Getting Past Vietnam-Era Condescension & Insecurity

There seems to be a pervasive and not-so-subtle streak of anger among 50-60 something pundits who describe themselves as "liberal" and yet who constantly attack the left for opposing the Iraq War, and then lecture the left about how we should have learned a lesson from Vietnam - this lesson being that progressive opposition to the war in the 1960s was terrible because Democrats proceeded to lose the presidency in the 1980s and Congress in the 1990s. To these 50-to-60-year-old cloistered, mostly male pundits, opposition to the War in Vietnam wasn't an act of courage - it is only portrayed as something horrible and never to be repeated because somehow we are all expected to believe it was the only reason for election losses decades later. Not surprisingly, almost all of the people pushing this narrative never served on the battlefield, and so the worst possible tragedy to them in their comfortable lives is not their arms or legs being blown off, but the party they nominally affiliate with losing elections - even though they have no evidence whatsoever to prove that those elections were lost because of the reasons they say they were.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.