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A look back at history through clear glasses

17972 miscellaneous nuclear explosion explosionI am a child of the 1950's and 1960's and have also witnessed the challenges of the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and where we are now in the 21st century. I experienced the Cold War first-hand and remember quite vividly practicing shelter drills in P.S. 213 by taking cover under my desk in case we were attacked with an atomic bomb. Even at that age I questioned the effectiveness of that particular strategy.
As a student in J.H.S. 166, I remember the anxiety of the nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the leadership provided by our young president in addressing the threat to our nation. I remember quite vividly, while in Brooklyn College, the feeling of panic when the student deferment was pulled during the height of the Vietnam War as well as the relief I felt when my lottery number was 272.

I didn't have “bone spurs” in my heels as did the great patriot Donald J. Trump nor did I have Daddy's money to influence the decision of the draft board, so that lottery number was extremely important to me to avoid joining my friends across the globe in a war we weren't quite sure why we were fighting. Just saying. I also didn't have the ability to be placed in the Georgia National Guard despite being a resident of Texas, George W.
I also remember thinking that we will never enter into another war in which fighting with ground troops on the enemy's extremely challenging terrain makes effective combat almost impossible. Guess I was wrong on that one.
I lived through the Watergate scandal and the resignation from office of a president accused of obstruction of justice, a president who chose NOT to put a country through a divisive impeachment hearing. I lived to see the demolition of the middle class beginning with the deconstruction of labor unions starting with the Air Traffic Controllers Union. The demolition of the middle class continued with the trickleless trickle-down “voodoo” economics.
AND I have lived to see so many of the mistakes of the past being made again. George W. Bush gave an unfunded tax cut to the wealthy among us which contributed to the Great Recession of 2008. Trickle-down economics still hasn't begun to trickle down no matter how it is marketed by Republicans as a magic potion. The unprovoked war in Iraq set us on a path to a 10-year war which exceeded the war we had in Vietnam.
Whether it’s the jungles of Southeast Asia or the deserts in the Middle East, getting into a ground war must be a last resort. How enraging and frustrating it is to witness the repeating of mistakes because lessons were not learned.
All the varied experiences of my life, including both good and bad, did not come close to preparing me for what has become the most embarrassing and frustrating period in this nation's more than 240-year history. That embarrassment? The presidency of one Donald J. Trump.
Learning from the lessons of the past requires paying some attention to those lessons. That is not something this president is either capable of doing or has the inclination to do. His budget and tax cuts for the wealthy reflect trickle-down economics once again.
His trigger finger on the nuclear codes is of the utmost concern and his childlike exchanges with the other child leader, Kim Jong-Un, is extremely alarming. Did this most unfit and unqualified president in our history pay any attention to John F. Kennedy's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Apparently not, even though he was around at that time, based on his continued antagonizing of our enemies with his immature tweets.
Would we be better off if North Korea entered into an agreement similar to the Iran Nuclear Deal as a major step towards reducing nuclear proliferation? Of course, but the chances of that were greatly reduced when this unfit president threatens to walk away from that negotiated agreement.
Should we want to avoid war? Yes. Are his actions conducive to war avoidance? Certainly not. If agreements, any agreements, are only effective for the duration of the administration signing it, the word of the United States government carries with it not much long-term credibility. Thank you Mr. President.
Currently, there is much uproar over his handling of notifying the families of fallen military members in the aftermath of the killing of four military officers in Niger. It is likely that he did not mean the words “what they signed up for” the way it came out, but that is the core of the problem.
His lack of feeling empathy or relating to anyone other than himself is what makes him appear to be the self-centered, egotistical narcissist that he clearly is. Compound this with his inability to articulate the simplest thoughts and concepts and the result is his jumbling the message he was given to deliver to the Gold Star families.
To make it even worse, it was he who made the issue political and about him when he turned it into a comparison of how he handles such responsibilities as compared to other presidents. Why even go there? Well, because in his world it is always about him.
He didn't have a clue how ridiculous the optic was of him shooting free throws with rolls of paper towels during what was clearly a photo op in Puerto Rico, an American territory devastated by a Category 5 hurricane and which was still at the early stages of a monumental recovery.
He recently declared that he was issuing an executive order to stop providing a “bailout to health insurance companies” through Obamacare subsidies. If he had the slightest ability to relate to anyone but himself, he would understand that those subsidies are needed by those who rely on them to afford health insurance. Without them these individuals lose their coverage since the insurance companies will not likely lower their prices to make the health insurance more affordable.
Who then suffers with his action? The insurance companies, or the no-longer insured? To this president, it really doesn't matter since his only goal is to gut Obamacare regardless of who pays the real price. It’s personal with him, no matter who gets hurt.
Maybe the best example of what a coward this individual is and how devoid he is of moral character and integrity was his handling of how he notified his first wife of his intention to leave her: he simply flaunted his mistress on a ski trip in Colorado and let the gossip pages convey the message for him. What a leader!
Bottom line is we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of having placed an individual who made much of his fortune using OPM (Other People's Money) now in the position of Commander-in-Chief (more like CON-MANder-in-Chief) of our military and, in that position, responsible for the lives of OPC (Other People's Children). Not a very comforting situation for America.

@PKSpaul

 

Last modified onThursday, 02 November 2017 18:36
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