Today is the 45th anniversary when American activists against the Vietnam War woke up to the fact that (what they thought was) their government would kill middle class white American kids if they had to in order to stop opposition to the war in Vietnam. It was a very rude awakening for many of them, and caused a variety of reactions.
Some went underground, joined a mini-guerrilla army (Weather Underground), declared war on the US government, and engaged in bombings of government buildings. Others engaged in acts of individual sabotage like the Armstrong brothers who bombed a U. of Wisconsin building that was involved in military weapons research. Many activists organized anti-war activities directly near military bases to increase political awareness among soldiers, and some became active in underground newspapers. Many of this activist generation were so traumatized or demoralized by the Kent State massacre that they dropped out of activism. Worst of all, most older Americans were so brainwashed by mainstream media that they became like "good Germans" and simply went along with ruling class views.
It was a time when the President called antiwar students “bums” and Ohio’s Republican Governor James Rhodes, in a tight and ultimately losing race, described students against the war as “worse than brown shirts and the communist element and also night riders and vigilantes. They are the worst type of people that we harbor in America.”
A majority of blinkered Americans agreed. Apprehensive and uncertain, yearning for a return to an allegedly untroubled era before the tumultuous sixties, and manipulated all their lives to believe that only an “exceptional” America protected them against Communist and Asian hordes, they supported the shootings, as a Gallup poll reported.