When John Bolton ’70 LAW ’74 took the podium for his commencement speech at the height of campus demonstrations against the Vietnam War, he was not out to please the crowd. Calling the event “an exercise in ideological self-congratulation,” Bolton laid out the future of American politics for his left-leaning classmates.
“The conservative underground is alive and well here,” he said. “If we do not make our influence felt, rest assured we will in the real world.”
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Though Bolton supported the Vietnam War, he declined to enter combat duty, instead enlisting in the National Guard and attending law school after his 1970 graduation. “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote of his decision in the 25th reunion book. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”
So he supported the war, but considered it already lost, and didn’t want to die there himself.
And you wonder why the term “chickenhawk” is bandied about so frequently these days?