22 02 2012

Our time does move on, but not nearly quick enough.  Next President after awful Johnson was Richard Nixon who finally won.  Nixon was a very good President at first.  He had promised to stop this terrible war in Vietnam and he did just that.  He dealt with the enemy and managed to not only stop the war but to bring all our men who were prisoners home, too.  In my mind’s eye, I can still see those poor men being carried across that line and into freedom once again.  Thank You, Dear God!

But Nixon got tangled up in that Watergate deal and that is all that people remember about him now.  It was a terrible shame, but it happened anyway.  Next we had Gerald Ford who became President after Nixon resigned in disgrace.  Ford was a very good President, too.  However, the media tried to make him look like a dunce most of the time. Then the next guy, Jimmy Carter, campaigned on the need for change.  Have you heard that one before?

So, we changed alright.  We still had the agenda of no work, lots of pay for everyone though.  And some people took full advantage of all that.  Still do.  He also created the Dept. of Education which is a disaster to this day.  If the government would butt out of education, we might be able to teach our children some actual academics.  Teaching really is not that hard.  Most children are eager to learn.  It only needs to be presented so they can learn effectively and then it is a done deal. But with the government monitoring all the textbooks and planning all the presentations, that is not likely to happen.  So, we now have an educational system that does not work for anyone.  But we have lots and lots of extra teachers and lots of expenses and of course that Dept. of Education to tell us all how to live.   Carter also introduced us to lots of inflation and high prices. And he even sent some of our men to a foreign country where they were captured and paraded for all the world to see with blindfolds on.

Then, Dear God, you sent us Ronald Reagan, a Republican who could read and count and make us proud of our country once again.  And boy, we really needed it at that time. Reagan actually cut taxes where we could see it and in doing so, he stimulated the economy so we could all live a decent life once again. He cut back on government expenditures and this was a real breath of fresh air.  He had made George H.W. Bush his Vice President and when Reagan did not run again, Bush ran on the promise to make this a kinder and gentler nation and said, ‘No New Taxes!’ and meant it.  But then, he was forced to raise taxes and that caused him to lose the election  when he ran against Bill Clinton.

Next, Bill Clinton was elected President after serving  as Governor of Arkansas.  On his last election as Governor, he promised the people that he would not run for President and then did just that.  Again, he ran on the need for change.  Here we go again.  We got change alright.  A complete publicly discussed moral change in this country.

By now, those disrespectful children of that earlier time were about through with their demonstrations.  Most of them had aged and could no longer sleep on the sidewalk nor walk the miles they had in the past.  So some opted to re-enter mainstream America and raise families like the rest of us had done for centuries. However, they forgot to hand down those little niceties to their children that had been taught for generations.  Most of them were never taught how to say, please or thank you and even to respect another man enough to say Sir.  During those years of demonstrations, it had been the norm to refer to others as ‘Man’ which does not sit very well with most people. Everyone has a name.  And everyone expects to be treated with respect and dignity.

Somehow, all that got lost in the shuffle.  Of course most of these younger children had been raised in the day cares or the after school cares or the pre-schools.  Very few of them had any actual training from their parents.  This was the way of the world now.  This was our resulting ‘change’.  Father must work, mother must work and in the two income family, monetary things are not any better than they were when only father worked and mother stayed home and took care of the family.  But then,  they were in charge.


21 02 2012

We had managed to live through the latest of crisis.  After 1955, the world sort of leaned over just a bit on its axis.  First, we had that integration crisis in Little Rock.  Eisenhower took care of that one with his tanks.  Then we had shortages of coffee, sugar, bacon and other various products.   Why, I don’t really remember, but I’ll just bet it had something to do with prices.

The news media was running things more and more these days and everyone was listening and paying attention to whatever it was they said.  Mostly because everyone was watching that box in their living room and in their bedroom and in their kitchen.  But we were all more prosperous than ever before.  And it was fun for most people.

In my life, we were living in an 800 square foot house, very happily.  And we had a new baby and a 3 year old.  I was busy at home and my husband was busy traveling and selling.  Most of my neighbors were living the same sort of life as me.  Husbands left home on Monday and returned on Thursday.  We mothers watched out for each other, drank coffee together, and watched our kids play.   But that world just kept rolling right along.

A young whiz bang named John F. Kennedy won the next election.  He had all the support of the media behind him in his election bid.  He was running against a Republican name Richard Nixon who had served as  Vice President under Eisenhower.  The media did all they could to help Kennedy and hurt Nixon.  We had the first of the television debates and the media even made fun that Nixon needed a shave.  All of America was watching these debates and people stood in line for hours in order to vote.

When Kennedy was inaugurated, he had the full support of most of the country. But the first thing Kennedy had to face was the unsuccessful invasion by exiles of Cuba in the Bay of Pigs.  Next, the Russians tried to install nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from our borders.  After this, Kennedy got us into the space race.  About this time, the Berlin Wall was also built.

Meanwhile back at home, those ‘in charge chidren’ were taking charge of everything they could. The had discovered the ‘demonstration’ technique.  They had destroyed virtually most of their families or home lives and now they were going to work on the country.  First issue was that of integration.  They banded together and held demonstrations all over the country for whatever cause it was that day.  They left their homes and began to hitch  or hike everywhere.  The highways were full of them as they hurried to their destination in order to march, sing, have a bonfire and generally cause trouble.

Back at the White House, Kennedy had inherited a problem with Vietnam.  Eisenhower had warned him not to get involved, but this didn’t stop Kennedy.  Eisenhower had 900 advisors in Vietnam to help the French.  Kennedy made this number much higher.  Then he was assassinated in Dallas and Lyndon Johnson was made the new President.

Johnson immediately increased the number of troops in Vietnam.  In the first few days in office, he urged passage of Kennedy’s civil rights bill and a tax cut.  Meanwhile, he tripled the number of troops in Vietnam twice over the years.  Most Americans wanted out of that war and Johnson kept getting us in deeper.  I remember one Sunday evening when he made a speech on the television.  Everyone knew it was going to be about Vietnam and were waiting for his words to say that we were pulling out.  Instead, he reported that he had sent in an untold number of fresh troops and planes and ships.  After Word War II, we had the Korean Conflict and now this Vietnam War.  Enough!

Those children who were protesting everything and anything took on the Vietnam War.  After all, they would be the ones who would be called to duty and they did not wish to go.  Most opted to go to college in order to avoid being drafted.  So these students now protested everywhere they could.    Living on the streets, they were unwashed and grew their hair long in order to show their solidarity.  Some of these students were killed during their protests and this just escalated their causes.  The television screen was full of their antics day after day.

While all this was going on, Johnson pushed through his Great Society programs.  These were virtually welfare for everyone.  We were all going to live this great, wonderful life of no work, all play, and lots and lots of free stuff.

All this will be done right after we all have a group hug.