AS I LIKE IT!
My recent post bemoaning the sad state of the Republican Party elicited several comments, most of which were favorable. My Mississippi State classmate, Chester Miller, was less than enthusiastic, and posted the following:
You seem to know as much about politics as football. P. C. all the way. If this is your take on the voters, please stop my blog. Don’t have time for fools. Chester
I completely understand Chester’s anger, and I feel his pain. Chester and I grew up in post WWII America, when things were orderly and clear. The United States and its allies had just defeated an evil empire that had threatened Western Civilization, and the country was enjoying the greatest economic expansion in its history. It was a great time to be male and white.
To be honest, there was an undercurrent of unrest among black Americans and women, but for the most part, these issues took a back seat to maintaining the status quo. I’ll always remember the graffiti I saw on the restroom wall of Luper Cole’s Shell Station:
Black is beautiful, tan is grand, but white’s the color of the big boss man.
The nearly all white Democratic Party ruled the South, and Republicans were Ivy League educated Yankees and blacks. God was in his heaven, and all was well in our world.
Gradually, the political landscape began to shift. White Democrats became conservative Republicans, and liberal Republicans became Democrats, and the world that Chester and I found so comfortable, began to show signs of crumbling.
The Republican Party became the voice of our generation, and Ronald Reagan led a movement that had the support of a solid majority of the electorate. Reagan served his two terms in the oval office, and left the United States the undisputed leader of the Western world, supported by a booming economy. Since the Reagan years, the GOP has moved away from the centrist policies that allowed it to win elections and actually rule the country. The far right religious Ayatollahs and the Tea Party extremists have taken over the party.
Chester and I might disagree as to whether or not this is a good thing. Chester might feel very comfortable with the current Republican Party, and who’s to say he’s not right. I think Chester and I would agree that there is a deep seated unrest among our contemporaries concerning the direction of politics in the America of today. Anyone who cannot see the widening gulf between my generation and the politics of today, just ain’t looking.
My observations on the upcoming election are based on three basic concepts: First, my generation has become irrelevant. We can wail and moan to each other about the sad state of the country, but no one is listening to us. Secondly, today’s electorate is much younger than it used to be. These young voters never knew the America I grew up in, and cannot relate to my sense of loss. Thirdly, the demographic make-up of today’s electorate is much more diverse. The majority of these voters never experienced the privileged position that Chester and I enjoyed. They do not relate to its preservation.
A campaign based on anger and demagoguery is doomed to fail in today’s reality. I cannot be certain that Donald Trump will not be elected President in November. We all have to remember that another guy with a funny haircut won in 1933, so it could actually happen here. The election of Trump, or any other far right candidate, cannot turn back the clock and restore the America Chester and I grew up in.
I hope Chester, and all who agree with him, will continue to read my blog. I really try to see the reality of today and write about it. Do my opinions differ from some of my subscribers? Of course they do, and to some extent, these opinions will continue to influence what I write. Like we say in AA, take what you like and ignore the rest.
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Categories: As I Like It!
I still remember flying Chester on his parachute jump at MSU back in the early 60’s. I don’t think he much wanted to, but so many people had bet he wouldn’t do it he couldn’t afford not to. He may have been scared, but he never hesitated. Even whispered a low pitched “Geronimo” before stepping off into the blue.
He was one funny guy, he’ll probably get over his pique. I sometimes think you’ve gone over to the Dark Side as well.
Well said Tom! I am also a member of the “past” generation……..John
Tommy, I thought your comments about state of politics in the USA were, for the most part right on the mark.
The more delegates Trump gains, the more I am tempted to see if I can find a copy of a novel I read over 50 years ago, It Can’t Happen Here.
Bill Howard Nellysford VA
Well said Tom. If we quit reading everything that that differs from our own opinion in any way, there will be nothing left to read. I enjoy reading your blog and even if I don’t always agree, I believe it is good to hear from people with a different outlook.
I pray that our country will find another great leader like Ronnie Reagan. We need that type of courage and character. Few, if any running for office these days, seem to have it!
Mr Lawrence, you are an enlightened man.