You weren’t really there.
That always was bullshit. If you don’t remember the times, you were probably too stoned to have participated much. But that doesn’t mean everybody else was, too.
But if you do remember, you’ll remember the period was infused with a kind of optimism — a hopeful belief (however naive) that a mass movement of people could affect real, lasting change.
I see the same kind of hope, albeit closer to being fulfilled, in the Tea Party movement.