That was then

“The Week” produced another gem in its “Controversy of the Week” section. Titled: “The GOP: Time to move on from the culture war?” And this quoted comment from Paul Waldman in, “The furor over gay marriage and Obamacare will eventually fade, as seething, red-faced Baby Boomers like Antonin Scalia and Bill O’Reilly—still fighting 50 year old cultural battles and the “hippies’ in their heads—leave the scene. But social conservatism will always be with us. For as long as society keeps changing, ‘there will always be those who want to keep things as they are—or as they were, back in their day,’ and the Republican Party will always be their natural home.” To say the least, are you flipping kidding me!

All right, then the following is a list of things, that would have been true back in O’Reilly’s and Scalia’s day, some fifty years ago. I would have been eleven years old at the time:

  • Woodstock
  • The Beatles, and other rock groups especially since the 1960s.
  • LSD along with other controlled substances.
  • The Vietnam war and our growing opposition to it.
  • The Kennedy assassination.
  • Our love of Hollywood and all things Disney.
  • Divorce and single family homes.
  • The silence concerning teen pregnancy, parental, and spousal abuse.
  • You didn’t hear about abortions, but the facts of the matter were, they still happened.
  • Married couples who definitely stepped out on one another, and secretly took their lovers to local hotels under assumed names.
  • Prostitution.
  • Bullies.
  • The Civil Rights movement and the death of Dr. Martin Luther King.
  • The race riots following Dr. King’s death.
  • The politics of public education even in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
  • Religion however, did not attempt to take a central role in government.
  • Anti- Marxism, communism, or socialism. That was the “conservatism” of the day.
  • Billy Graham.
  • John Birch Society.
  • You wouldn’t really hear of “fiscal responsibility,” etc. until the so-called Reagan revolution.

It is not the most comprehensive list of what was true, way back when. But if I can remember how turbulent the sixties were and I am now sixty-one; then I would have to say that O’Reilly as well as Scalia do a lot of ignoring of history. “I love Lucy” was an escapist fantasy of the “ideal American family,” right along with a host of others. “I love Lucy,” did not reflect the home I grew up in. And I am equally certain, it did not reflect the actual homes of other kids growing up across the country. “Turn on, tune in, and drop out,” became the epitome I think of our social hypocrisy. So, these are the “golden years” that Scalia and O’Reilly would like to hark to? Good luck with that. You’d have to ignore a great deal of historical fact, to be able to make that kind of argument.


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