The war in Vietnam exerted crucial influence over the presidential election of 1968. Americans were increasingly concerned with the mounting numbers of United States servicemen killed or wounded in Southeast Asia and with the political unrest that the war was causing at home, especially on college campuses. In addition, deficit spending to pay for the war caused the national debt to skyrocket at an alarming rate*** raises a question.
If part of the issue was deficit spending, an unpopular war, etc., why are we not seeing college campus uproars and protests in the street today over Iraq and Afghanistan and now Libya?
Is it possible those on the left who protested during Vietnam have who they want in office today?
First of all, this question is anachronistic, meaning that it imposes current thinking on a past issue. The prof is correct in noting that the Vietnam war increased America's budget deficit but NO ONE talked about this in 1968. Vietnam's effect on the economy did not become an issue until the Nixon years when, due to Vietnam spending, Nixon had to impose price controls and other harsh economic measures. So although the Vietnam War was a major issue in the '68 campaign, its cost and contribution to the deficit simply were not.
That said, the war caused all sorts of havoc at home -- riots during the Democratic Convention in Chicago, campus unrest, controversy, and the return of 200 or so body bags each week. And the public was growing uneasy with both the war and the protests.
Why not today? First of all, the idea that "those on the left who protested during Vietnam have who they want in office today" is partially true. It's likely that ...
The author argues that the question of why former Vietnam protestors do not protest current wars is more complex than suggested, that is has to do more with the lack of a draft than with who is in the White House.