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Our Long National Nightmare: Thoughts about Now and 1974

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Back in 1974, Gerald Ford famously began a speech, "Our long national nightmare is over."

Boy, he had no idea what "long" could be. Try seven and a half years (compared to Watergate's less than two).

He had no idea how scary a "nightmare" could be. (Try not just a few illegalities but an all-out assault on the Constitution and the rule of law.)

I realize that there have been many nations whose nightmares have been longer and more nightmarish than ours has been these seven-plus years. We've still got it pretty good compared to people living in Idi Amin's Uganda, or Hitler's Germany, or Stalin's Russia, or countless other long national nightbares throughout the history of civilization.

But still, to put ourselves back into the mindset and gut feeling of Gerald Ford and of America in 1974 that led to his touching a chord in the nation by saying, "Our long national nightmare is over," we can see how far we've fallen, how grotesque and frightening America has become being under the rule of this Bushite regime.

And it is not yet over.

And more than that, it is not clear how much of this nightmare will be over any time soon.
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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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