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.