Student Politics 1980s Style

Archive Report

A Fictitious Move to Political Right

The times, they have a-changed. And today's college students, it is widely assumed, are exceedingly different from yesterday's. In the 1960s and early 70s, rebellious collegians massively demonstrated against the war in Vietnam; they marched and rallied, took over buildings and “sat-in,” protested and resisted. In contrast, supposedly, stand the passive students of the 1980s: politically conservative and preoccupied with material wealth and private gain. Most college students, according to neoconservative Irving Kristol, “have edged right-ward,” along with the rest of the American people. And liberal columnist Mary McGrory, writing about Nicaragua's potential as another Vietnam, complains: “With the draft gone, middle-class white parents would not bedevil politicians, and the campuses would not flame. Today's youth, conditioned by the ...

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