A sample of J. R. Dunn's "Obama and 'Da Yutes'
All this might have been harmless but for the collapse of the previous generation -- the so-called "Silents". (Actually merely a subset of the GI generation.) Possibly the most overlooked factor of the entire decade is the manner in which this generation, just coming into their prime years, abdicated responsibility in favor of what we've come to know as the 60s lifestyle. It was this, rather than anything the kids did, that caused much of the later trouble.
There's no difficulty explaining this turn of events. Every generation has a strictly limited leadership cohort -- the number is generally held to be approximately 5%. The U.S. lost over a quarter-million men in WW II. A substantial number of the GI generation's natural leaders were killed at places like Kasserine, Tarawa, and Omaha Beach. This is one kind of deficit that simply can't be made up. As a result, positions in the postwar world that required hard-charging alphas were filled by whoever was available, too many of whom weren't up to the job. Government was left in the hands of odd figures like Lyndon B. Johnson (who could never have been elected on his own) and Robert "S. for Strange" McNamara. (The same phenomenon can be seen in the 80s and 90s of the 19th century, the so-called Gilded Age. Consider the lengthy chain of nonentities that served as president during that period. The truly dynamic leaders had been killed in the battles of the Civil War.) The kids (just becoming known as "Boomers"), left without guidance or the benefit of experience, ran wild, with many of their elders grooving right alongside them. And so the country roared full-speed ahead into the children's hour: the 60s of legend, in all their tie-dyed and bell-bottomed, not to mention tear-gassed and rubber-bulleted glory.