Friday, February 17, 2017
My first introduction to politics was the 1976 election. I voted for Jimmy Carter. Before that I was aware of the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy's assassination, Johnson's great Society, the war in Viet Nam, and the peace protests against the war and Nixon, but I was not involved. I watched. I grew up. I was aware of the discussion, and disagreement, in my family.
So I kept track. The horrible inflation years of the 70's. The gas lines. People watching as their pensions and their livelihoods disappeared around them. I got a meaningless degree when one was affordable. I got a job as a cook in a restaurant. Not bad. It should have been a living. Night school improved my lot, luckily. Jimmy Carter was a good president. He was the last one who treated the American people like adults. We replaced him with an actor who entertained us.
I followed Reagan as he promised it would be 'Morning in America.' It was a con, of course. The morning was paid for with a mortgage on the afternoon and evening of America, which we are paying for now. Carter told us to tighten our belts. Reagan told us to expand them. It was all smoke, mirrors, and excess debt. It was during the Reagan era that American blue collar jobs started bleeding offshore. Remember that, Trump supporters. Our multi trillion dollar debt today started with Reagan. Or maybe Nixon. Hard to tell. Still, he ended the Cold War. Not won. He did not want to win the Cold War. Just end it in partnership with Gorbachev. Later butchers claimed victory. Reagan did some good, some bad. Like Nixon.
Then we got George H. W. Bush. He was the head of the CIA. Not a low level analyst like Vladimir Putin when he was a KGB agent in East Germany. Bush was the head spook. I never felt quite comfortable with someone outside of the law as the civilian commander in chief. Still, he did some good things as president. Some.
I'm still not sure about Clinton. Oh, not because of the bogus impeachment hearings. Kennedy did worse. Johnson did worser. I was uncomfortable with the Bush war against Iraq and Clinton just kept it going, plus Serbia and Kosovo. It was then that the so called Neocons ramped up their Neo-Cold War agenda. Bush Sr. called them 'The crazies in the basement.' Well, Clinton, in Pandora fashion, let the crazies out.
Bush 2 was pretty much a stooge of the Crazies. 9/11 was a perfect alibi to let them have their way. So we got needless and endless wars against countries which had done us no wrong and which had nothing to do with 9/11. Afghanistan, Iraq.
When Obama was elected I hoped for sanity at last. A stop to suicidal wars, torture, and neglect at home. But it didn't end. Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Yemen. And we decry Russian aggression? When will our leaders be sent to The Hague?
We still have hostility abroad, no closure of Gitmo, and endless war. Who's in charge, anyway? The Crazies? Now we have Trumpo the Orange Clown in charge. He spews out tweets and executive orders. Too bad nobody in real power will pay any more attention to him than the last four presidents.