It is 1968. Year of blood. Year of protest. Year of insurgency. Year of a pivotal election: Republican Richard Nixon versus Democrat Hubert Humphrey.
I decide that Nixon and Humphrey are indistinguishable, and I refuse to vote. I encourage others to do the same.
It’s a mistake I regret to this day.
At first, students on the left were full of hope about the 1968 election
I am a New England regional organizer for Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the largest New Left student organization spearheading the opposition to the war in Vietnam. Living in Cambridge, I swim in a river of others just as young and just as committed — committed to ending the war in Vietnam; committed to radical change for black Americans; committed to creating an American New Left, rooted in American realities and traditions. But in this year of 1968, what we most want is to end the seemingly endless war in Vietnam, a responsibility that rests uncomfortably on our too-young shoulders.
The weight of the damn war presses down upon us. Day after day, each week, each long month, we carry it with us, though we don’t experience the savage horrors of those who actually fight in it. Images, facts, lies, replay in our minds, in our dreams. A silent monk in flames. American boys dying in tall elephant grass. A naked girl running from inferno towers of napalm, arms extended, mouth open, silently screaming. … A war measured in nightly "body counts."