October 5, 2004

A FEW MORE KENT STATES AND THEY'D HAVE GONE BACK TO CLASS:

Radical '70s Produced a Conservative Conciliator (Scott Martelle, October 5, 2004, LA Times)

There was no way to anticipate it at the time, but Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Jones owes his political career to a black student radical with the tongue-twisting name of Bill Riddlesprigger.

It was 1970, and Jones, conservative son of a Central Valley rancher, had just been elected president of the Cal State Fresno student government. In his long-sleeved sweater with the cuffs folded back an inch, Jones had the anachronistic look of a Four Freshmen Republican in a Jimi Hendrix world, puffing on a pipe while many in his generation smoldered with rage.

There was a lot to rage against. Within days of Jones' spring election, four students were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Ohio's Kent State, ratcheting up passions at daily rallies here against the Vietnam War. The following fall, Chicano students at Cal State Fresno erected a human blockade to stymie registration. An anti-ROTC protest ended in a melee, and someone firebombed the business school's new computer lab.


Yes, there was ample reason to rage against the students who did such things.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2004 10:31 AM
Comments

Because the Vietnam war was so well conceived, led, and explained ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 5, 2004 12:52 PM

Some of us who were a little closer to the action were aware that young American lives were being thrown away in larger amounts than at Kent State.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 5, 2004 3:35 PM

Hardly thrown away.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2004 4:23 PM

Thrown away, Orrin.

We ran out of second looies at Tet, sent young GIs into combat with untrained leaders, who got themselves and the draftees killed in big numbers for nothing.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 6, 2004 1:04 AM

We saved South Vietnam until Democrats squandered the win.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2004 9:09 AM

Don't you mean, until the South Vietnamese squandered the win ?

One of the reasons that the US military is so effective now, is because we stopped drafting people.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 7, 2004 4:41 AM

No, the Democrats. It's no more effective now than it has been in past wars--the enemies are just weaker.

Posted by: oj at October 7, 2004 8:40 AM

The enemies of the US appear weaker because we deal with them so easily.

That's not the same as being weaker.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 9, 2004 4:38 AM

Michael:

So Afghanistan was the equivalent of Imperial Japan and Iraq Nazi Germany?

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2004 8:15 AM
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