Yearning For The Good old Days

By: The David

An over-estimated crowd pressed toward the Lincoln Memorial, straining to get a view of their television hero and the self-0styled “grizzly mama” from Alaska. The crowd is as white as a newly bleached sheet. It is lower to middle class, under-educated and, at least in a self-styled way, Christian. It is a crowd that has felt under-served, under-appreciated and under-represented. It is a crowd that, in its frustration has latched onto a manipulative television personality whose half truths and crocodile tears have moved them toward this day in the Nation’s Capital. The bonus is, of course, the presence of the shrieking violet from the North, the personification of governus interruptus, the former Governor of the great state of Alaska.

Although this day is billed as non-political and pro god, it is very political indeed. The crowd is dressed in everything from conservative clothing to the many wearing their anti-Obama drag (“Where is the Birth Certificate?”, “Impeach Obama”) and t-shirts extolling their presumed status, (Protect red- neck babies.) And the mere presence of Sarah Palin insures that the day has political overtones. The very fact that this Caucasian assembly has decided to meet on the Anniversary of one of the most important days in the Civil Rights calendar, that this demonstration chose the site of one of the most important speeches of the many speeches made in the name of Civil Rights and the fact that some of the rhetoric of the day speaks of “taking back the Civil Rights movement that is rightly theirs, all of this says that this meeting is most definitely political.

These “tea baggers” (and how I love their use of that term) want to take back their country. They want to return the country to their concept of the “good old days.” What does that mean? Does that mean the days of their youth when family values existed, the streets were safe, and the United States was a Christian country? Is that what they mean? Is that what Beck and Palin have come to symbolize to them? Is that what is at the core of the delusions that drives this group?

It does not take a genius to know that so called “family values” have never been strong points in our history. There has always been rancor in the home. In the days before divorce could readily be obtained, the wife often was in the position of suffering in silence because she really had no rights. Children were often at the mercy of dysfunctional parents… they were abused and beaten without an advocate to look out for them. Children born to a single mother were ostracized and made fun of and it was justified by the fact that they were, after all, bastards, and their mother was a “loose” woman. The man, of course, walked away with reputation intact, free to impregnate someone else. There were happy families back then, just as there are happy families today. But the difference is that marriage is no longer a prison for those who enter into it, and children can be protected.

The streets were never really safe. There were safer neighborhoods, but by no means were all streets safe. Some were neglected and therefore people from the “good” neighborhoods wouldn’t go into them. But, there was crime in our cities, and murders in our rural areas. The poor were cheated and exploited. Poverty reigned supreme among minorities and among the poor whites of this country. Laws supported by the churches in this country, Prohibition, and those that forbid the use of birth control led to further crime and further misery. Did anyone really want the church in their bedrooms? Yet it was there in the good old days.

Those good old days! Who were they really good for? They were good for the white, Anglo-Saxon, heterosexual male. Women were hardly better than chattel, and had very few rights until the Women’s Movement wrested them from the grip of their husbands and employers and yes from the paternalistic churches as well. People of color owe the progress made to the efforts and the sacrifice of Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks and the countless others who were beaten, hosed and murdered so that all of us, black, brown and white could have a time of rapprochement and move forward together. Those days were certainly not good for the Gay and Lesbian people in this country. In fact, as much as it was true with racial minorities, it was also open-season on gay people. They could be and were beaten at will by bullies and bigots, and for the most part they had little or no recourse. The police were, for the most part, unavailable. Point of fact, the police were too often a part of the problem, rousting gay men and women in the bars that at that time were their only places to meet. And how about the elderly? There were no laws that specifically looked at elder abuse. Too many of the elderly lived in poverty, and before the great Claude Pepper and Maggie Kuhn, had no one to speak for them.

The “good old days?” I think not.

When we are given a telescope back to these good old days, let us remember that this glass distorts our view. There was no real “Father Knows Best.” Our music from those days is wonderful and can often take us back to moments that were warm and beautiful to remember, and most of our favorite movies depicted a time that was never real. The reality is that with all that is wrong in this country, the best of times for the individual is now. We have Rights as a people and those Rights are defined for us. We have begun to lose the Rights that so much blood and fight earned for us. A Conservative Administration that pandered to the Fundamentalist churches has seen to it that certain of our privacy rights have been taken away, and if we are not vigilant, we shall lose more and more, until we truly are back to the “good old days!.”

Those of us who might be tempted to look at the distortions presented to those that traveled to Washington, please take off the rose colored glasses being offered to you, and look at the world that really was. Was a world without rights for so many really what people want to return to? If this really is the desired outcome of those who want to join the parade and dance to the discordant tunes of the Becks and Palins of this country, then as they follow the false prophets of a tomorrow that will never be because it is based on a past that never was, let these people realize that they are in the vanguard of those who really would kill the American Dream and destroy the Republic itself.

10 Comments on “Yearning For The Good old Days”

  1. The “good old days” – every generation is the “good old days” for some one who’s stuck in a bygone era. It’s like Sally Jupiter says in the “Watchmen” graphic novel: “as the present grows darker, the past – even the grimy parts of it – become brighter and brighter.”

    Times are always great for some one, somewhere – too bad that most of the time it’s not you and yours enjoying those great times, isn’t it?

  2. Sally Jupiter is apparently very distracting.

    I am deeply embarrased on so many levels, as a human as a caucasian, as someone who believes in one and/or many Gods(esses) as an American as a human. Glen Beck even embarrases me for having tear ducts. He is stealing all that is good and using it as despicably as any tent revival con artist.

  3. The tea party should be more accurately called the pity party. Here’s the big rub. We are asked to support our troops, even if we don’t believe in what they are doing, because our troops are young, naive and honestly feel they are fighting for our country’s freedom. Those who protested against the Vietnam war were young too, and there were many who jeopardized their citizenship as conscientious objectors. In retrospect, we know they did the right thing, but they are unsung heroes.

    Other people lost their lives in the civil rights movement. It’s been a long, uphill battle and now the people who had suffered persecution for so long and thought were finally achieving the fruits of their labor, have been shot back to square one, when only WASP’s have the correct life style.

    Glen Beck is coming to Alaska. The native community is already upset that Palin stuck her crocodile chin into our affairs once more to oust one of the only legislators we had that boldly opposed her legislative governorship with her special interest backed politics. During the issue of national health reform, a number of people packed their guns when attending the public hearing. This was considered perfectly legal as our laws state you can carry a weapon as long as it’s not concealed. I wonder if we can exercise the same rights to bear arms at a Republican pity party.

  4. [quote=Karlsie]During the issue of national health reform, a number of people packed their guns when attending the public hearing. This was considered perfectly legal as our laws state you can carry a weapon as long as it’s not concealed. I wonder if we can exercise the same rights to bear arms at a Republican pity party.[/quote]

    So it looks like they’re finally learning that force can only be successfully met with force – would you happen to have a link to this event (preferably one with photos)? I have got to see this one for myself…

  5. Christopher, this occasion came up quite a few months ago, when President Obama first introduced the health care package. It was in the local newspapers, Anchorage Daily News ( http://www.adn.com ) which sometimes has a bad habit of disappearing if you don’t bookmark the page, which i didn’t. I’ll see if i can access the archives. Usually, you have to be a paying member if you want to go back into their records more than two weeks, and i’m kind of a cheapskate in that division.

    At any rate, it isn’t entirely unusual to see guns carried in the open, although this was the first time so many had shown up at a public hearing openly carrying arms. Since no weapons were drawn, no shots fired or threats made, they had not broken any laws, although their appearance upset a lot of people.

    Alaska is quickly reaching a boiling point and the sides are native Alaskan versus the new Alaskan, who continue to be gibbering Palin addicts despite the fact that she was a traitor to Alaska. The native Alaskans are angry that Palin just won’t go away and are now even angrier that her racially handicapped comrade, Glen Beck is now coming to town to stir the pot. If, in fact, a group of unhappy native Alaskan citizenry show up at a Glen Beck rally, you bet i’m going to be there to observe, report and snap pictures.

  6. the good old day ?? ya mean when we, as a nation, tried to commit genocide against the entire native population, when we burned witches in Massachusetts ?? when we created a new industry of kidnapping Africans to be our slaves and build the infrastructure of the young nation .. when blacks were raped and children sold and tied behind trucks dragged through towns all over the nation … when woman had no legal rights and no right to vote .. when union members were slaughtered when they tired to receive fair treatment .. when civil rights were fought and sanctified by our Supreme Court .. when whites left the cities so that they didn’t have to live with blacks .. and allowed cities to deteriorate … a nation that polluted all our water ways … where church leaders allowed priests to continually molest and rape children … Go Back to What ?? we have never been the nation we believed we were, we are still not that nation .. internationally we assassinated leaders and propped up dictators because it was in our “best interests” .. we carry a hollow big stick and have been irresponsible with that power, but those days are coming to an end because we were “true” to nothing.. There will always be a Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin to blame out shortcomings on someone .. again David, wonderful writing here .. so much to consider and think about, thanks !!!

  7. Great article David.

    The subject has become something of a classic – teabaggers, Palin, Beck – every day I watch Stewart and Colbert and that’s always the topic, even in Subversify, articles criticising the American Right are myriad. But do you ever think beyond? Do you think there’s a future without these scumnuts or are we doomed to stand back and watch them whip those masses to a frenzy? Just a thought…

  8. @ Karlsie,

    You’re tight about the local paper – I’m not willing to fork over a monthly fee just to read one article, so I guess I’ll just have to wait until something like this happens again. But when it does, I intend to latch onto that sotry and use it as an example for my pals who still think that corruption can be fought through “legitimate” channels: maybe that would shock them out of their complacency…

    @ Rich,

    The “good ol’ days” for any nation are a load of bullshit – all nations have points in their history where certain segments of the population enjoyed a place of status and power (nearly always at the expense of some other population segment), and when they eventually lose that status they pine after the days in which they had it.

    @ Raven,

    There will always be con artists inciting the plebeans to do all shorts of shit – the common people are ignorant and look to anyone that makes them a promise of a “better tomorrow” (regardless of how unrealistic that promise is) so long as the world around them looks like a hill of shit. And it looks like this world will remain quite shitty for the foreseeable future…

  9. I have just read the comments here, and as always they give me food for thought, and increase my education…. This magazine presents a most wonderful opportunity for those who write, and its readership provides such great feed-back.

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