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Where Have All The Boomers Gone?

by Pat Jordan, Prisoner of War in America

I was out walking the track recently, going nowhere 'round the tiny prison yard, talking with a friend about the state of affairs in the US and the War on Drugs and the toll it is taking. "You know what pisses me off the most?" my friend said, "It's my generation that's doing it!"

"Tell me about it," I said, "I'm a baby boomer too."

It is a real disappointment to be a part of the generation that refused to support the war in Vietnam, who were beaten and maced, who smoked pot en masses as an act of rebellion, who fought for high ideals, and to be locked up by the same. Our parents didn't know any better. They believed the government's lies. Our generation, the baby boomers who are now in the seats of power, doesn't have ignorance as an excuse. Nixon never smoked pot in collage. Many of the people in the government today did. In fact, Clinton used it as a way of pandering to younger voters. Yet these baby boomers are locking people up for the things they themselves once did. This is hypocrisy.

The same generation that saw the need to end a war that was going no where, with a vast human toll, is relentlessly pursuing a course into a more tragic quagmire. For though prison may be cleaner than a rice paddy, the destruction of a life is always tragic, whether it is by bomb or bullet or by being locked away.

This generation that fought for free speech now will not tolerate dissent in their war against the people. The generation that rose out of McCartheyism with its loyalty oaths and blacklists now demands urine tests and browbeats broadcasters to tow the line. Even Joe McCarthy didn't demand a look-see at people's privates! Yes, compared to our current crop, Joe McCarthy did have common decency. The generation that grew up with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI with files on everybody now whole-heatedly supports each new law enforcement excess. Could we?

I know that some have stayed true to the ideals that were begun in the 1960's. Some who raised their voices then are still heard today. We have not all taken the hypocrites' path. Perhaps those who have traded their souls for power are beyond appeal, but to those out there who stayed true, who were real, and not just playing along, I have this to say:

Enough is enough! We cannot let those in power destroy our freedom and rob us of our dignity. The time has come again to raise our voices, to stand up and be heard. We have to stop a war again.

The War on Drugs is a systematic attack on the cherished values that our country was founded upon. It ruins lives, it destroys families, and it wastes resources. It sets the state against its people and it is ushering in a new era of the American Police State. It is a betrayal of the freedoms that made our nation worth living in. We know that we have the power to change things in this country. We did it once, but we didn't go far enough. We have to demand back our freedom. We have to stop the War. Again.

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