American Consequences - October 2017


Sympathy for the Devil

By P.J. O'Rourke

to shoot my stepfather while the drunken bum was asleep on the couch, I would have willingly enlisted. As it was, however, the war in Vietnam seemed like a good thing to protest. And here, I feel for the antifa. They are protesting... What are they protesting? Pretty much everything you can think of. Which is to say nothing much. It must be hard getting a bunch of real jerks together for no real reason. That’s probably why, 50 years ago, there were so many more of us pasty- faced peace creeps than there are black-masked antifa creeps today. I also feel bad for the antifa because, from what I can tell peeking beneath the hoodies and behind the bandannas, their angry, empowered women aren’t nearly as cute as our hippie chicks were.

I’d like to launch into a strong invective about the “antifa,” those noisy young creeps trampling on liberty, vandalizing property, and assaulting those whose political opinions they deem “incorrect”... Then I realized I was one of them. Or had been. Or I had tried to be. It was a long time ago – 50 years. But in 1967, I was as noisy, as young, and as much of a creep as anybody plaguing the streets of Berkeley today. Not that I would have admitted this at the time. Ostensibly, the reason I was out trampling, vandalizing, and assaulting was to protest the war in Vietnam. The government of the United States wanted to send me to a distant place with noxious flora and fauna. And they wanted me to shoot people I didn’t even know. What’s more, those people were going to shoot back. It wasn’t that I was a pacifist. If the government had wanted to send me home , Why? Because it was fun.

But to return to the fun...

Once we started protesting the war in Vietnam, we realized that... “Rioting – it’s a riot!” And the war became simply a good excuse for having one.

82 | October 2017

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