En 1968, I was 14 when America seemed to fall apart. We were in the midst of a war that had divided Americans, often on the basis of their age and social class. That summer, there were also riots in several major cities. I remember my parents watching CBS Evening News, the evening news show presented by Walter Cronkite. We saw images of burning cities, including Washington. Helmeted police clubbing protesters at the Democratic convention.
Every evening we were kept informed of the number of soldiers killed in Vietnam. The division was everywhere, even in my small town in the southern United States. One evening, while I was at a snack bar, a fight broke out between a long-haired boy of incorporation age and a grizzled man in his 50s over the pacifist lyrics of a song coming out of the juke. -box.
Another evening, after seeing new scenes of violence on television, my mother burst into tears, convinced that the country would not recover. And yet the country survived.
The abandonment of the working class voters
Today we are on the brink of another precipice. For many reasons, often complex. However, there is no doubt that among them are the abandonment of working class voters by the Democratic Party and the cynical exploitation of this abandonment by the Republican Party.
Not surprisingly, in a country where the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are now people, both parties are too often controlled by corporate interests. In case of doubt, simply consult the list of donations in favor of electoral campaigns. The time had come for Donald Trump – who at least claimed to be interested in the concerns of the working class – to take advantage of the circumstances.
Commentators in the United States have too often compared Trump to Shakespearean traitors, but he’s nowhere near as interesting; he is no more complex than a spoiled 5 year old. Yet it is this simplicity that I have always found most frightening about him, because it makes him a man capable of anything, because his vision of life is anhistoric. By this I do not mean simply his lack of intellectual curiosity, nor the fact that he has never opened a history book or shown the slightest interest in anything outside his personal sphere. I want above all to say that denying the past is characteristic of his character.
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