Malaise & Praise

I confess, I was a child of the sixties, and I grew up during the Viet Nam war. As the war was winding down, I turned eighteen- a seminal age, for that was when my government determined that I was man enough to join the army, whether I wanted to or not.

There were protests in the streets, as the Mainstream Media, which was all there was, got their soundbites and film for the evening news. I was faced with a dilemma- I could be “drafted”- in effect forced into the army to fight the war in southeast Asia, provided my “lottery number” came up. Every year, the government would hold a lottery with the 365 days in the barrel, and the government would draw a certain number out- in my case it was 98 days, and my birthday was designated as #99. I had escaped the draft of that year, 1970. I admit I was relieved- I was not then political, or paying attention to political things. That would come later. For the present moment, I was content to go with the flow, calling Nixon and Kissinger war criminals, and wishing the war would end.

I took my contemporaries opinions to heart, never questioning their logic, and when Nixon resigned, felt some vindication of my positions, even though the positions weren’t really mine, and I hadn’t thought them through. Then came Gerald Ford, and because he was a Republican, he got ridiculed also, for being clumsy, and for being mentally slow, which was far from true, but since the media and Saturday Night Live decided to portray him as inept, he got that reputation.

Oh but wait- there’s LESS- Jiminy Carter was voted into office, and within a year, I had become a political person, because he began to drive this country straight into the ground just as fast as he could.

Have you ever been on a Carny ride gone wrong? I have, and watching that retaining bolt slowly slide out of its position while screaming to the operator , who thought it was hilarious, until the bolt actually fell out next to him. He was lucky it didn’t brain him, and I was lucky my seat didn’t fall off. Jiminy Carter’s one term was like that carny ride- scared me to death, and I couldn’t get off. I’m getting that feeling again.

Then the Iranians took the embassy hostage and kept them for 444 days. 444 days where Carter’s impotence was out in the open for everyone to see. Hell, Kleenex had more backbone.

Twenty minutes after Reagan was sworn in, the Iranians released the hostages- they didn’t want to be a target, and they had a good idea that Reagan would give the order to get our people home. That was, for me, the beginning of national pride to me. No more did we have to be ashamed of ourselves. We could look each other, and more importantly the rest of the world straight in the eyes. No matter what else Ronald Reagan would do, that one thing, the psychological lifting of a weight from our collective shoulders, would do more in the next eight years than anything else.

The difference between the Republicans, as embodied by Reagan, and the Democrats, was stark- Reagan was hopeful, and emphasized our positives, while the Democrats were constantly telling the nation what we were doing wrong. No upbeat message here- we were soap scum, tile grout, the lowest of the low, according to the Democrats. We were sucking the life out of the rest of the world, like global vampires, and the rest of the world believed it, even though we had helped, indeed poked and prodded the USSR, until it folded like a cheap suit, and the threat of a cold war was over, Germany could re- unite, and the beginning of the prosperity of Europe could begin.

Reagan’s terms ended, and George H. W. Bush’s term began, but people had grown weary of Republicans, or perhaps they just didn’t like Bush as much as Reagan, but Bush 41 lasted only one term before Slick Willy slid into office like a slug, leaving a trail.

People like Clinton always make me uneasy, like a used car salesman, or some of these pitchmen you see on TV- you walk past these people holding onto your money tightly, and never taking your eyes off of them. After all, someone who has never worked for a living will never be able to ” feel my pain”. What a crock. And then there was Vince Foster, Whitewater, and let’s not forget Monica- who was truly a sideshow. I didn’t have a problem with Clinton cheating on his wife- heck, his character is so shallow that I EXPECTED that from him- what I resented were his blatant lies to the American people, like a child caught with chocolate on his face, who still denies that he ate the candy.

Well, we all know who was elected next, and thank God he was, because I would have hated to even think how badly Gore would have handled 9/11- he would have “put them in a lockbox” or fined the terrorists carbon credits for flying those planes into the towers. Instead, George W. Bush was elected, and the one thing he had to do and do right, he did. He kept us safe from another attack.

Every President has flaws- I have, as I’ve become more political, read up on many of the presidents we have had, and by and large, they are nothing to write home about- oh, you get glimpses of some exceptional behavior, a la Lincoln, but by and large, the presidents seem to reflect the times they are a part of.

Still, somehow, we seem to get presidents that often can take the reins of the difficulties of the age, and do the one thing that makes sense in those difficult times. We also get the clowns- the presidents that can do nothing right, and rightly should have been run out of town on a rail. Which one is Skinny B?

I’ll let you make up your own mind on that one. I know where I stand. After reading this, you might have solidified your thinking, or not.

Sometimes the circumstances make the man- sometimes they break him.
Blake

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2 Responses to “Malaise & Praise”

  1. In on it not says:

    Random thoughts, butgood thoughts. I grew up the same time, and always thought, Had I been ther, I would have single-handed, won the Vietmnam war.

    Of course I wouldn’t have, but i see the samne thought pattern here in Japan, where business men of that generation still fight to destroy the western devilin memory of their older brothers and father who died the death of a dog for a hopeless cause.

    Unfortunately the liberals are too stupid to realize they are the hopeless cause of this century. From Marx to Mao to Castro to every murderous dick-potato that the libs promoted and whoreshipped, even to Mugabe and the death of Rodesia, they never see thet they sit squarely on the wrong side of every social question and decission.

    But still we love them.

    Or do we?

    • Blake says:

      They say that you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family- so we love them, even while we might think that they are perhaps not quite sane. I have friends that I like a lot, but I have had arguments, because they have that failed hippie ideology, and they refuse to see that it doesn’t work, that it never worked, and they are too vain to admit that they bet on a losing lifestyle and logic.