Studies of opinion cleavages among Americans born 1946 to 1964 are informed via Erikson and Stoller’s 2011 analysis of the impact of the December 1, 1969 Vietnam War draft lottery (which prioritized men vulnerable to 1970 callup). The scope of discussion therein and herein includes asessments of political socialization research from 1965, 1973, 1982 and 1997. Enabled there was the interpretive method, herein, of laying unfavorably numbered, vintage-1948 men’s opinions and behavior (which both mutated) within a detailed, contemporary military policy-context. This contextual perspective fleshes out, historically, that 2011 review. The results thereof revealed that those unfortunate men’s abrupt hostility to defense of South Vietnam and to public figures associated therewith (for example, President Richard M. Nixon of the Republican Party) as too “hawkish” (that is, assertively anticommunist) proved ironic. For Nixon’s prelottery Vietnam War policy already had executed the high-profile “dove” platform-plank rejected by the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Also appreciated is how published 2013 data on attitudes influenced by the Great Recession evidenced implicitly the dramatic durability of the draft lottery’s effect. This result likewise extends, comparatively, the utility of the 2011 study.
Key words: Vietnam War, draft lottery, public opinion, self-interest, loyalty.
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