Comments: Looking Back

I just listened to Phil Ochs' Song of a Soldier and was struck all over again at how the left was actually the portion of the country that cared about and had sympathy for its soldiers - just like today.

Posted by Elayne Riggs at May 1, 2005 04:22 PM

Well, it's mixed, really. They also were the direction from which the idea of the soldier as someone who makes a choice to participate comes from: moral agency is generally seen as a good thing, but it comes with responsibility. Buffy St. Marie's Universal Soldier, for example, or Phil Ochs' own Draft Dodger Rag.

Of course, it was mixed with real sympathy, as you say: Ochs' "Man behind the guns" still gets me, and there are lots of other examples. But there were just enough actual draft dodgers to give those critiques some real bite, as well.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at May 2, 2005 01:06 AM