In college, I was a political junkie. Then again, it was the 60s and nearly everyone I knew was a political junkie because we were the ones who were pushing for change. We were the Baby Boomers, many of us rebels and rogues who were against Vietnam and the lottery system for the draft and all the atrocities that were occurring worldwide as a result of our interventions in other countries. Drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll: that was the litany. We did have great music that galvanized this movement – Beatles, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Cher, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix…oh, and Woodstock.
But then many of us got married or started careers or families and cruised through the 70s and 80s and the Reagan years with a kind of ho-hum, it’s all the same story, what’s the point? Some of us became Republicans. Or Independents. Or Democrats. Or stopped participating altogether.
But then the 2000 election got hung up in Palm Beach County and ended up in the Supreme Court and W Bush stole an election. 9-11 happened. We invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 came around. All of these events coalesced into the election of a brilliant senator from Illinois and our first African-American president, who turned around and appointed his opponent, Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State.
Suddenly, politics started looking as crazy as it was in the 60s, but with some significant differences: the Internet, social media, news 24/7 on the cable channels. We had immediate access to so much information that not very much remained hidden for very long.
8 years of W Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the rest of his cabal brought us 8 years of Obama and the class act of the Obama family. He wasn’t perfect, but he came close to moving this country in the direction of a true democracy. And he brought out all the closet racists. But it was the Democratic Party that failed in 2016, with Debbie Wasserman Schultz rigging the party for Clinton rather than granting Bernie Sanders equal prime time for debates. So many dems wanted a woman as president and Clinton seemed to be entitled…
And now here we are in trumpland, the worst and possibly the darkest and most dangerous period in our democracy. My hope, which is rather fragile and small right now, is that trump’s attempts at immersing the U.S. in Fascism and a thinly disguised dictatorship will result in a well-deserved impeachment and force the pendulum in the opposite direction: a 2020 ticket of women like Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Men have ruled this country since 1776. It’s time now for women to have a shot at it all. Forget the old reptilian guys like Mitch McConnell and Jeff Sessions or the younger Ayn Rand dudes like Paul Ryan, who go all weak in the knees when trump snaps at them. Forget the hypocrites like Corker, Flake, Collins, Markowski, even McCain the so-called maverick. These people are the old paradigm. This country is crying out for politicians and political ideals that support Democracy rather than trying to tear it apart by criticizing the very institutions of check and balances that prove we are a nation of laws and that no one is above the law. Not even the president.
My hope lies with the millennials, who have the most to lose and the most to gain if they play their collective cards the right way. Many of them are saddled with enormous college and grad school debt. They are delaying marriage, families and dreams because of that debt and because many of them work multiple jobs, can’t afford health care, and, if the new tax bill passes, will be royally screwed. Many of these millennials were born with Saturn in Capricorn, the ones who – like the mythological phoenix – rebuild from the ashes.
In 2018, may we triumph as the best of who we are!