This week, I feel it’s my responsibility as your relatively aware and more experienced Uncle Gen X’er to help you though a very interesting time in history where you may be feeling a little, well, freaked out.
Even if you, specifically, aren’t in the midst of a full on panic mode about where the world is heading with Trump’s election, the Brexit vote, global terrorism, a shirtless Putin’s shenanigans, China’s inability to admit that they are actually more capitalistic than communist and, let’s not forget batshit crazy Kim Jun North Korea boy and his massive insecurities being played out on the world stage in the form of threatening to nuke anyone that points out that emperor has no clothes on…I would like to offer up a little clarity as to why all of this shit doesn’t point to a pending apocalyptic, scorched earth melt-down…at least not as far as you should be concerned.
So, here’s the skinny,
Have you ever heard the riddle… “If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?”
Well, that’s basically describes what is happening right now…
For the record, hell ya, that tree makes a sound, but only to those who can hear it. And, wayyyyy back in the day before the internet and smart phones and the ability to practically send a message from any part of the world at any time to anybody, there were times when really bad shit was going down, but most of the time, most people didn’t hear about it because they didn’t have the ability to get the message, with the exception of newspapers or let’s say network or cable news…both sources that are strictly controlled and filter out the stuff they don’t want you to hear about and react to.
So, let’s jump back to the big banana here, which, even if you’re not in the States, would be the Trump presidency, which is going to happen tomorrow (I am obviously taping this on Jan. 19th, 2017, but if you’re listening on a later date, all this stuff still applies). Because, and I want to really stress this point,
…just because this one guy is becoming president of the United States, it doesn’t mean that he has the ability to fundamentally change the world. Don’t get me wrong…yes, he has his own policies and direction that he wants the country (and the world) to go, and, yes, he’s appointing some real interesting people to his administration with some very interesting ideas that, let’s just say are pretty much polar opposite of our policy and direction under President Obama.
And, yes, both houses of congress do have a republican majority, so I can see where you might be a little freaked out that Trump word vomits about deporting millions of people and thinks climate change is a hoax, and is a massive misogynist and low functioning narcissist and a classless windbag that contradicts himself at every turn.
Even with all of that, there is some good news because…wait for it…we’ve been through this before, multiple times, and we have survived and actually grown from the process.
Here’s a quick look back in our own US history to show you the type of morons we’ve had “leading the country”. Yes, there have been a ton of incompetent idiot rulers around the world throughout history…I’ll touch on that after my Presidential rant.
So, let’s start with James Buchanan…he was the president right before the Civil War started…the one before Abe Lincoln.
Buchanan fought hard for tradition… the tradition of slavery. He supported the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision affirming that slaves were property, and he helped those trying to spread slavery to new states and even Cuba. When the South announced its intention to secede, and states started dropping out of the Union — when America’s greatest existential crisis loomed — Buchanan boldly and decisively sat on his hands, giving the Confederacy time to organize, which, as we know, led to the Civil War.
How about Andrew Johnson? He was the President right after Lincoln. This guy is a real peach…a passionate white supremacist who gleefully did everything within his power to undo Lincoln’s legacy, right up to and including pardoning Lincoln’s murderer’s co-conspirators. He let Southern politicians enact Black Codes (the precursors to Jim Crow laws), vetoed civil rights initiatives, and turned a blind eye to anti-black violence that swept the South. He was impeached, but not removed from office, paving the way for another hundred years of institutional racism.
Now it’s time for a little dick…Richard Nixon…ask any of your hippie grandparents and I’m sure they’ll have something to say about this guy. Yeah, he did open China up for us, but, in the spirit of pointing out bad decisions…I give you this…He dragged out the Vietnam War for five extra years, tried to strangle civil rights in its cradle, launched covert ops against college students, and birthed the idiotic-in-retrospect War on Drugs. Basically, he did everything a self-respecting third-world dictator would do, short of setting up a secret police. (Oh, wait — he did that too.) “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal,” he told an instantly jubilant David Frost.
That leads me to President Barack Obama…I’m actually not including him with these idiots, but I would like to point out that, at the time of his first election win in 2008, there was an entire group of people that blew a nut gasket, thinking we were on the verge of turning into one giant welfare state. They thought that his bleeding heart liberal viewpoint would lead to a “re-distribution of wealth” down to the poor and “ethnic” portions of society. There were a lot of people that were not inherently racist that though he was going to favor “Black America”, which would essentially leave them stranded. I actually heard some back-woods racist asshole make reference to his Presidency being like Planet of the Apes…yeah, shit was pretty bad and a lot of people thought he would destroy the country.
And remember a little earlier when I made reference to the world hosting a wide range of nutjob leaders throughout history…well, just ask one of your British friends about Henry VIII or Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, or chat with your French friends about King Louie XVI and Marie Antoinette or Ivan the Terrible or Napoleon, or, oh yeah…that Hitler guy.
Bottom line is…the voting system has spoken and now we have to pull up our big girl and boy pants and “accept” the reality of the world as it is…however, that doesn’t mean you have to be cool with it.
I always thought, and it appears history has always witnessed this out, that action on a large scale is usually only enacted when the leverage of shit is so bad for so many people, that you basically have no choice but to do something about it.
The excuse of…I wouldn’t know what to do or I’m just one person, it wouldn’t matter anyway, is not valid anymore because now there is a large, powerful, vocal group that you can add your voice to that will make it even stronger.
If you’re not cool with the election…if you’re not cool with the Syrian refuge mess…if you’re not cool with racism or sexism in and around your school or neighborhood…then, get the fuck up, start talking about it, start researching organizations that you can join or that can help your fight, start getting the word out to friends and even facebook friends about what you want to see changed…start…start…start…
You will most definitely run into road blocks and close-minded assholes and doors in your face, but at the end of the day, you’re gonna hit that pillow and “know” you are right where you should be…you are living YOUR life…and you are making a fucking difference…