Thursday, April 19, 2018

It Takes A While

I’ve been so busy with work and getting ready for next week’s trip that I’ve been a little behind in catching up on the news; I’ve barely had a chance to do more than just glance at it.  So I’m grateful to Booman for encapsulating what’s been going on.

To put it bluntly, the president is completely screwed six ways to Sunday, and all that’s left is to wait for this to play out and get our goblets ready to drink the tears. Anyone who knows anything about Michael Cohen understands this already, and the rest of the people will eventually catch up.


Republicans are beginning to have their fantasies hit up against a wall of reality on a more frequent basis now. Their efforts to repeal Obamacare met up with reality. There rhetoric about excluding whole classes of immigrants met up with reality. Now that people have seen their tax bill and it isn’t popular, their false hopes for pulling out of their political tailspin has met with reality, and this is confirmed regularly in local, state, and federal elections where they’re getting stomped in Trump country.

So it looks like the chickens are coming home to roost, the shit is about to hit the fan, and karma is running over the dogma.

Maybe it’s the advantage of having watched this for so long — I started really paying attention to politics and the outcomes fifty years ago — that I’ve learned to look at the long game and not get caught up in the little glitches, annoyances, and disappointments.  Things have a way of balancing out.  Sometimes it takes quite a while, but it does.

Fifty years ago Bobby Kennedy was running for president.  He was a late entry in the 1968 primaries after LBJ announced in March that he wasn’t running for reelection, and it looked like he had a real chance at winning both the nomination and the election.  Then he walked through the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

A lot of people lost hope and optimism after the events of 1968.  Nixon, Wallace, the “Southern Strategy,” hippies vs. hard-hats; it was all about calculation and cynicism.  And then Watergate happened and we thought we’d fixed it only to find we hadn’t, and then the Moral Majority and weaponized religion and heavenly-inspired hatred came along.  But we started to get some of the good back, and those of us who forty years before saw hope in Bobby Kennedy saw it again in Barack Obama, who would strike that chord for the old and the new.

Of course there would be a visceral reaction on the part of some people to the election of the first African-American president.  They saw equality for all as oppression of the privileged, and worse, they learned that just because you’re rich, white, and Christian, the world does not owe you anything more than the same respect that everyone else is entitled to.  So we got Trump.  But fraud and fakery masquerading as class and competence cannot last forever.  There will be a reckoning.  It may take a while, but it is coming.  Bobby Kennedy may have died in 1968, but his legacy and his goals survived in another form and did win.

My favorite movie was on TCM last night: “Casablanca.”  One of the takeaways of many in that story is that the problems of three little people don’t amount to hill of beans in this crazy world.  But human nature is such that good does win in the end because it is our natural state; doing evil and trickery requires too much energy to outlast that which is good.  As John Patrick once noted, man is by nature optimistic; otherwise we’d eat our young.

4 barks and woofs on “It Takes A While

  1. What makes you think we aren’t eating our young? Underfunded, falling-apart schools, climate-change deniers running the EPA and NASA, faith in the people who are supposed to protect us such as the FBI, the CIA and the courts eroding, not to mention a President who makes their country a laughing stock? What are we leaving the next generation. I envy you your optimism.

  2. I learned a valuable lesson from one of my history professors in college: History is a series of reactions. And the reactions are happening faster and faster, probably because information is flowing faster and faster.

    Trends matter, and the trend throughout the history of this country has been toward equality, tolerance, and diversity.

    So I can take some comfort in the realization that Trump is an aberration — an extreme reaction to the gains of the early part of this century, which built on the gains of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. It’s still a pain to have to live through it, and repairing the damage is going to take years, if not decades, but I’m ultimately optimistic about the resilience of the American people.

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