A Student's View on the History of My Adult Life.
At some point in time, probably when going to college seemed like a better occupation than taking a menial form of labor, I determined that I would remain forever a student of life. And though I have since put in my time working nearly 30 years in the mental health system, I very fortunately remain a student of life, and the history of my times. It has come in handy many times in my life, especially this current psychotic moment. I have watched recently, following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, a number of friends and relatives temporarily, I hope, lose their minds. Fortunately, I believe, I remain, at most times, in the observer role, after all when you have successfully peeled away every layer of the onion, this is all that remains, and is what will transfer "me" to my next experience.
The past several months has brought with it some events that I thought that I would never see, for example the Cubs winning the world series, and the raising of the voice of the people to "out vote" the establishment-yes, Hillary was the establishment choice for president; speak loudly if surprisingly and elect Trump. Unfortunately, some of what I have observed in the past several weeks has become all too predictable, and not in keeping with this "new world of possibilities. It seems that many have not been able to see that the world had reached a point of no return, either annihilation or change.
On the day after the inauguration, I watched a video of protestors breaking windows in Portland Oregon. Most were dressed in black, with hoodies and black masks. I watched, somewhat humorously, as one very un-atheletic specimen took a feeble swing at a window with a baseball bat, and failed to break it. It took him three swings to break the window after which he ran away to the safety of the crowd. Now, you might think me delusional, but I swear I saw this same person in a video of the riot at Berkeley, the same guy, it appeared, the same three swings to break the window, and again the very un-atheletic dash back to the crowd. Now one would wonder how the same guy ended up at two different protests. The first a Portlander, who didn't act much like a Portlander-now you might say Portlanders are liberal, yes, but not ordinarily violent. The second, a Berkeley student, who didn't act like a Berkeley student. Well, maybe he did, after all Berkeley has a history, but I don't think this was a student. I think it is what we have been seeing for months, hired thugs to agitate and promote violence at protests. What better way to turn a demonstration into a war.
Well, anyway, that is a long introduction that doesn't really introduce anything. This is supposed to be about my experience since the sixties. So where to begin. I choose to start with President Kennedy.
Kennedy defeated Nixon in a hotly contested race, and while many of us attributed the Kennedy win to the debates-Kennedy was young and handsome, Nixon pale (bad make up job) and not inspiring confidence. This was the first year the debates were televised and a lot of people didn't like Nixon. Obviously this was a lesson Nixon learned. Not only was the race hotly contested, it was controversial as well as the Kennedy family likely made a deal with the mob which possibly turned the tide in Kennedy's favor. Kennedy's brother later as Attorney General went after the mob which may be part of what cost both of them their lives. Admittedly the assasination of John Kennedy was one of the most profoundly disturbing moments of my life.
Also of note is Kennedy's involvement in the Viet Nam war, and while he did not start it, he did increase America's participation. And while he may have been having second thoughts about the war at the time of his death, Kennedy had increased the number of troops in Viet Nam to 16,000, and while this is a far cry from the totals under Johnson or Nixon, it also did not dip under this number until the withdrawal at the end of the war.
It is said, by some, that the Deomocratic party is the war party, noting that World War I started under Wilson-some would say actually under his wife as Woodrow was in a coma, WWII under Roosevelt, the Korean conflict under Truman, and the Viet Nam war under Kennedy. While the responsibility of an entire war, especially a world conflict cannot be attributed to one political party, still there is more here than coincidence.
Now this is a point where I get somewhat confused. The Democratic Party is generally considered the "liberal" party, and I know this is a simplistic view as there are likely liberals in both parties, and well as libertarians.
The confusion arrives when we start to define liberal. Here is what I found on Wiki: "Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems." This just does not seem to fit a party that has come to be known as the starter of wars. Yet,...
I spent nearly a year in Viet Nam, in the US Army. I was drafted, and sent to a war zone under a Democratic administration. This is as close to a fact as I can get. It is hard for me to see how the civil rights and human rights of many were not violated by this war, a war usually considered an illegal action.
I suppose, also, that we should consider that not all in a political party are of the same mind. There are "hawks" and "doves." Those whose answer to any disagreement with any other nation is almost always war, and those who answer usually is peace. We should also consider that during WWII, there were corporations, Rockefeller, and politicians, Prescott Bush, who support and aided Hitler. The unraveling of political agendas is never easy.
To further complicate things we have those called conservative. See definition here: "Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems." This generally is thought to be the Republican Party, again simplistically. And while Bush was a Republican, and started America's longest war, the Republican party as one can see from the definition above favors individual liberty.
It should also be added here that American is not technically a democracy, though it does incorporate some ideas. A true democracy, so far, has not worked on planet earth-it seems this would take a higher developed human. "If you want the most technical term, our country is a constitutionally limited representative democratic republic. Our form of government, the constitution limits the power of government. We elect representatives, so it's not a pure democracy."
I digress some. When I got out of the army, I was changed. I embraced, to some degree, the hippie movement of love and peace, though it did not take long to see through the politics of Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden, the treason of Jane Fonda. As a matter of course, I became apolitical, and remain so to this day. What I came to see, over the years, is that corporations are the power behind all politics, all countries, which of course makes virtually the whole world fascist, which is basically rule by corporations. So one would wonder, how is there still conflict? Why do the ultra rich constinue to pursue more and more riches? There is, of course, a theory that is increasing in supporters, that of financing a "secret space program." I have not reached the place of embracing this theory, but one does have to wonder where all of the money goes.
So I'm wondering what point I'm trying to make here. I suppose, if anything, I'm trying to point out that the world was headed into an abyss, and then a couple of things happened that seemed impossible, at least, when compared to my previous experience. First the Cubs won the world series. Just a game you say, and yes it is. However, it had been 108 years, and having watched and experienced the suffering of Cubs fans over the years, from the bottom of my heart, I did not think it possible. Secondly, I believed that Hillary Clinton was truly the choice of evil doing Capitalist intent on starting WWIII. Have you ever anylyzed your dreams where it just seems that you repeat over and over the behavior of the past, and there's just no changing it, until the day that you do. I never though I would see the day that the "Establishment" was defeated. Yet, rural American stood up, and said enough. They quietly embraced Donald Trump, and now we experience, I believe, the chaos associated with the healing of a truly sick society. For some of the symptoms that this society was displaying see my previous blog.
A third event of particular note is what is called Pizzagate. This is said to be a pedophile ring in the heart of Washington DC, and while this has not bee fully detailed as yet, it is said to involve politicians and corporate giants. And while it still lies in secrecy two events have occurred in recent days, the arrest of 474 people in California for sex trafficking, and the suggestion that the New York police department is close to arresting Anthony Weiner for sexting an underage girl.
While many of you are highly disturbed and in denial about all that has taken place, try to take the observer stance. Save your energy, and your mental health. Simply notice. All may be well after all.