Swamped

Having failed to take my own advice, I have not slept well in several nights.  I find myself waking at all hours with a feeling of dread. Fear for my country, fear for the environment, fear for my children. Cold unadulterated fear. What have Americans done?

The Donald having promised to drain whatever swamp he imagined existed here in Washington DC seems to be making one with his selection of staff as well as his own bizarre behavior. Rules don’t apply to this super wealthy big spoiled brat.  He is a nightmare from a Jane Austin novel.  Civility and manners are not him.

In the nineteenth century, because land speculators and developers like Donald bought all the land on high ground in and around Washington DC, the federal part of the District of Columbia was constructed on what was once a real swamp.  Areas like the Tidal basin, so beautiful when the Japanese cherry trees blossom, are artful examples of how to drain a swamp, or at least make it attractive.

With the exception of a few years spent in Florida and Hawaii, I’ve lived and worked in the Washington DC area since January 1961.  The city seemed to function fairly well until Reagan (“when you’ve seen one redwood tree you’ve seen um all”) and his band of slash and burn pals like James Watt arrived. Even then, Tip O’Neil and his Boston boys in Congress kept Ronald from running amuck and wrecking the environment.

But today as the hooligans threaten to set environmental progress back hundreds of years, there is no Democrat Congress to block them. God help us.

Democrats wring their hands and say what did we do wrong.  Well for one thing, Democrats lost control of governorships and legislatures, especially at critical times…just before censuses.  They lost these elections because they failed to turn out and vote in years other than those with presidential races. Local elections matter because state legislatures draw the boundaries of election districts.  Although some elected officials draw the boundaries equably, many draw these boundaries to favor themselves. That’s called gerrymandering. Much of the US is now comprised of gerrymandered election districts.

The vast right-wing conspiracy is real, as anyone who does a bit of research finally realizes.  Stealthily, these ‘alt-right’ types have been gaining ground since the 1950s, beginning with Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, brain-washing us with their message that life in the nineteenth century was wonderful and anyone slightly left is evil. Believing their own lies, they fight dirty.  They sell the ignorant on platitudes about the “good old days.”  Once upon a time, Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s lawyer, was Trump’s mentor.

                                        ***

Reading The President’s Club this week, I learned about the dirtiest right-wing trick of all.  The Vietnam War could have ended in 1968. Think  about that.  Think about how many people died in Vietnam after 1968.

Rather than let  LBJ get credit for ending the war, the right wing, led by Nixon, sabotaged the Paris peace agreement.

Nixon was pure evil.  Its all there in those infamous White House tapes.  And then remember that HIllary worked on the Congressional Committee staff investigating the Watergate break-in. No wonder the alt-right was out to get her.

16 thoughts on “Swamped

  1. I know exactly how you are feeling. I’ve never felt so concerned for my country. One of the things DT learned from Joe McCarthy’s Cohen was to just put lies of any sort out there — keep repeating them and a certain number of people would accept them as truth — but never retract them. He’s been doing that since he began his campaign.

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  2. You are absolutely right about Democrats paying the price for concentrating so heavily on presidential elections. In addition to the gerrymandering, there is another important aspect to holding state offices, especially governorships. Governors aren’t potent forces nationally, but they do control and build party organizations that produce lots of votes in presidential years. Republicans now hold a huge advantage in numbers of governors.

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    • So true. States have much power. Anyone who has national aspirations better remember this. Another aspect of failure is taking a state for granted. I understand Flint voters stayed home. Perhaps they felt ignored.

      Republicans holding the governorships in several “rust belt” states, should have made the Clinton team more wary.

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    • Even when my classmates through a bucket of blood over a CIA recruitment officer during the Vietnam war, I kept my head down and went to class.

      Today, my ‘activism’ consists of good works. Never have participated in marches or civil disobedience. Don’t think they accomplish anything anyway. I’m more of a crawl under the covers and keep my head down person these days.

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  3. Hooligans and racists gleefully preparing to destroy our country as we speak. I’m not sleeping well either. The pills for my broken finger and sprained wrist are not helping with that kind of psychological pain.

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  4. Horror isn’t even the word for this mess. He’s going to have layers of bad guy lists that far out do Nixon’s paranoid lists. All we can do is stick it out and keep waving our opinions. One of my friends on Facebook posted a list of those Companies who support Trump. I’m going to join her in boycotting them.

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  5. To my shame I am only just starting to understand something of your political system, and I too am horrified at what has happened. I wonder if or how the Presidents Club will operate? But then here in the UK we are in a mess as well. By the way, I am getting to grips with said book – amazing.

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    • Our political system is very complex. Trump didn’t outsmart it, he outsmarted ignorant people who let themselves be conned by lies spread by his minions. Now we all pay for the mess. Exactly how Germany got Hitler.

      Great book, although you will be disturbed by the machinations of Nixon and subsequent Republican cronies who will do anything to win an election…anything.

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