Monday, April 11, 2016

Redneck Ramblings

Back in 1980, before he was Cosmo Kramer, Michael Richards was on an SNL-like sketch comedy show -- probably on ABC -- called "Fridays" or "Friday Nights" or something.  I don't feel like looking it up.  Anyway, in the run-up to the 1980 presidential election, there was a skit where Richards and another cast member played a couple of '60s hippie types who had grown up a little and gotten married.  Richards' character announced to his still-liberal wife that he was voting for Reagan because he was "tired of America being kicked around".

Around the same time (again, too lazy to really care), Charlie Daniels introduced the rocking redneck anthem "In America".  I happened to be watching TV with a Vietnam vet when Charlie did that song perhaps on some award show.  My friend was a certified dope-smoking hippie who laughed about watching rocket attacks while stoned during his SE Asian tour of duty.  He was literally standing and cheering as "In America" finished.  "That," he said, "ought to be our new national anthem."

There was, in 1980, a strong undercurrent of positive, pro-American sentiment among Boomer men.  Remember, we had, despite the Beatles, psychedelic drugs, and paisley shirts, been raised on TV Westerns like "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke", "The Rifleman", et al.  We were still Americans.  We believed in the system.  We believed that America was meant to be great, that we, as Americans, were basically good people who made mistakes but meant well.  We still believed in honor, loyalty, courage, and fair play.

We were not nearly as cynical as I have since become toward the government and the economic system in this country.  We were also not the minority that we are now.  Reagan was a cowboy.  Most of us remembered him from "Death Valley Days".  We might have been dope-smoking freaks, but we felt a kinship with the mythical American cowboy, the loner who rides into a corrupt town to right wrongs and bring a little justice, even at the smoking end of a six-shooter, if it came to that.

Reagan may have had good intentions, but he did not save the system.  He got tax cuts without spending cuts.  Paul Volkmer did a good job of getting runaway inflation under control, but the Fed remained to vex us.  Amnesty for a few Mexican landscapers and lettuce-pickers didn't seem like such a big deal in 1986.

The Boomer generation is rolling over.  More of us are retiring every day.  We no longer control the culture, therefore, we no longer control the political narrative.  Reagan was denounced by the media and pop culture much the way Trump is denounced today.  The demographics have changed, however.  "Conservative" candidates are not going to win high-turnout national elections, and Trump is not Reagan.  Reagan was Wyatt Earp.  Trump is Gordon Gekko.

The United States of America as I knew it has ceased to exist.  Trump is not going to win the nomination.  As I have said, I don't think he would be a particularly good president, but I had hope he might burn the system down without violence and bloodshed.  Soon, perhaps in my lifetime, depending on how long that is, the illusion of America as one nation is going to end.  The fiction will hold through this election.  Hillary Clinton will likely succeed Obama, who stands a good chance of ending up on the Supreme Court.

Open civil war is unlikely.  Burning cities are very likely.  Race war is quite possible.  After all, if everything is racist, to paraphrase Dash in The Incredibles, nothing is racist.

I rather wish the Founders had left the Articles of Confederation in place with a few adjustments.  I kind of wish we had a parliamentary system.  I almost wish a nuclear bomb would hit Washington, D.C. during the next State of the Union address.  Not a big one.  Just enough to take out the central government and the bureaucracy with the wind blowing hard from the west.

Ok, I will admit I do not want D.C. nuked.  I want a huge wall around it with all outgoing signals jammed so Americans will no longer be subjected the infectious insanity.  As much as I detest massive central governments and the intrusive surveillance state, I don't wish death upon my enemies or the disintegration of the nation.  Like our voting choices, though, losing a few hundred politicians could turn out to be the lesser evil.  

Update:  Looks like Denninger is in much the same mood.


  1. Hi Mushroom, some things lie within our control, others not so much. We work we pray, we engage, we love. What was it that the prophet said again "Do justly, love mercy and work humbly with thy God'.

    The rest is up to him.

  2. Verily, that is the answer. I was reading Psalm 89 last night and was struck with how little attention God gives to making us comfortable with our situations. He knows what He is doing, and He knows how to bring about the right end. He calls us to trust Him.