Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's the End of the World as We Know It

It's the End of the World As We Know It: When the United States and the Soviet Union were rushing warships against each other to the waters off Cuba in 1962, I thought the world was going to end. It didn't. Cooler heads prevailed. When Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States, I was certain the end was nigh. It wasn't. In fact, Nixon opened up the world instead of shutting it down, by inviting China into the community of nations. When Ronald Reagan was elected, I feared the end of the world as I knew it again. Didn't happen. He deficit spent America nearly to oblivion while trying to get Russia to spend into oblivion and apparently, it worked. And we're still here. So is Russia. Then George W. Bush became President and once again I was certain the end was around the corner. Despite his best efforts, it didn't happen. Others must have been certain of the same fate when Kennedy was elected, when Carter was elected, when Clinton was elected, when Obama was elected. Nope. Nothing. At worst, the world as they knew it, dominated by aging white males, has slipped out of their control but not entirely – I think it safe to say that the majority of members of the Power Elite are still white, of an age, and very much in control both of the economy and politics. And yet, even with greed dominating their motivations, the world has not ended. My father and mother grew up during the Depression in western Europe, watching from the Netherlands the goings on in Germany, the rise of Hitler. It was the end of the world as they knew it, but it wasn't a very pleasant or secure world to lose. The world they lost was the same world that gave Hitler his voice in the first place. And Hitler tried to reshape the world in his own image no matter how many people were enslaved or murdered in the bargain. Try as he might, the world survived, and after the war and occupation of Holland my parents immigrated to the United States, to the New World. I guess what I'm saying is meant for everyone: if Donald Trump is elected President, it will be the end of the world as we know it, but not really. And if Hillary Clinton gets the job, the sun will still come out tomrrow. Is that a hopeful message? That depends on whether you believe that change is good. The Canadians will probably start building a wall along their border and ask Donald Trump to pay for it. And I feel fine.

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