Presidents and Protesters: Political Rhetoric in the 1960s

By Theodore Otto Windt Jr. | Go to book overview

tions to "protesters" at the time. In 1968 the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan found that nearly 75 percent of the people reacted negatively to protesters. Among those who favored complete withdrawal from Vietnam, as many as 53 percent reacted negatively.66 We can assume with some degree of safety that the percentages would have been higher in reaction to Yippies.

On the other hand, the Yippies and other extreme groups among the antiwar movement contributed to making respectable the political critics of the war who worked within the system. In contrast to the popular images of the obscenity-shouting Yippies and the bombhurling Weatherpeople, Senators Fulbright, Kennedy, Church, and McGovern seemed models of responsible criticism. Just as Stokely Carmichael legitimized the moderate, nonviolent posture of Martin Luther King, Jr., so, too, the violent acts of the Weatherpeople and the absurd acts of the Yippies contributed to the acceptance of traditional criticism of the war and enhanced the ethos of those critics who held positions of power or remained within the traditional mainstream of protest.


Conclusion

The rhetorical mood of the Vietnam war was frenzied and fervent. Unlike World Wars I and II, the Vietnam war seemed not to have been fought for a higher, moral purpose. Critics did not believe that it would "make the world safe for democracy" or preserve the "arsenal of democracy," certainly not in South Vietnam. Critics saw it as a dirty war fought for obscure purposes, at best, or evil ends, at worst. In opposing the war they had, as Thomas Mann once observed, two choices: to take a position that is either ironic or radical.

Yippies chose an extreme form of irony, the diatribe. They revived, probably unknowingly, the cynical tradition of protesting a war and a society that supported that war. In doing so, they alienated from their cause as many, if not more, than they drew to it.

Yippies rejected the civic society and did everything within their power to identify themselves as outcasts--metaphysical, linguistic, comical outcasts. They took a stance that was purely critical. Few were immune from their satirical criticism. It was frolicking criticism that was their compass and guide. They offered few programmatic solutions, no policy solutions, no ideological solutions. They merely said people should be free.

And always there was laughter, the ridiculous and sometimes bitter laughter of the cynic. They contended they really joined the "revolution" because that's where the fun was, and they meant to have

-238-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Presidents and Protesters: Political Rhetoric in the 1960s
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 320

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.