Political things on a Monday evening

1. In reading The Age of Reagan I’ve learned that Gorbachev, not Reagan, was the key to nuclear disarmament in the 1980s. Though I also learned that Reagan really, genuinely thought that the S.D.I. would bring world peace.

2. I have also confirmed what I suspected all along, which is that my entire understanding of 1980s politics prior to this month came from Bloom County comic strips.

“How I love to watch the morn with golden sun that shines,
up above to nicely warm these frosty toes of mine
The wind doth taste of bittersweet,
Like jasper wine and sugar.
I bet it’s blown through others’ feet,
like those of…
…Caspar Weinberger.”

3. The CIA this weekend announced that seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies confirm that Russia tampered with the U.S. election with the aim and purpose of discrediting and weakening the Democratic candidate.

4. The PEOTUS’s proposed cabinet appointments look like a frigging disaster for everyone, and may in one case possibly be in collusion with Russia.

5. China is increasingly upset with the PEOTUS.

… I don’t know what a rational, appropriate amount of upset to be about all of this. I keep whipsawing between a numb helplessness and an incandescent rage. And the more I hear about Russian spies and Chinese anger, the more this feels like the horrid geopolitical state of my youth. Disarmament did some good work, but the international powers still all have NBCs.

Is it going to be the fate of my kids, my grandkids, to Have Always Been at War With Eastasia or Eurasia?

Speaking of which, I’m reading Orwell’s 1984. It turns out … I don’t think I’ve actually READ it before. I mean, many parts are really familiar? But other parts are not? If I have read it, it was when I was too young to get a lot of it.

Who controls the past controls the future, and who controls the present controls the past. I keep thinking of this, and reading the news each day. I was a kid in the 80s, I was a self-interested twit in the 90s, I was raising young kids in the 00s. I don’t want to sleepwalk through this national crisis. I want to pay attention, to be awake, to see and learn and hear and remember.

I want to find a truth to stand on amidst all the lies.

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