There's something happening here
"There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear," warned a rock band called Buffalo Springfield in 1967 in a song called "For What It's Worth." The song had a hypnotic and ominous melody critical of Uncle Sam and the Pentagon. That song suddenly seems relevant again.
In 1967, there was a growing suspicion in America that President Johnson hoodwinked our nation into fighting the communists in Vietnam. As more and more young Americans died far from home in Vietnam, anti-war sentiment grew, and protests erupted across America. It was a very unsettling time in America.
Now America is in another unsettling time, and again it feels as if "there's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear." Back in 1967, most of the protestors came from the liberal end of our political spectrum. In 2021, when leftists burn American cities and topple the statues of American heroes, Speaker Pelosi calls it "people doing what people are going to do." In 2021, when conservatives protest, it is called an insurrection.
There is a lot of "ain't exactly clear" going on in 2021. Many question the fairness and outcome of the 2020 election. Many look at the COVID-19 pandemic and wonder if it was actually a biological attack from China aimed to destabilize the West and unseat China's biggest critic, Donald Trump. Many wonder and worry about local governments' heavy-handed restrictions in the name of combatting the pandemic.
Some fear that Nixon and Kissinger created a Sinostein back in 1972 that is ruining our economy and threatening freedom around the world. Nixon and Kissinger created their monster hoping to weaken the Soviet Union in 1972, but the bitter irony is that the cure they concocted is now eating the West alive. The checks and balances built into our Constitution cannot work if the current trustees are all "on the take" from China. Some of us worry that while the swamp accused Trump of colluding with Russia in 2016, the swamp people sought and got the help of China to topple Trump with their Wuhan Surprise.
Finally, our love affair with cheap labor may be our undoing. In our early years, cheap labor was called slavery or indentured servitude. That did not work out really well for us. In more recent years, we looked beyond our borders for cheap labor, hurting our economy and helping the economies of our adversaries.
Questioning the government was fashionable in 1967. Questioning the government in 2021 or the recent election is called sedition. We were a lot freer in 1967 than we are now. Cyber-barons with the blessing of Washington censor the news and steer our views.
Yep. Buffalo Springfield had it right. "There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear" — but whatever it is, it's not good.
Image: Nixon in China. YouTube screen grab.