By David Glenn Cox
As centuries go, the Twenty-first leaves me cold. Nine eleven and the stupid wars. The Program for a new American Century, pseudo-intellectuals stroking their beards and saying, “What if we?” The subterfuge and weaponry trying to keep this country the number one jock on the rock. Technology and mass propaganda trying to convince one and all that America has all the answers. Unaware that what the world admired wasn’t George Washington it was Sunday dinner. Turkey and dressing, public schools, automobiles, and unlocked doors.
The unipolar world and the unitary executive like the child given everything squandering its inheritance to build a technological tower of Babel, just so he can shake his fist at the world. Boy, we sure showed them! Broke and unprepared for anything, during World War II American Aircraft carriers thousands of miles from our shores went through one hundred and fifty gallons of ice cream per day. While this generation their heirs struggle to keep public schools open. Universities and public libraries the rich and poor sisters of American life struggle equally because the police need a new armored personnel carrier and surveillance drones.
How did we go from giants like Roosevelt and Kennedy to the wrestling dwarves of “W” and the Cheeto? Stripping the farm bare trying to defend the farm. Selling off the ideas which made us great for the candy and allure of tax cuts. Literally throwing tens of million of men women and children under the bus destroying their futures for a weekend home in the Hamptons where you keep your Maserati in the five-car garage. The rich get richer and the poor get angry. A general malaise, the fading belief in institutions and political parties. Log Cabin Republicans out to advocate for Gay rights in a Party that would just as soon build crematoriums to incinerate them as listen to them.
For the Democrats two words, Hillary Clinton. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not make Hillary likable again. From the Corporate wing of the we just say we’re Democrats Democratic Party. Unless you’re paying attention, you’ll never know the difference. I can’t believe it’s not Republican. The extreme Republican Party and the moderate Republican Party. An Obama era program allowed unemployed workers to work full time for an employer just to continue earning their unemployment checks. The employer got free labor the employee got screwed. The Obama plan was based on a Republican plan out of Georgia…see what I mean? “Oh, that’s a great idea!”
The path we have traveled is the road which brought us here. The nomination of Hillary Clinton was the election of Donald Trump energizing Republicans while euthanizing the Democratic base. She offered more of the same unaware that more of same for most Americans sucked. So here we are with five years left to play in the first quarter of the Twenty-first Century. Facing an economic emergency, a health emergency, and a social emergency. We are broke and in debt and Captain Crunch is at the wheel of the ship of state. When actually, no one is at the helm.
We face a non-existential environmental crisis of rising tides and raging weather which will not extinguish humanity. It will only return us back to the twelfth century and reduce our numbers by ninety percent and give or take about a thousand years or so we’ll be fine. And despite mountains of evidence the Republican Party declares it is all a hoax. A person or persons unknown are secretly conspiring to use the fear of environmental devastation to destroy our economy. And people fall for it. It is either the beginning of a Marvel comic book or the plot line for the new James Bond movie.
The Cheeto yesterday reached a new low. I will repeat, Yesterday the Cheeto reached a new low. He tweeted out pictures of a black man pushing an older white woman and asked…” Where are the protesters?” It is stunning in its ignorance, a supposedly college educated man speaking like a backwoods’ tobacco juice spitting redneck. Unaware that for most of this country’s existence African Americans were murdered by the thousands for crimes such as not tipping their hat or looking at a white woman the wrong way.
Denied basic civil and human rights and denied an education. Locked into poverty herded into ghettos and told, “Now, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” I heard a story recently which took place in my hometown of Chicago in 1921. A seventeen-year-old black man had drifted into an area of lake Michigan reserved for whites only. Remember now, the lake is only a couple of hundred miles long, so proximity is important. A crowd of white people stoned this young man to death and the police refused to file charges. Yeah, I guess shoving and old woman would even things up. I could take you to Montgomery and show you where the lynching’s were done right outside the old city limits and convenient to the pauper’s cemetery.
The civil right movement of the 1950s and 60s awoke America’s conscience. Most white people examined their hearts while others armed themselves. Living in Alabama for over twenty years I can honestly say that I’ve never met a Klansman I would take home to meet the family. Pathetic individuals the soapy hair scum around the shower drain. But with the murder of George Floyd we see the need to dismantle institutional racism. The horror of being murdered because of the color of your skin. The horror of being a parent and knowing when your child walks out the door they might not come back. The knowledge that resisting arrest and running away are pseudonyms for state sanctioned murder.
I don’t know which frightens me more a President that would tweet nineteenth century ignorance or the realization that there is no one left in the White House to stop him.