Monday, October 16, 2017

Getting Stranger by the Hour

When I was young, oh so much younger than today, I believed that the United States would become completely unhinged at some point in my lifetime. This idea dawned on me in the waning months of 1980 when the voters of Idiot Nation decided that sending a failed B movie actor to the White House would be a really cool idea. This is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. You see, I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. My only excuse (and it's a pretty lame one) is that on Election Night of that year I got quite intoxicated. Ask anyone who knows me: I'm capable of highly idiotic behavior when I've had one-too-many.
I was working as a reporter for W-ALL in Middletown, NY. Assigned to cover the Conservative Party Headquarters, I arrived at their place to discover that they had chartered a bus for New York City to whoop it up at the Waldorf. Although the polls had not yet closed, it was obvious early in the evening that Jimmy Carter was going to be badly trounced by the Gipper. I wandered across the street to where the Democrats were stationed and proceeded to imbibe pretty heavily with them (it was an open bar). By the time I wondered over to the town hall to cast my vote, I was eleven-and-a-half sheets to the wind. For some reason (was it a sick joke or my utter frustration with Carter?) I cast my lot that year with Ronnie. I regretted it in the morning. I didn't make that same mistake again in 1984. I’ve been stone-cold-sober every Election Day since.
“Mothers Against Drunk Voters”. Does such an organization exist? It should, you know. It really should.
After casting - I mean - wasting my vote. I wondered back to the bar to watch the returns. Sitting there glued to the tube was Dr. William Byrne, a professor from the local college who five months earlier had been my sociology instructor. He once told his wide-eyed class, “In the years to come, this country will move so far to the extreme right that, by the time the twenty-first century gets here, you won't recognize it”. Although I respected and admired him, I thought that he was exaggerating. In hindsight, I am floored by his prescience.
A little after 9:00 PM, when CBS News officially announced that Ronald Wilson Reagan would be the next president of the United States, the good doctor sighed, bowed his head, and walked out of the place. That was the last time I ever saw him.
Although his eight-year reign depressed the hell out of me, I never for a moment doubted that we would survive Reagan's two terms. To be honest with you, compared to what's come along since he left the White House on January 20, 1989, the old bugger doesn't look half as bad as he used to. Hell, even Dubya is starting to look marginally palatable when placed in comparison to the buffoon we are now forced to refer to as "the commander-in-chief". The very fact that a full one/third of the people of this country still support this clearly unhinged abomination is something that we all need to contemplate seriously. It is now clear that the Trump White House will not survive a full term. That many of his supporters are threatening national unrest if impeachment ever occurs should also give us pause. Recently, the disgraced preacher Jim Bakker (Remember that knucklehead?) threatened civil war should the Donald ever be forcibly removed from office. Nice! It would appear to me that the next year-or-so is going to be quite the ride. I've already purchased my ticket.
To be honest with you, I'm not sure that Donald Trump's presidency is survivable. I do hope it is, but I'm not absolutely certain of that. It will take a long time to recover from what right wing governance has done - and is doing - to this once-great nation. There's room for optimism. In the life-span of people who still walk among us, Germany endured twelve years of Hitler and the Nazis. Today they survive as one of the most stable and thriving nations on this troubled planet. It might take years; some of us might not be around to see the ultimate transformation, that "new birth of freedom". Still, as the adage says where there's life there's hope, ay?
I have a feeling that ours will be the first generation not to envy the young. Our parents bequeathed to us the strongest, most vibrant nation in the history of humanity. And what will our children and grandchildren inherit from us? A cesspool.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Requiem for the American Dream
This essay/interview by and with Noam Chomsky is better than anything I've ever seen or read that describes what has happened to America. I just watched again late last night. I cannot recommend it enough.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

My first eligible election was 1980, and as I knew little about politics, I listened to my parents and voted for Reagan. He showed his gratitude by killing the "JTPA" program which was paying for my college, and I had to drop out.

Over the years I have found fewer and fewer reasons to even LOOK at GOP candidates at ANY level (I Used to love Jake Garn of UT)

Now I won't vote for a candidate who's middle initial is "R". It's not an AMERICAN party anymore. And THIS "president" along with his entire KKKabal, has to go before we lose the entire country.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

While we may have"survived" Reagan, our country was irreversibly changed by him.

The US went from a creditor nation to a debtor nation. Hate radio infected our airwaves, Unions and liberals were demonized, corporate foxes were in the regulatory hen house, as tax cuts for the rich and the great trickle-down lie became their gospel.

Now the hypocritical Bible Thumpers want to run our country, minus the message of Jesus. The poor are kicked while they are down and the money-changers are now in charge.

People will die as a result of Trump's war on healthcare. War is but an impulse of a madman away.

All of this is within their frenzy to erase Obama's legacy. It's all born of greed, hate, and racism, the pillars of the New American Con-servatism.

This is how they "Make America Great Again".

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"has to go before we lose the entire country."

Lose to who?

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Clucky, lose to the KKK and Putin. Lose to the Kochs and Sheldon Addleson, lose to those who care only for the UBER rich WHITE men.

That clear enough for ya you feckless moron? (sorry Tom, hard to hold that in)

"Who" were your conservative heroes going to "take back" America FROM? and WHY wasn't it "great" already? Oh yeah, President Blackenstien.

You can't support Trump anymore. You can't. You attacked Obama for NOTHING but let trump LITERALLY get away with MURDER. (30 million people)

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"From this day forward, comments that are off topic or obscene and insulting to other commentators will not be accepted."

Unless it's from a leftist, right Tom?

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Michael Stivic said...


How come Hillary and Bill are not returning Harvey Weinstein's campaign contributions?

This really stinks, worse than when Arch opens the bathroom door.

I can't believe Mozart voted for her instead of Bernie in the primaries.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Ed said...

My first eligible election was 1980 and I voted to give Jimmy Carter a second term. Oddly enough I went against my dad's advice to vote for Reagan. After the news broke about U.S. support for Central American right wing death squads (and the murder of nuns and a priest in El Salvador) I told him I was embarrassed to be an American. And I'm once again embarrassed to be an American.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

You have to wonder if Clucky isn't one of those "Russian trolls". He loves the Commie websites, never REALLY seems to have anything but snarky comments and ridiculous scenarios, and C:EARLY is using several names.

Tom, I think you should ban him. Let him rant about "censorship, we won't hear him.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Don't fall to the level of Major the Republican Troll. He was demanding that I be banned at another site. But remember, IOKIYAR. Trump has dragged them all into the filthy pit of lies and hate. What they think it's acceptable is truly vile in civil discourse.

Trolls are liars and idiots. AKA Republican shills.

Hillary Clinton is expected to donate all former campaign contributions from film mogul Harvey Weinstein to charity, a Clinton aide told NBC News Thursday.

According to the aide, the Weinstein donations being offered to charity were made for Clinton's four runs for office.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Hey Michael (Clucky, we know it's you)

I voted for Bernie in the Primary. When he LOST, I (as an adult) realized I don't get EVERYTHING I want ALL THE TIME and "settled" for Hillary.

It wasn't tough, seeing as how she's the most QUALIFIED Candidate ever (Yes, it's true) and the thought of Trump being in charge of the launch codes kept me awake nights.

As for Wienstien, why is that relevant? It's not like anyone was making him Sec of State. Why didn't Trump turn down Bill O'Rilleys? Rush Limbaughs? VLADAMIR PUTINS?

And quit WHINING about Tom not posting your drivel. You should be banned as the Russian troll you obviously are.

Come on man, tell us HOW Trump is a good leader. This should be good.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

Chuck, if you did not recently call Tom a coward I might be on your side but you are not exactly the nicest guy on this blog. I would bet all your comments that get deleted are insults and not political statements.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Leann C said...

Hillary is a Pedophile.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Barbara Carlson said...

Re your reco re Requiem for the American Dream -- it is the loss of hope that seems the worse thing to swallow these days.
As long as 30-40 MILLION people STILL support this "president", know fear.

I hear John Lennon's song, "Imagine" and can not.

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Barbara Carlson said...

I predicted Jimmy Carter's election and won my first and only money bet.
I knew he would because he gave people hope... as did Obama ..
but then so did Trump: hope to stick it to the Libtards and that uppity n**ger Obama,
and for the Christianists the hope of "The Anointed One" Trump bringing about The Apocalypse
when Jesus himself would come down and reek satisfying vengeance on the heathen Liberals.

"Know hope" as Andrew Sullivan used to say, in the good old days when words meant something? Don't think so now.


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