the sage connection

It’s the 1960s all over again

The Kingston Trio sings "The Merry Minuet," 1965.

This time around, the elections brought back a flood of memories of a time I hoped would not be repeated in my lifetime. Unfortunately, this was not to be.

Like the lyrics above, from a song made popular by The Kingston Trio in the 1960s, it seems no one has anything good to say about anyone or anything.

In my youth, there was the war from hell, Viet Nam, and the assassinations of a sitting president, several civil rights leaders and a candidate for president.

Conspiracy theories were everywhere: Did the mafia kill Kennedy for Castro? Or was it the CIA?

Was Martin Luther King Jr a communist? Did the Jordanian Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, who shot and killed Bobby Kennedy, do so at the behest of his country?

My husband was stationed at a base in the deep south when President Kennedy was assassinated. It was announced that the president had been killed during the noon mess and the southern boys stood up and cheered. This was followed by an immediate riot.

Boys (and they were all boys) boarding buses for boot camp were spat upon. Boys who escaped to Canada to avoid the draft were labeled traitors.

Our National Guard troop shot and killed students who were demonstrating peacefully at Kent State University. The killings took place during a peace rally opposing the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia by United States military forces and protesting the National Guard presence on campus.

Fast forward to now. The 82-year-old husband of the Speaker of the House was beaten in his own home by a thug after his wife. Members of Congress have urged violence against other members.

Both our state and national Capitols were breached by gangs. In the Other Washington, these terrorists included current and former members of law enforcement. People died. People were injured. And now people are being arrested and prosecuted.

The former president is still insisting he won the last election while being indicted for multiple crimes. And in this Washington -- but outside of Thurston County -- there were candidates for state and federal offices who also deny the validity of the 2020 general elections. 

And men are still scrambling to gain control of women's bodies and thus their lives.

Have we learned nothing?

President Kennedy's speech "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country" is rarely referenced anymore. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech is still searching for a solution for liberty and justice for all.

I, personally, am ashamed for the rest of the world to witness the debacle our government has become.

Power grabbing, secret money and who-owes-who rules this country today.

Come on, America. We are better than this.

Kathleen Anderson writes this column each week from her home in Olympia.  Contact her at or post your comment below. 


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  • Drutty

    I agree it is a sad world which has lost the value of respect. I worry about my grandchildren and their future! Driving 2 blocks means encountering drivers who feel entitled and bullying in their attitude.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2022 Report this

  • HarveysMom

    I remember, I mourn too. But here's a thought that I hope will come true:

    We not only survived the 60s, things in general have improved, so I wish, pray and hope we will all survive these years and that things in general will again improve.

    Thanks for saying so many things I can relate to.

    Thursday, November 10, 2022 Report this