The Graduate

Slowwitted on matters of substance, like a cow I ruminate.  To appreciate this Donald Trump business, I look back at history and issues I have addressed.  I’d be flattered if sharper minds find my impression affirming.

I understand Trump’s mystique.  I do.  Born in 1937, I lived it.

In the Dangerous Case of Donald Trump a woman is succinct, ” I want my country back!”  American History is a relentless parade.  Which star-spangled float or marching band, which “country,” would our fearful lady have “back”?  Thirty, fifty, a hundred years, 1776, 1492?  Did the folks who met Columbus want their country back?

In “all men are created equal” did eighteenth century, Caucasian, male Planters and Businessmen anticipate women, Asians, Negros, Hispanics?  Seeing the Industrial Revolution impact their vision, would Washington and Jefferson want their “country back?”  Did Edison, Tesla and Ford toss spanners into the cogs?  Would ol’ kite-flyin’ Ben approve Gotham after sunset?  How about a Black President or first generation female Vice President of Indian and Jamaican parents?   

Fast forward.  After a Great Depression and World War II, America breathed a sigh of relief.  From the late forties into latter sixties the Dream was back, better than ever.  Dad had a job, Mom baked cookies, kids in school, Little League and Scouts.  An eight-inch TV in every living room.  A chicken in every electric oven.  A Chevy or Ford in every garage.

(Today, two, three and four car garages hold freezers and a second refrigerator.  Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, shelves are stacked with  luggage, blankets, pillows, toys, black plastic bag and boxes not opened in decades.  Honda Odysseys, Ford Fusions and Jeep Cherokees are parked in the driveway.) 

In 1967, “The Graduate” exposed this New America’s “plastic” underbelly.  Cupidity and hypocrisy had infiltrated the Suburbs.  Ozzie and Harriet weren’t really “The Nelsons.”  “Father (did not always know) Best.”  Twenty-one-year-old “Graduate” Benjamin learned sometimes Dear Ol’ Dad hasn’t a clue.  Disaffected Baby Boomers became “Beatniks, “The Beat Generation,” remember?  “Hippies,” Woodstock,  Haight- Ashbury, Viet Nam, the “Counter-Culture.”

Through Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Regan, Papa  Bush, Clinton, Jr. Bush and Obama, America stumbled, sometimes back, mostly forward.  Now a wholly unanticipated, indeed unimagined, force seems intent on dismantling America’s Pluralistic experiment.

To establish his Oligarchy, for forty-seven months our, now Lame Duck, forty-fifth Chief Executive pulled every trick, imaginable and unimaginable, from his black bag.  While some may question their motives, the Founding Fathers’ brilliance again triumphs.  Thankfully, Joe Biden embodies the experience, skill, character and humanity to begin repairing the damage and pull us back together.


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