Besides writing about health issues and my own personal experiences, I also wanted to write about social, cultural and political issues of the day, which I have done a little bit. But those issues seem to be more and more annoying. Things are more bizarre than ever now. I am in my mid-50s and frankly, the trends need to be reversed or we’re in deep doo-doo.
I remember the 1980s when people expressed concern about President “Ronald Ray-Gun” with his finger on the button. When he claimed that he had “just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever, we begin bombing in 5 minutes,” the Russians panicked. But Americans knew he was just joking. (Imagine if Donald Trump did that. Yikes.)
And Reagan would be hounded by the press corps and he’d refer to them as being “surrounded by the sharks.” Most often he would only take questions outside with the loud noisy helicopters waiting.
So in the 1980s there was the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal, but that was a real thing that happened so it’s good that some people actually got in trouble for it. But now? The Trump-Russia thing that never was. All the hysteria over something that never happened and was in fact a set-up. As progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote in response to the media hysteria on the Mueller report, there was no there there. (And I don’t like Donald Trump, except for his ability to provoke the media and other Beltway people.)
But Reagan at least had an understanding of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. No such luck with Donald Trump.
Prior to the 1980s, I remember the Vietnam War during the 1970s and fearing that that might be me having to go out there. I was in middle school when the war ended. And they ended the draft as well. Phew, that was close. (And then Jimmy Carter brought back registration for the draft. Apparently, Carter didn’t get the memo about “unalienable rights” as referred to in the aforementioned Declaration of Independence.) I remember seeing, I think, Bernard Kalb and Morley Safer actually out there on the battlefield covering the Vietnam War.
And then later in 1991 we had George H.W. Bush start a war in Iraq that then caused a lot of blowback, and more wars, violence, terrorism. So, the Reagan years were not so bad in that regard, situated between the LBJ-Nixon Vietnam War and the Bush wars from 1991 to the present. Of course, the younger Bush, Clinton, Obama and Trump never had to go to war. Yet, they became big warmongers, drone bombers, etc.
Also back in the 1970s, I remember the culture clashes that really began during the 1960s. There were the “Women’s Libbers” and bra burners, like Helen Reddy and “Hear me roar, I am woman, I am invincible,” and all that. Now we have an entire LGBT industry that is getting so extreme it is turning against itself, and against feminists like Camille Paglia. You can’t say “he” or “him” in reference to someone who actually is a biological male if said male demands to be referred to as a female. People want laws to mandate that kind of Orwellian speech authoritarianism. In fact, there are such laws in some counties.
So, that whole crowd of political correctness run amok is quite bothersome, and who knows where that’s going to go. And on the other side, we have the Donald Trump authoritarians who want draconian immigration restrictions and a police state. It seems to me that extreme nationalists don’t get the idea of “unalienable rights” as written in the Declaration of Independence, as I mentioned above.
Why is this culture stuff so important to those people? They’re wrecking our freedom in the name of “preserving our culture,” so it seems. Why can’t they look at the causes of the immigration crisis? Perhaps address the war on drugs? Prohibition causes underground markets which cause the drug trafficking, etc. And we know that prohibition hasn’t kept people from getting their damn drugs all these 60 years of the war on drugs. Duh. And perhaps address the welfare state?
Speaking of the welfare state, Donald Trump is a self-proclaimed economic nationalist. Part of economic nationalism is the scheme of taxation and redistribution, as well as heavy and intrusive regulations. So, Trump and the conservatives support the welfare state, funded by non-consensual taxation and by withholding as well. Prior to the 20th Century, America had seen the biggest rise in the standard of living during the 2nd half of the 19th Century. In that earlier era, Americans had the freedom to do whatever they wanted with all their earnings and wealth and the government didn’t take it away from them, they had the freedom to do business however they wanted without government restrictions and demands to fill out this or that form, and people had the freedom to leave and return to America without being questioned like suspects.
And that is what I have to say about all that. For now.