“For Negroes are not the only victims. How many white children have gone uneducated, how many white families have lived in stark poverty, how many white lives have been scarred by fear, because we have wasted our energy and our substance to maintain the barriers of hatred and terror?
So I say to all of you here, and to all in the Nation tonight, that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future.
This great, rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all: black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are the enemies and not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too, poverty, disease and ignorance, we shall overcome.”
Where did we go wrong? I am inclined to believe complacency plays a large role but more than this is the determined actions of those shadow and moneyed figures who have for nearly 60 years worked aggressively to turn back the hands of time.
Some believe this is a dial back to the 1950’s; a time when the little woman met hubby at the door with a Martini and dinner was on the table at exactly six pm. Dysfunction hidden behind a wall of smiles and silence, everyone in agreement to speak softly and pass the mashed potatoes. Children, bright and shiny faces smile up at their teachers and learn by rote their ‘A,B,C’ and who the enemy is, the big bad Communist behind the brick and razor wire wall.
It is the world of Beaver and Wally Cleaver.
The fifties were a time many look back on with great affection, considering this the idyllic time in our nation’s history, but was it? What is it about the era that is so attractive to so many; shall we explore the difference sixty year’s makes in the history of a nation and our memories.
- Taxes – could it be we had a lower marginal tax rate during the idyllic 1950’s? Is this what the attraction is? No, this isn’t it, the average top marginal tax for those wonderful ‘job creators’ during this time was 85%, that’s right one of the highest rates in our history; of course back then we didn’t call them job creators, we called them wealthy and expected them to contribute to the health of our national coffers for the good of the nation.
- Jobs – we had them back then, at least some of us did. Minorities weren’t in the workforce in any meaningful way, certainly not as a threat to the “American” way of life! Women? Well we have put a real dent in things! Our numbers have grown since the 50’s by 394%. We have girded our dainty loins for battle and skipped blithely into every single arena of high crimes, chicanery and flimflam and demanded our seat at the table! I suppose this does cause angst, the competition likely makes many uncomfortable.
- While we are talking about jobs – we should look at the other reason we had jobs, fair trade policy and practices! That is right, since the 1950’s our borders for trade have sprung wide open. While this prying loose of trade polices began after WWII, the grease was applied by the Lord of Free Trade, President Ronald Reagan with GATT and applied even more liberally by his predecessors in trickery, right up through present day WTO trade agreements. These agreements keep import Tariffs at all-time lows while doing nothing to address trade imbalance with those nefarious ‘Favored Nations’ and slips through the cracks the idea that Americans are ill prepared, to stupid even to fill the jobs available in the market those requiring on-going infusions in the tens of thousands from other, smarter temporary forces of resources who will work for half as much while Americans languish.
- Civil Rights – perhaps the most reprehensible problems of the time machine bunch. Why you ask? What we are seeing today is a return to the policies and programs of that time, a return to a time of Jim Crow and Plessy v. Ferguson; a time when it was legal to separate, abuse even kill a man or woman based solely on the color of their skin. Segregation, voter suppression and separate but equal were all at play and fully supported by the courts and those elected to offices both high and low.
- Now we have the issue of SEX, that’s right SEX. Blue laws throughout the land controlled who had it and with whom it was legal to have it with, even in some cases in what position it was legal to have it in and on what does of the week. But it wasn’t just sex it was the purpose of sex and women were the receptacles, the bearers of children! Both contraception and abortion were illegal in all cases. In most states so was pre-marital sex but only women were ever prosecuted as lewd women. Men? Well they were just being men.
“ I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Recognize the above? No? It is the original Pledge of Allegiance written by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Christian Socialist who frankly would be rolling in his grave were he to know that his simply pledge of commitment to the Flag and Country has become such a historical point of contention. The Pledge of Allegiance was said in schoolrooms throughout the nation daily by schoolchildren from Kindergarten through High School, with exactly the words above. It was not until June 14, 1954 by Joint Resolution of Congress after being introduced by President Eisenhower the words ‘One Nation Under God’ were added to the Pledge, hardly historical and certainly not the intent of our Founding Fathers.
So let’s do a quick synopsis, shall we? What do these historians want to return to?
- Higher taxes
- Jim Crow
- Voter Suppression
- Segregation / Separate but Equal
- Protectionism, return of tariffs
- Blue Laws, criminalization of Abortion and contraception
- Removal of God from Public sector including money and Pledge of Allegiance
No, I don’t think they want the list above. They want a selected set of the list above. Clearly, we are moving on a fast track toward achieving some of these. I think President Johnson had it dead to rights in his Civil Rights speech of 1965; the enemy is poverty, ignorance and disease. It is truly unfortunate today we have all these running rampant and even being promoted.
What think you?