July 4 Aftermath
My years in Washington, D.C. were wretched ones, highlighted by a half-a-dozen stellar, stalwart individuals whom I encountered amidst the pre-Swamp creatures. I arrived there with $300 in my American-made wallet. I was a full-merit scholarship student at the George Washington University, also known as GWU. Nearly six years later, I departed the District for good with not much more cash in hand, but with a slew of experiences and memories, the stuff of which novels are made.
The July 4, 2019 celebration in Washington, D.C, offered, at last, a rousing salute to America, and to Americans. That tribute is so long over-due that today feels like an emotional, psychological and patriotic hangover from the sights and sounds of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m even re-doing the July 4th meal: home-made cole slaw, BBQed hot dogs, hamburgers and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla ice cream!
I read this morning in an online whiner-story that the students at GWU are “not proud to be American.” News Flash — The majority of students that I had to endure at that place in the 1970s were not only not proud to be American, they really did not comprehend the meaning of the word. I wonder today if the name of the university is under assault by the current spoiled-brat students! Truth to tell, it was its name that first drew me to this university.
How, then, did I come to choose a liberal liberal-arts university as my attempt at higher education? GWU in the 1970s was a place where getting-high was the basic activity amidst the fetid atmosphere in which many dedicated professors had to teach.
Geography played a part. I’d looked at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, but the Lake Effect Winter (that seemed to last forever) scared me off. I also considered Brigham Young University (even though I am not a Mormon), but the jump from New Jersey to Utah was too immense, and the prohibition against tea (black tea) nixed it for me. I also contemplated Yale but their demand for an extra class of advanced math put the kibosh on them. Besides, what would I have had in common with Yalies?!
Not that I had anything in common with spoiled rich Jews from Lawn-Giland, a “demographic” that comprised the majority of the student “body” at that time. I was, in fact, advised by more than one Jewish student not to publicize that fact that I am a Christian (WASP). It was an inclusive group, that one!
In point of fact, those secular Jews did not include into their snobby, dismissive clique the conservative spiritual Jews who came from the poor, the very poor, side of the tracks. These students were poor in pocket, but not poor in spirit, and they were but a handful among this horde of secularists who believed they ran this university. Perhaps, in some ways, they did.
Several of these young adults became my friend, and I theirs. I literally owe my life to one of those religiously rich individuals. During my first semester at GWU, that young woman pulled me back from stepping off the curb of Constitutional Avenue as we were walking to the National Gallery of Art. The oncoming car was seconds away from hitting me, severely. That dear ally remains forever in my heart and in my mind, because that kind of debt does not get repaid, and she would not have asked for any payment. When she, a devoted Zionist, moved to Israel, I felt as if I had lost a true friend. I really didn’t “lose” her; America had.
The architecture and the topographical setting of Washington, D.C in the mid-1970s were, however, ones of aesthetic beauty for me, even though the town was in a state of arrested decay. The restaurants, businesses and newspaper pontiffs were amazingly all still in mourning for JFK. Into that funeral parlor I descended. More tellingly, during the 1970s, the only universities offering scholarships, full or partial, to poor teens were the centers of Liberal Indoctrination.
I was partially aware of this indoctrination factor. When a person — prof, proctor or preening campus activist — refuses to answer a question of challenge to his world view, the die is cast for the question to even be spoken during a later sad dark epoch in the American experiment. Take it from me, group-think was well underway on college campuses (campii?) back in the day. My antique Teddy Roosevelt poster of historical record was scathingly mocked.
The glorious opportunity for conservative thought to become a part of the American experience in a university setting — that costly chance was missed by many business-people in the 1970s who obviously did not consider investment in the future as an academic exercise. The current paranoia within the Right about the Left having taken over the Institutions of Culture, especially of education, is hogwash.
Leftists are lazy scavengers. They pick up carrion, easy pickings, low-hanging (usually rotten) fruit, and they are squatters of abandoned real estate. Such was the fate of education in America when I came of age, and such was the fate of the Federal seat of the U.S. government, if not of the Democratic Party of the U.S. You don’t defeat a Leftist by out-talking it. You out-work him, and out-produce her.
All the Left has now is hate speech and hot air, and it’s really all they ever had, disguised as progressive intellectual thought that abhors its own nation. As for respect for women, let me tell you that I once carried from my little peon-desk, to the massive oak desk of the Bureau Boss at Hearst Newspapers, the heavy glass ashtray, filled with his smelly cigars and ashes. Routinely, he left the thing, on my desk, while I sat there, trying to work, and he stood there, puffing his Corona and ranting about how to get rid of Nixon.
After he strode away from the desk, I followed him, carrying the foul receptacle in both hands.
“I think this garbage belongs to you,” I suggested.
My boss, a liberal female columnist stuck on memories of JFK and reeking of gin, did not have the nerve to stand up to this arrogant jerk-face who mocked fly-over people and their barbecues on the Fourth of July.
I stood up for myself plenty in those days because, well, no one else was going to do it for me!
With the standing-up for America that is presently an active stance in Washington, D.C. I feel, at last, the pride in America that has been squashed and scorned among its citizenry for decades. The chilling effect by the liberals and the Swamp Creatures, via Political Correctness, during the past few decades upon free speech, civil liberties, and the fight for Americanism, that result had its roots of strangulation in the God-awful misery of the 1970s.
In many ways, I found “closure” this July 4 to years, and decades, that have languished, not just for me, but for many Americans, some of whom were born after the end of the Cold War, a war that was won far too silently.
Last night, as I watched the patriotic displays of patriots in America, I cried and I cheered, and I felt so thrillingly proud! My years in D.C., nearly six of them, were dull, tawdry abysmal times for anyone to be an American. Nixon did not even show up to flip the switch for the Christmas tree lighting during my first winter there. What a weird man!
Yesterday, our President gave to the American people — and to the world — history and entertainment and info and truth. What a show of honor and dignity!
And all of those people came to the nation’s capital from all across America — to sit in the typical late-afternoon summer rain, by the smelly Reflecting Pool! The purpose of that algae-filled pond is to reflect. For me, that humongous rectangle was the mile-long distance around which I jogged in the summer. At the end of that sweaty experience, my short little legs ran up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and I stood there, at the top, like Rocky! I can thus attest to the fact that the Reflecting Pool is a smelly mass of water in the summer.
Last night, I got so much more than “closure” from those years: I found inspiration for these years, for future years!
And the FIREWORKS — they made the Bi-centennial ones look wimpy. I actually had to work that day in 1976, a 10-hour shift. I cashiered as well as worked behind the counter at Quigley’s, a soda-shop with pinball machines (complete with The Spirit of ’76) — because the Moonies (The Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his loony followers) were in town. They OUTNUMBERED the citizens celebrating the Bicentennial 4th.
I did not find the chance to celebrate America while I lived in the nation’s capital. The Reagan years were an improvement, but by then, I’d changed places with the Gipper. In January 1979, I moved West, to California. That November, Ronald Reagan would announce his candidacy for the President of the United States. He first had to defeat the Carter Recession. And then there was the Cold War he had to win, so celebrations of a war victory were not much contemplated. And the recovery from an assassin’s bullet took some time too.
I do not wish to steal any thunder from those tremendous bolts in the big American sky last night, but I think it is important to read these words from the President who led America, and Americans, toward the future that Donald J. Trump is now forging with each and every proud American.
These paragraphs are directly quoted from the announcement of the candidacy of Ronald Reagan for the President of the United States. The time was November 1979, and it was a fateful time indeed.
Some of this magnificent verbiage sounds too familiar as of late, as well as too identical to the defeatism that came from the mouth of Vichy’s Philip Petain, and which presently comes from the mouths of Brussels EU bureaucrats and technocrats and from the feckless “leaders” in Europe!
. . . Someone once said that the difference between an American and any other kind of person is that an American lives in anticipation of the future because he knows it will be a great place. Other people fear the future as just a repetition of past failures. There's a lot of truth in that. If there is one thing we are sure of, it is that history need not be relived; that nothing is impossible, and that man is capable of improving his circumstances beyond what we are told is fact.
There are those in our land today, however, who would have us believe that the United States, like other great civilizations of the past, has reached the zenith of its power; that we are weak and fearful, reduced to bickering with each other and no longer possessed of the will to cope with our problems.
Much of this talk has come from leaders who claim that our problems are too difficult to handle. We are supposed to meekly accept their failures as the most which humanly can be done. They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true.
I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity.
I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
The crisis we face is not the result of any failure of the American spirit; it is failure of our leaders to establish rational goals and give our people something to order their lives by. If I am elected, I shall regard my election as proof that the people of the United States have decided to set a new agenda and have recognized that the human spirit thrives best when goals are set and progress can be measured in their achievement.
It’s been 3 decades since the Cold War was won, without a shot having been fired. The July 4, 2019 Salute to America, past, present, and future, is long overdue in many ways. But in one essential and extraordinary way, the timing of this Salute to America comes at the perfect moment. The collapse of the frauds in America is nearing the end of its snail’s-pace-rate of inevitability. And the people of the USA can now see the light of day that is the dawn of a new era for this great nation.
For all we know, the slogan for the 250th anniversary of the founding of this great nation could be:
2026 and there ain’t nothing left to fix!