Give the hippies some credit: ‘The Man’ is the problem
By Prioleau Alexander
As a young man — full of idealism and patriotism — I received a commission in the United States Marines Corps. I would be the man standing watch, serving to keep the Russian bear away from the door. Ronald Reagan was president, and it was morning in America. The fight for civil rights was won, and race relations in the military was a point of laughter — not division. After four years of Jimmy Carter and hostages in Iran, we were once again proud of our country. America was great.
If there was one thing I considered my opposite, it was the proverbial “hippies of the 60s.” Their reputation and values were still very much a part of recent history in the 80s, and I had no time for such cretins — I loved America and viewed our nation as the greatest source for good in history.
So what did these hippies declare that I found to be in such opposition of my own values?
I felt they really pushed their First Amendment rights by calling America evil, burning American flags, spitting in the face of “the establishment” and daring to call our returning soldiers “baby killers.” As a young man stepping into the boots of a Marine officer, I didn’t think anyone should be spouting such poison, especially in a country where “the establishment” gave them the means and rights to be useless hippies.
They insisted that Federal law enforcement was corrupt. Corrupt? How could the FBI be corrupt? I was sure they were the pinnacle of all-American Boys Scouts, working tirelessly to protect our way of life.
They despised corporations, claiming they were the puppet masters behind many of the evils of our nation, and would do anything to make a buck, no matter who it destroyed. Corporations? I felt these were the companies that hired tens of millions of Americans and took care of their employees. How could you claim they were evil?
They were opposed to the war in Vietnam. I was joining the class of professional warriors, fired up to prove myself in combat and fight tooth and nail against any enemies the government deemed dangerous. I should also note I still believed the governmental lies about the reasons for the Vietnam war and was foolish enough to believe our elected leaders cared about saving the Vietnamese from communism.
And, of course, they viewed government to be the problem, not the solution. They wanted the government out of their business and out of their personal lives. I viewed government as a “pretty good thing” and was willing to put my life on the line to defend the way of life our leaders oversaw.
The nation didn’t change radically during 25 years following my service in the Marines. Yes, Bill Clinton was a Democrat, and I “very much disliked him” due to his pandering personality and personal shortcomings, but he was very much a centrist — and the world didn’t change radically.
Then came Dubya, whom I thought lacked any real intelligence, but I cheered along as we went to war in the Middle East. I must be honest and admit I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was blind to the horrific decisions and actions of the Dubya administration. I assumed the wars were just and needed. I thought, like a fool, that the best and the brightest were in charge.
When Dubya announced we’d be going into Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires, I began to question our foreign policy. No one had ever subdued, much less defeated, the Afghanis — and that included the Soviets, who used chemical weapons and a kill-them-all approach, without the prying eyes of the media.
This felt very odd. Could my long-held views on our foreign wars have been wrong? Were our foreign policy decisions based on something other than what was needed to protect our nation and help nations in need? Could I possibly have been … that dumb?
Then, Obama was elected, and the left became the New Left — and worldviews changed in a way I didn’t think possible.
Let me say that my thoughts below apply 100 percent to the media mouthpiece that claims to represent the New Left, and many of the New Left people who whom I’ve spoken, but obviously they don’t apply to every Democrat. Some Democrats will rightfully reject most of these thoughts entirely, claiming none of them are applicable to themselves. I have no doubt that’s the case. I can only write about the things I’ve seen, heard, and read first-hand — and these opinions are based on that.
War: By the time Obama was elected, I was fairly “woke” about the evil of Dubya’s foreign policies. I felt the nation had irrefutable evidence that blowing people up tends to radicalize their friends and neighbors — and surely this would be obvious to Obama.
Except, it wasn’t. The Council of Foreign Relations reports Obama authorized 542 drone strikes that killed an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians … 12 at a wedding (Newsweek).
And — this was mind-boggling to me — while Obama unleashed hell on the Middle East, there was deafening silence from the “anti-war left.” Was war now “okay”? Why was I, the former warmonger, troubled about it, but the New Left wasn’t?
Then, when President Trump managed to go four years without starting a new war — unheard of for decades — the New Left failed to so much as say, “Well, we gotta give him that one.” Total and complete silence, as if this accomplishment meant nothing.
Within days of taking office, President Biden bombed Syria. CNN reported with great admiration: “In a single stroke on Thursday, President Joe Biden did far more than destroy a few support facilities for Iranian-backed Syrian militias. Unlike his two predecessors, Biden has drawn a new red line in the Middle East and shown he is prepared to defend it.”
Okay … so now my mind is officially blown: Former Marine me is now anti-war, based on in-depth research about the realities of the military-industrial complex, and politicians’ willingness to send our boys into a meat grinder in exchange for political donations. I now understood this went all the way back to the beginning of Vietnam.
CNN, however, is now cheerleading military aggression, and the leader of the Democratic Party is the one pulling the trigger to restart our endless wars.
How could this be? Had our views reversed? Shouldn’t it have been me becoming “more liberal” and agreeing with them on the left? When did they abandon their beliefs and become pro-war?
Free Speech and Corporations: The New Left’s view of free speech/corporations is now, quite literally, unrecognizable when compared to the message chanted by the hippies. For the hippies, free speech was their weapon, and big business was “The Man.” Evil incarnate.
Then I watched as today’s leftists applauded Twitter’s decision to censor and ban a former president from their platform, then defend their stance by proclaiming “these are privately owned corporations, and they can do whatever they want to protect their brand.”
When Amazon shut down Parler’s servers to silence a mere alternative to Twitter, the New Left trumpeted approval. When Facebook began deleting accounts and suspending posters who made “offensive to our community standards” posts, they cheered once again. “It’s a private corporation!” they shouted.
Okay … so I once believed in the benevolence of corporations, and now view them as a clear and present danger to the Republic … and I also believed the hippies used their free speech rights in improper ways — but never felt in the slightest ways they should be disallowed. Free speech is, after all, so sacred they chose it as the First Amendment.
But the New Left is now fighting for the rights of corporations to act as judge and jury in determining what’s acceptable speech, and cheering for them censoring my words, thoughts and writings. Given their way, many want me, a private citizen, to be fined or imprisoned for speaking my opinions.
I don’t recall any hippies chanting for censorship or the defending the rights of corporations to rule open dialogue and free speech.
Federal Law Enforcement: Government law enforcement has also become a strange bedfellow of the New Left. When the FBI and NSA were caught red-handed spying on and attempting to derail President Trump’s campaign, the New Left rose up like momma bears to defend them.
Blatant, out-in-open, fully disclosed FISA court corruption … involving the civil rights of a private American citizen … and nothing but glee from the New Left. Not a word of objection about illegal wiretaps, false information paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and foreign operatives being involved.
None of this can even be disputed … and right up until the time these deep state trolls were exposed, I thought they were above reproach. It was the FBI, for goodness sake.
Think of how fast it happened! The FBI got caught — in perhaps the greatest political crime in American history — and I had to face the fact that some of the leadership of my beloved “Boy Scouts” are as corrupt as any cartel. The New Left saw the exact same thing and became strident supporters of this “virtuous” FBI.
Remember — they viewed the FBI as satanic for investigating Hillary’s 30,000 deleted emails, but once it was discovered they attempted a silent coup of a president they hated — kaboom! Hugs and champagne all around.
Even as the elected Democrats impeached the president and sent his colleagues to jail for unrelated reasons, and the evidence presented failed to convict him and humiliated the FBI, the New Left refused to bend. The FBI was a good thing doing good work.
Government: The ultimate example of “The Man,” aka the government, was despised by the hippies — LBJ, Nixon, Congress — they hated them all. They wanted “The Man” out of their lives entirely.
The New Left believes that all our nation’s ills can be solved by the government. In the past 15 years I don’t think I’ve heard a liberal even insinuate “we should leave that issue to nonprofits or faith-based organizations or the private sector.”
The benevolence of huge government is the answer to everything.
I, having paid attention for the past 25 years, and having studied the issues and changed my mind when undisputable facts are presented, now believe the government — left and right — is the problem.
Almost everything they do is an abject failure, and the things they fail to act on are things that demand attention. With a few exceptions, every single carbon-based life form in the Swamp is either owned by donors, fighting to protect their personal fiefdom and budget or trying to lay low and enjoy the Swamp life without getting noticed.
But the New Left adores the governmental machine.
Conclusion: I find it quite humorous: I now have far more in common with the hippies of the 60s than the average Democrat of 2021. I attribute it to the fact I’ve read and studied and I’m no longer the naive and idealistic young man I once was. Reality just is. Facts are facts.
Were the stereotypical hippies smarter than I gave them credit for? In some cases, yes. In some cases they were just uninformed yo-yos trying to get their fair share of that “free love.” And in some cases they were just channeling aggression at what they “guessed without real evidence” was the problem.
But much of what they “guessed” is now proven fact. I have no choice but to accept that they were collectively correct on some of their opinions.
Why is it that I can see clearly what’s in front of me, but the New Left cannot? I give a pass to the younger liberals, because I too was once idealistic and, well, dumb — but these New Left beliefs are espoused by both those who run the nation and those who report the “news.”