroes have flaws. But there is one glaring thing sticking out, and that is the lack of action when it comes to enforcing the 14th Amendment. If Kennedy and Johnson could activate the Guard against rogue police can’t Barack Obama? He’s a lame-duck. It isn’t like he’s going to lose another election. And how about backing the good police from the radicals that believe all of them deserve to die for attempting to serve? The police departments in Ferguson have shown their unwillingness or ineptitude in handling it, can’t he, on a Federal Level? It wouldn’t be unprecedented.
But he won’t. I guess he doesn’t want to make it tough for whatever Democrat (Will there be one?) who runs in 2016.
And we sure as hell know our Congress won’t do anything about it.
And if you’ve been following anything in Indiana, then you know the states won’t step up.
So it is up to the people. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to get this off the ground. Even if I had an idea, I don’t have the physical strength or the ability to be around large crowds to do it.
But you do, Hippies in hiding. You have the knowledge and the experience…and now a little wisdom to make it happen. You have the most accepting generation ever born coming up. You can get them motivated. You can get them to accomplish the things that should have been accomplished years ago. You even have people in my generation, the slackers, who are getting off of their butts finally and just waiting for a way they can change the wold for the better. We need your help. Teach us to become modern Hippies.