28 February 2010: Whose Fault? Our Fault!!!
In the midst of this bedlam in domestic politics over health care and the natural disasters overseas when not here that corroborate screaming Al Gore's predictions; amid the mind-blowing experience of Judy Collins performing in a glittery blue pants suit last week, singing "Both Sides" now in a quasi-atonal mode; after a brief correspondence with Tom Haydn, that so delighted me, I have experienced the following vision: As much as we hate the Republicans and their utter deafness to the cries of 45 million people unemployed, homeless, and lacking health care, the cliche "It takes two to tango" occurs to me also.
I so pride myself for having been part of the late sixties Children's Crusade. But the historically predictable coservative backlash followed quickly with our candidates', Humphrey and McGovern's devastating defeats.
At a Democratic rally at UCLA, in 1972,students taunted him for an alleged affair with Gloria Steinem. That was the least of our problems.
After our "childish" rebellion, we went for the comfy gold of our parents, bequeathing our rebellion to the seventies students, who tried to follow.
While we condemn the Neocons for their greedy devastation of our millennial economy, even as I rant that the sum of Wall Street's record-breaking bonuses this year--even as they refuse to lend us back our own tax money, even to aspiring small-business entrepreneurs, McCain's favorite targets--could probably fund the health-care reforms so badly needed by 16 percent of our population.
But beyond that, despite the Powell Manifesto that set the dumbing-down process in motion, we the geniuses of the twentieth century rested on our laurels, taught in our history courses about conservative backlashes.
The activism died, to a large extent. We did protest the Vietnam war, the savage killed fields engineered by a Nobel Peace prize winner. But our crowds had thinned.
We should have mentored the next generation of wannabe's and mimicks. We should have been far more insightful. We failed our country.
We got sucked in by Watergate, petty theft compared to the Bush 43 years, when such deeds occurred daily and far more destructively and far more insideously.
Nostra culpa. What was I doing? Studying classical philology, because the strongest message to emerge from my liberal arts education had been the dictum of Socrates that I knew nothing.
My dad did not receive that news with understanding, even though as a graduate of the Viennese gymnasium, he always made me feel illiterate. Was that the sum and substance of his large investment ($3100, expensive at that time)?
We were driving in the boiling heat of June down to New Orleans to celebrate a very diametrically opposite event, my brother's graduation from Tulane as an M.D. The dean drawled to the audience of family with a chuckle that he was going to administer the"Hypocritical Oath" to "the boys."In those days, it was impossible to get into med school because the degree guaranteed, after the grueling years of internship and residency, astronomical salaries and the reverence that came with it. They would be the doctors, though the word itself actually means "teacher," I once informed a fabulously wealthy ophthalmologist in Beverly Hills. Ph.D.s frequently ended up working at McDonald's or KMart. We "humanists" were ridiculed as we waited on tables with our perfect grammar and academic poise.
As I say about my religiosity, an on-again--off-again state of mind, the spirit evaporated.
Now, after eight years of hell under Bush 43, We Progressives are abusing that miracle we fought for, a dream come true: a Democratic sweep and all it promised. Obama was our great white hope come alive.