purchase [Military Madness]
In the USA, protests against the government's military involvement in the Vietnam War grew in strength throughout the 1960s and culminated with the US withdrawal in 1973. Although the rage against the government continued to the end of the war, 1968 to 1971 may have been the bitterest years: at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago (President Johnson still in power), the protests raged out of control. Whereas the Johnson administration intially was inclined to play down the riots as mis-management by the Chicago police, the Nixon administration took it a step further and convened a grand jury that lead to the infamous Chicago Seven trials. Before long, the Nixon administration was calling protestors traitors, and in May of 1970, the National Guard ended up killing 4 student protestors at Kent State University in Ohio.
Released in 1970, Crosby, Stills and Nash's Deja Vu may have had the seeds of their political affiliation roiling uder the surface. But the message came across as more hippie-dom than political , the album featuring Flower-Power messages such as Woodstock, Almost Cut My Hair and Our House. By 1971, although the group was in the process of going their separate ways, they were each mostly overtly political: Ohio directly targets the afore-mentioned events. Chicago, likewise.
Graham Nash, for his part, penned Military Madness (as well as many other of the CSNY songs - Ohio included), in which he laments, but offers no solutions to, the troubles of his (soon to be) adopted country:
And after the wars are over
And the body count is finally filed
I hope that man discovers
What's driving the people wild
Is killing your country
Nash didn't and couldnt offer solutions to the Military Madness (madness it was) of the Vietnam War - it was a madness that (likely , rightfully) directed the nation toward a more democratic sense of the power of one man's vote (culminating in Nixon's abdication - eventually). I leave it to your perception to see how this relates to the 2016 US elections.
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