Baton Rouge, Texas, France, everywhere. For those few of you as old as me to remember, actually have experienced '68, we wonder. Is this like those times?
No, it's not. There are probably, if we exclude what the Soviets did in Hungary and a few other countries, more deaths now than back then. Especially if we include the atrocities of the ISIS and other jihad groups, which we didn't have then. But that isn't the main thing that's different, that to my mind makes this time more dangerous, more disturbing than those times. Here in the Us we had Kent State, Jackson State, and a few others. 6 or so deaths, shootings. Look at the last month here in the US.
Remember the hope back then, you geezers of my age? Remember the hope, the feeling of Spring in the air? What Reagan later co-opted as "Morning in America"? When that was the actual feeling?
For you born after maybe '58 or so, it's hard to explain or ask you to imagine, but it was a time of real promise, when we thought we were winning. We, the people.
Silly, I know. But, there was a time when we thought it was actually going to happen. Silly us.
Nixon, then Reagan, didn't totally strip us of hope, but Bush, the rise of the GOP and Gengrich and his like, then the failure of President Obama to carry through with the promise of a new time that finally left me devoid of hope.
So is it the time of 1968 again, as some are suggesting? Emphatic no. Not at all. Back then we had hope, we had a new government coming in in the US, hopefully RFK, in France, even in some of the Soviet states. It was actually a time of hope, and some optimism.
What have we now? We have the proliferation of assault weapons in the US (which were illegal then), we have the rise of nativism and nationalism here, via Trump and the tea party, and in Europe the continuing blossoming of right wing nationalist parties, similar to the post WW1 era, like Madame La Pen in France.
So no, it's not 1968. It's somewhat Orwellian, 1984, but he missed it be several decades.
If one studies history, the average 'life' of a country, a nation, is around 200 to 300 years. We're just about approaching that time. Will 'American Exceptionalism' prevail above all, make us as different from the rest as we'd like to believe? You tell me.