Upon further reflection and looking back at the news coverage of the Vietnam and the virus today in ways there are many differences. In the Vietnam era there were 3 major news outlets and most major cities had at least 1 daily or maybe 2 competing newspapers. When Walter Cronkite famous words came out of his mouth ” and that’s the way it is”. It was a signal that the days and countries business of the day were over. It gave time for people to catch their breath and then it became apparent that the news out of Vietnam wasn’t as rosy as first thought. There were those who thought that no matter what the cost America had to be there to stop communism. Then over time a certain part of the population started to take a different approach and held strong feelings that the war was wrong and America needed to get out yesterday. Of course the major news coverage was on those large gatherings and protest. In reality there were still large parts of the country who felt like America needed to still be there. Ironically those folks are the ones who have been in charge the last 30 years or so.
When it comes to the virus the media and especially social media weren’t around. There were no such things as cable news networks with their constant screaming going on about everything and letting the facts never get in their way. They have a narrative and they are going to stick to it regardless. All sides of the political spectrum are guilty of this and the country is paying a terrible price. Now when something like the virus comes along the American people wonder why people can’t just do the right thing? There in lies the problem. You see what the cables news networks have done to the American people is a crime. Don’t get me wrong because the virus is a serious thing. It is also not the end of the world! For many of this generation this is the first time that the country has asked them to really make true sacrifices and they are freaking out. For us older folks we can recite a long and painful list of sacrifices the country has asked us to make. We lived with the real threat of all out thermal nuclear war.
However, when you take a long reflective look back through the years in most cases the American people have no one to blame but themselves. Voter participation rates, compared to many of the other countries are awful. Those who do bother to vote often complain about how long they had to wait. Which is sort of interesting because in other parts of the world people are dodging live bullets to vote. People will spend countless hours in line at a Starbucks for coffee but can’t spare that same time to go vote once every so often? Of course those people are the ones who scream the loudest about what ” their” government should be doing.
Will things be different after there is a better handle on the virus? My hope is that things will be better but my inclination is they won’t.