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Late in the Second World War, the telephone rang in our house, and after a few minutes, Mother gave me the phone.  Dad was calling from a troop ship off Okinawa.  He was with the 77th Infantry of the 10th Army.  I asked him “if he was fighting the war all by himself.”  What a letdown, he wasn’t winning the war all by himself.  He survived.
By that time Eisenhower was President, policemen were God, there were parades in town on holidays, a date could be fun on $5.  The Pledge of Allegiance was changed so we could pray not only to the flag, but to some God.  Church on Sunday, mow the grass twice a week, and stay away from that Jewish girl down the street, she might do things, and don’t put money in your mouth, some black person may have touched it.  I couldn’t wait to find that Jewish girl.
That was my Father’s America.
One day Barry Goldwater came to town to make a speech or raise money or something.  I was standing on my toes to see him over the crowd just as he walked by – and a bodyguard knocked me on my ass.  I’ve been a Democrat ever since.
My job was working in a store, clerking.  We were just over the hill from Berkeley and many of the Berkeley policemen came into the store, most preaching the gospel according to the John Birch Society, funded in part by the Koch family.  Then the students came into the store.  I was hearing both sides; repression, ultimate freedom, and neither seemed realistic.  So, I quit work, went to college and got involved.
Those days were filled with coffee, crappy poetry, funny smelling cigarettes and it was a joy to be alive.  By 1969, the three greatest Liberal leaders of our time had been assassinated. Hope ended.  I will never get over that.  
We understood economics, jingoism, the concept of civil rights, and hate began to emerge.  Condemned for hair style and who we associated with, got tense and a trend of hate began.
Today we have the Tea Party and the wannabe right-wing, Congress has no idea what economics are about, and worse, they get elected.  The aggressive anti-women, anti-civil rights, the barriers to voting, gerrymandering, constant foreign wars, and the non-actions that weaken the Judicial Branch of the federal government.  The Oakland police are beating people again, it’s almost a tradition.  Our government doesn’t trust us anymore, they tap your phone, they watch you have sex in the backyard and at least one congressman wants to police your bedroom.  And while I’m at it, give peace a chance.
I’m going to shoot down the first drone I see.
If Congress could see their way to approving the jobs bills proposed in 2013, especially those aimed at fixing the US infrastructure, adopt the Keynesian model of economics, punish banks that operate against the good of this nation, make the appointments to the judgeships, and develop some compassion for the poor and unemployed, I might smile.  It isn’t happening.  The Tea party is influencing the GOP in the language of fascism.  
Lincoln said at Gettysburg something about government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  That is my America and I ponder the question, “Where has it gone?  

Kootie J
tags:  John Birch Society, Koch Family, Tea Party, Pledge of Allegiance, Eisenhower

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now a days Republicans ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hanging Up My Tusks, rapala

    ... don't need rude bodyguards to turn the public against them.

  •  And while I’m at it, give peace a chance. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    Ahhh, the indomitable human spirit!  Sigh.

    Good diary, thanks.  Am counting on the young 'ns to keep  hope springing eternal in my human breast. Some days are easier than others.

    If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

    by nancyjones on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 02:50:31 AM PST

  •  Tipped and Rec'd (6+ / 0-)

    I am old enough to share many of your memories and to  remember and miss the same America you describe.    When they shot JFK, they killed the future of the American dream.  I think Americans subconsciously understood that, which is was why the nation was so horrified and distressed by the murder of JFK.   Each seceding assassination was an exclamation point that threw dirt on the coffin of the America we once knew and were proud to be a part of.   If anyone had told me then that today was our future, I would have told them they were nuts.    Without dividing the nation into two or blood in the streets, I see no change in course for the people of this country.    We are doomed to live in hell with stupid, greedy, mean people for as far out as I can see.  

    I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 03:14:29 AM PST

  •  the America of our generation has been (6+ / 0-)

    sold to the banksters, who don't give a fek about it but exploit it (including the armed forces) for their profit.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 03:32:30 AM PST

  •  America gave a good try (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    at being better than other countries. But we ultimately failed. Hard to put your finger on where or when. Could have been with the puritan influence, slavery, the industrial revolution, or just human frailties.

    Hate to say it, but I am glad i am old. I really dont want to see the world in fifty years.

    and on a personal note- it is good to see the good name of Lively attached to someone other than that despicable Scott Lively.

  •  America was a good lie that the majority culture (0+ / 0-)

    Told itself. Denial is hard to give up.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:13:36 AM PST

  •  it never existed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mortifyd

    who knew, the nostalgia that drives the Tea Party in that age group exists on the left too. Last weeks' unscientific age poll is interesting now.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:20:32 AM PST

    •  Its because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Santa Susanna Kid
      "The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with."
      Mike Hastie
      U.S. Army Medic
      Vietnam 1970-71
       

      "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

      by BOHICA on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:36:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that america did exist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthippe2, cotterperson

      but only for some. it did for my family.
      of course my mom did get fired from her newspaper job to make way for a man who had a family. never mind that my mom had a family too. today she'd probably get fired today too, but they wouldnt tell her the real reason for it. dont know what is worse. is it worse to be told all is fine now-when it isnt- or to expect all not to be fine to begin with?

      we tend to remember what we want to remember
      but that doesnt mean that part of it wasnt true

  •  You Answered Your Own Question (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, hubcap, johanus, unfangus
    That is my America and I ponder the question, “Where has it gone?
    We were just over the hill from Berkeley and many of the Berkeley policemen came into the store, most preaching the gospel according to the John Birch Society, funded in part by the Koch family.
    The rich took their country back.

    The results of the American Experiment are in. Turns out, aristocratic rule over working poor masses was the answer all along.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 05:15:37 AM PST

  •  reagan killed the fairness doctrine, and the left (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unclebucky, johanus, unfangus, AJayne

    ignored the talk radio monopoly that the right built. still is, for the most part.

    it helped cover up the reagan crimes, 'popularize' the free market ayn randian wet dream, and make hate and ignorance acceptable again.

    democracy was designed to fix and control money and corruption in politics, but 1200 coordinated unchallenged think tanks megaphones make the difference, allow the 1% to create made-to-order constituencies and get away with pretending to be 50%.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:07:54 AM PST

  •  Greed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    The greed of the rich is what has caused all of our problems. They bought the media to spread there propaganda which they used to turn us against one another. Worked very well didn't it. Bought our leaders to passed law to help them shaft us, worked again. Destroyed the unions, there goes the good jobs. They will do anything, tell any lie, whatever it takes to get as much of our money as they can for themselves. And we let it happen and now it has become all most impossible to stop!

    Dogs and Philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards (Diogenes)

    by Out There on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:47:47 AM PST

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