I wasn’t a Flower Power People or Person but I did come of age in the 1960’s. I was, however, A Flower Power People Sympathizer if not a card-carrying Flower Power Person.
I believed in peace and listened to rock and roll, and although I wasn’t much for drugs and the sexual revolution train left while I was still on the station platform I, nevertheless, miss the Flower Power People and I think we should look for them.
No period, not ever our own, was a volatile and divisive as the late 1960’s. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. The war in Viet Nam was raging. And our cities were burning. Yet, in the face of all this turmoil, young people waged a battle against despair and hopelessness by just turning their backs to the mainstream.
Sure, some said they tuning in, turning on, and dropping out, but, in reality, the seeds of revolution were sown and the revolutionaries weren’t limited to Flower Power People but they quickly became their symbol especially in the Summer of Love, 1967
Anti-war protests soon took the place of love-ins, however, and The Happening was moved to the streets of Washington, DC. But it would be a mistake to view this as a political revolution only. More importantly, the revolution was a conscious decision to think differently. That is what Flower Power was all about.
Long before Apple made it their mantra, young people began to think different and question all that prior generations had taken for granted. Mistaken by the Greatest Generation as a slap in the face to American values, young people were merely looking at what had transpired in their lifetime and saw the need for a change.
After all, they saw the bold and charismatic JFK gunned down in the streets of Dallas. That was the beginning of the end to the promise of the American Century. And it only got worse as these Baby Boomers grew up. They weren’t going to fall for any of the nonsense that politicians were spewing and rejected both political parties, ironically creating the opportunity for the hated Richard Nixon to win the 1968 Presidential election. The war continued. Race relations got worse. Ultimately, the middle class was set on a course of destruction, never to return to the halcyon days of the post war.
As I write this, President Trump, not a month into his presidency, was forced to fire, albeit a little late, his National Security Advisor and it looks like Trump’s nominee for the Secretary of Labor will be withdrawing his name for consideration. Will Trump continue to flounder and blame everything on the media? He certainly has a long way to make America as great as it had been last year.
We need the Flower People, or at least an updated rendition, to remind us of our values.
Americans love people. We defend them wherever they are in harms way. We want them to share in our freedom. That is our most treasured commodity. Why then do some want to limit freedom to Americans only?
The Birthers have become the America FIRSTERS.