I first saw “Give ’em Hell” Harry S. Truman on my grandfather’s flickering round nine-inch television set in glorious black and white. My granddad was a big Truman fan. He often explained that he was a Third Degree Mason but Harry was a Thirty-Third Degree Mason which was one of granddad’s measurements of greatness.
In grade school my family was firmly in the Stevenson camp: my dad even went to one of Adlai’s campaign speeches. Unfortunately, despite a healthy level of enthusiasm in the household, Eisenhower thumped Stevenson twice, the second time forcing me to go to school the next day with my head held low in preparation for the inevitable ribbing I would get from my Republican friends. The biggest memory I have of that election, however, was the televised week-long programming of the Democratic convention, especially when Stevenson tossed the nomination of the Vice-Presidential candidate to be decided by the floor of the convention.
That was when I first learned to dislike John F. Kennedy and have considered myself a Kefauver man ever since.
My Dad actually attended the Democratic convention in 1960 when that same Kennedy smart-ass was nominated. He came home with a pocket full of PT-109 tie clips and I had to pretend I also loved Kennedy.
Which wasn’t hard. Growing up in Southern California it was common knowledge that Richard Nixon was a dishonest creep. One of the highlights of my political experience was, after being defeated for President of the United States, Nixon decided to settle for Governor of California and was sounded defeated by the sitting governor, Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, father of the future phenomenon, Jerry Brown (and his 800 number).
Unfortunately, despite the promise, we still had Dick Nixon to kick around.
This was an interesting time for me. Ronald Reagan was the governor, the UC was beset by Bettina Aptheker and Mario Savio, I voted the first time in a Presidential election (you had to be 21 at that time), my college deferment was being challenge, I got married, and despite my acceptance into graduate school I was facing hard-time in Vietnam.
A few years later I was living in the New York area and, despite having had the distasteful experience of both Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan in California, I now was learning about a new villain, Donald Trump. Here was a slum-lord that was very well connected. Certainly a ganif to be avoided. Not being a television watcher, I fortunately failed to see even one episode of The Apprentice. I now credit that to adding several years to my life as well as having read A Dance To the Music of Time twice.
Unfortunately, a combination of criminality, treachery, mendacity, and a strong, uncritical cult following put this doofus in the White Houses and he has predictably performed just like always: a demonstrable failure and a danger to truth and honesty.
I voted by mail, dropped off early, tracked, and acknowledged.
I will give Donald T***p credit for exposing the United States as being far less admirable than it has professed to be in the past. That anyone would support or vote for such a grifter suggests a significant portion of the population is either too dense to recognize corruption or shamefully allied with corruption.
Open voter suppression, threats and acts of violence, grade-school level personal attacks, and non-stop lying are not the hallmarks of a democracy to admire. Donald T***p and the Republican party have put all Americans to shame and will surely destroy lives and end the great American experiment.
Don’t let them.