I was surprised and disheartened how quickly things changed in the years that followed.
Not sure what you're referring to when you say things "quickly changed", but if you're talking about us baby boomers, I will heartily agree with you. My gosh, after the Vietnam War ended, it was surprising how quickly we quit our protests and our search for new utopian societies and embraced the old, rotten system already in place, where we became fabulously wealthy beyond our parents' dreams.
We did it by living beyond our means. We charged it. We'll leave it to our grandkids to pay for it. We can't be bothered nor discomforted, and we'll elect the politicians who understand our whims. We are the mighty baby boomers.