Since Jul 10, 2002

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Anti Viet-Nam activism had taken over American youth culture by the time I was in sixth grade, in 1968-69. Our liberal teacher often had us sing "Where have all the flowers gone?" in the folk music portion of our class.

I had good grades, played violin, and rarely got in trouble. Rebellion was not in my nature. But this teacher's propagandizing defenseless kids with popular anti-war songs was to me outrageous. My instincts told me most college-age anti-war protesters just wanted to be "cool" -- they didn't know or care what the Vietnamese people thought about the slavery of communism.

So, whenever the teacher led us in "Where have all the flowers gone?," I sang loudly and nasally to show my contempt. The rest of the class thought it a good joke and either giggled or joined me. I was fearless of being sent to the principal. I knew in my heart I was in the right, and believe the teacher knew it too, because he never took steps to discipline me.

My ideals as a Republican and conservative, however "uncool," have continued ever since.