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just like then, but 50 years later

December 29, 2017

So in a few hours we’ll be starting the 50th anniversary of 1968.  Let’s review: the seizing of the USS Pueblo by North Korea.  The Tet Offensive.  Laugh-In, 2001, Hair and 60 Minutes premiere.  The My Lai Massacre.  Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy assassinated.  The Civil Rights Act.  Pope Paul VI condemns birth control.  Chicago police bust protestors’ skulls at the Democratic National Convention.  Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a Black Power salute on the medal podium at the Mexico City Olympics.  Led Zeppelin performs live for the first time, the Beatles release the White Album and the Stones drop Beggars Banquet.  Nixon becomes President.  The Heidi game.  Captain Kirk kisses Uhuru.  The Zodiac Killer.

I mean, things were poppin’.

And I believe ’18 could top it.  The U.S. was soundly divided by the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement then; it’s agonizing over even headier issues now.  E.g., will the rise of the #MeToo movement continue to equalize the power balance between men and women?  Interest in running for public office is surging among women.  I can’t wait to see if attendance at the Women’s March on January 21st will exceed last year’s 4 million.

Trump’s problems will continue to compound as he hits the various corners he’s backing into.  His blinding hatred of Obama puts him in the untenable position of claiming victory over the ACA even as he’ll have to reach out to Democrats to help shore it up.

His hysteria over the hordes of raping Mexican immigrants will also twist his knickers tighter.  He claims there will be no redemption for DACA without funding for the Wall.  I think he’s truly overstepped here.  The Dems almost certainly would refuse to comply.  If Trump screws over the Dreamers, he loses even more of the Hispanic vote.  If he doesn’t build the Wall, his base would probably start peeling away.  Indeed, he’s already losing Evangelicals, the base of his base.

He wants to end chain migration because it produced Sayfullo Saipov, who killed eight people on a New York City sidewalk recently.  To use one tragic example as a reason to end an entire program is, at best, specious reasoning: Donny’s wheelhouse.  By the same logic, would he use the arrest of ex-Marine Everitt Aaron Jameson — who was stopped from attacking Pier 39 in San Francisco — to abolish the Marine Corps?

After all, Trump could argue, the Corps has produced lots of violent men, like Charles Whitmore and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Then there’s the Russia situation.  Trump is so agitated by what Mueller might find that in a recent 30-minute interview he said 16 times that there was no collusion.  It’s even weirder when you consider that collusion is not a legal term.  If he goes down, it likely would be for conspiracy or obstruction of justice.  So technically he’d be correct.

In the words of the late, great Dick Enberg, “oh, my!”  Buckle up, world.  It’s gonna be a bumpy year.

And Happy New Year!

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