When I was a boy Alan Shepard took a fifteen minute ride in a little rocket, just up 100 miles and back down and John Kennedy announced we’d land a man on the moon in less that ten years and somehow it was accomplished.
There was a sense when I was a boy that the next thing that was coming was even bigger and better than the huge thing we just watched become reality. We were going to Mars and beyond!
During the same time there were horrible racial divides in this county, but I had a sense that when men like Dr. King spoke and John Lewis marched across bridges in Alabama that one day we’d no longer be a nation so stupidly divided by something meaningless as skin color. There was a sense we would one day overcome.
There was an illegal and immoral war fought at this time. Fifty-thousand American kids died in that war, we were never told how many Vietnamese people. But, there were people in the streets and in Chicago in ‘68 and even though their methods were not always good, or maybe not any more moral than the generals in Vietnam, I think we all had a sense that one day we’d see the end of war for profit. That America could and would do better. We were not standing for it anymore.
Richard Nixon was forced from office for crimes that were relatively minor crimes by todays standards. We were better than Tricky Dick.
That was the thing, shit was fucked up in the 60s and the 70s and we had idiots like Gerry Ford handing out WIN—Wip Inflation Now—buttons, but there was still a pervasive sense that we were moving forward and things would get better.
Somewhere along the way, we lost that sense. We lost the better things coming over the horizon.
I just read a stat: since 2009 the United States has had 57 more times the number of school shootings than ALL other Industrialized nations combined. ALL OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS COMBINED.
We throw up our hands, think and pray and allow our children and innocent people in grocery stores and Walmart and concerts and churches and synagogues to be brutally murdered, clueless and powerless how to stop it.
Don’t tell me it can’t be fixed. Somewhere along the way we gave up. We didn’t go to Mars. Racial tension is as bad now as it was in the 1800s, war for profit is norm and the best of our elected leaders just aren’t very good at all and our children are massacred in school.
I’m not sure when America died, but this place now is nothing but corpse stumbling around, too stupid to lay down.