Chronicles of Self-Destruction
By David Prentice
In 1969, demonstrations, rallies, campus takeovers, and violence abounded. America was roiled in the spitefulness of the New Left. It was a most intense time. Being a student, I went to the rallies, curious about the left’s “new” ideas. They were making their case, were mobilized, intense, and loud. Their speakers could be engaging, and the crowds were big. I listened, wondering if what they were saying was true. America was being described as racist, heartless, warlike, imperialist, and rotten. The speakers were animated, confident, bold, and they were swaying many with their message.
As I listened, I slowly became turned off. Watching the strident anger of these people was disturbing. In every speech, in every action, they were more intense and extreme. Continuing to attend, I couldn’t help but suspect these New Left people had deep personal problems. There were two experiences that created an indelible imprint about the left.