Idle Thought last week in January, 2019
What if this past weekend were the beginning of the end for the orange haired baboon? And, in the process, the GOP were so damaged that even a Pence presidency couldn’t do much harm, and we gained a president in 2020 who was smart, thoughtful, respected intelligence and loyalty to allies and was up for repairing the extraordinary damage, domestic and international?
Someone who might say something that would remind us of these lines -
“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Suppose we looked back on the past two years, or three, as having fought and emerged from a great conflict, knowing that the alternative was always looking us in the face, that if we had failed no one would never hear the American version -
… then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
And in an inaugural speech in January, 2021, we might hear echoes of –
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Good luck to us with that. How would that sit with all the tinpot dictators who have sprung up in the last five years, and their beleaguered people? And how would that sit with all those in Africa, and the –stans, and South America, who have looked hard and trembled at rapacious lending of China and the prospect of Chinese internet, Chinese censorship, Chinese media, Chinese rule of men, Chinese tribute, wishing for an alternative that left them some dignity?
Oh. And Reagan on walls –
“Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit,” he said. “And then while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here. And when they want to go back they can go back.”
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans…with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”