Damn hippies

Where have all the hippies gone? “Don’t trust the man.” “My body, my choice.” “Make love not war.”

I was not alive during the “enlightened” 1960s, but I have a deep appreciation for the spirit of rebellion it encapsulated. Around Aspen, you see remnants of this spirit in things like Hunter S. Thompson’s mayoral campaign posters.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that the spirit of rebellion was a façade. Those young free spirits fighting against “the man” in that era are now the loudest cheerleaders for “the man” today. While the Greatest Generation is revered for defeating the Nazis and building an economic juggernaut, the Baby Boomers are in danger of leaving a legacy of debt, division and hypocrisy due to their “progressive” leadership. Much is owed to the productive of every generation who build families and contribute to civil society, but three historical examples shed light on the hippy/progressive legacy of hypocrisy:

1. In 1969, 400,000 people (mostly Boomers) flocked fearlessly and unmasked to Woodstock in the midst of the Hong Kong flu pandemic (wait, can I call it that?). However, today they demand young people with minimal risk from Covid put their lives on hold to protect them.

2. In 1973, young Boomers were vocal supporters of abortion under the premise that government has no jurisdiction over individual bodies, yet today there is little resistance towards a rushed vaccine developed by what they would have classified as evil corporations back then. Big Pharma is apparently the good guy now.

3. In the 1960s Boomers were leading protests the end to the Vietnam War, but today the anti-war hippy Boomer crowd is mostly silent as the former head of the CIA lobbies to classify anyone who opposes the establishment’s agenda a domestic terrorist.

What happened to the fearless free spirits whose mantras (and music) I love? Maybe time and feelings of irrelevance erode the free/rebellious spirit and replace it with its antithesis: protection at all costs! Or maybe hippies were just lost spirits who now do whatever “the man” tells them.

Chase McWhorter