who want to stop history in its tracks.
They fear the future, mistrust the present
and invoke the security of a comfortable past.
Which, in fact, never existed.
Those are the words of Robert Kennedy, spoken on the presidential campaign trail in 1968, a few weeks before he was assassinated.
Those words, to me, essentially describe the anti-vaxxers and the Trumpers who believe in their false prophet. They “mistrust the present” and long to return to a past that “never existed.” They believe they can relive 1954 again. Which, of course, they can’t.
As for the America of the ‘50’s being “perfect,” I remember “nuclear bomb” drills with kids hiding under desks for “protection,”the military draft interfering with the futures of millions of young men, the Korean War, beginnings of the war in Viet Nam, iron lung machines for polio victims and a lot more. It wasn’t all “Mom and apple pie.” “Dinah Shore and Chevrolet.”
Kennedy’s words, spoken long before Trump became a twice-impeached President, seem to describe why some 30-million souls ignore the realities of today. Millions now live and believe the lies that make up the prison of their imaginary world.
President Biden, speaking “off-the-cuff,” recently opined Faux Neus was “killing people.” Later, he amended those words, softening them just a bit.
But, as originally spoken, Biden’s words do have a truthful basis. Faux, and their equally complicit partners at Newsmax and One News, are spreading lies about vaccines and their effectiveness as they urge millions of viewers to reject the underlying science. With COVID on the increase in 50 states, medical statistics confirm more than 90-percent of the recent dead were unvaccinated. That’s a fact. All the right-wing B.S. to the contrary.
In addition, the continuing lies are eating at the base of our Republic. Millions of Americans are “believers.” A recent poll of Republican voters showed some 62-percent believe Biden is either not the President or that his election was a fraud. Sixty-two-percent! How can governance – by either party – be effective if that many of the governed believe the system under which they live is false?
The politicizing of our pandemic by those purveyors of lies is “the gift that keeps on giving.” By mixing COVID with politics, capitalizing on fears associated by millions when it comes to medical science, adding a constant stream of lies emanating from right-wing media, with Trump seen as the “savior” of their non-existent world, the mix has created fear, hostility and anger across the country. In fact, Biden was right!
Interesting little background check here. Faux Neus is home to Hannity, Ingraham, Cavuto, Bongino and Doocy. All of whom have heaped praise on Trump and bad-mouthed vaccinations. Which makes it interesting to note that all have been vaccinated. All of ‘em! Further, Faux has instituted an internal “COVID passport.” Get a shot, put it on your “passport” and you can avoid the daily testing of all employees. Isn’t that sweet?
Still their voices form a daily “choir” of lies, half-truths and ignorance directed at an audience of millions who swallow all the verbal swill these people dish out. Reminds me of one of the political truth’s of years gone by: “Ignore what they say – watch what they do.”
But, there’s something else interesting to add to all this. Seems recent polling indicates 62-percent of vaccinated Americans at-large – are asking for a booster shot. At the moment, none of the pharmaceutical companies is suggesting that. But, in about three months, we’ll be told to get our seasonal flu shots. Maybe there’ll be a “booster” option offered.
This nation has always had what my Dad called “aginers.” People who opposed one thing or another just out of onryness. Or, determined ignorance. We’ve got our share of those today.
While Kennedy’s words still seem appropriate for our times, they serve only as a societal recognition of the millions who are living in another world. They offer neither response nor a method to overcome the steady flow of misinformation with which we’re afflicted today. Kennedy never had to deal with the media pervasiveness we have in our lives now. There were far-right conspiratorial voices in the ‘50’s,” but not the (un)social media of unedited garbage that fills so much of our lives these days.
While we’re not the first generation having to deal with angry miscreants and outliers by the millions, we are the first having to contend with the constant, daily flow of broadcast and computerized verbal fuel that feeds so many millions. That keeps stoking the angry fires.
First Amendment or not, some way must be found to shut off the spigots of misinformation and falsehoods. If we can’t find an answer to ending the flow of lies being passed off as fact, the fuel for the fires will continue to infiltrate our lives. If that flow can’t be stopped, it will continue to threaten our Republic from within. We must relieve the pressures that could impinge on the freedoms of the rest of us.
I was a supporter of Bobby Kennedy. His words were optimistic, his efforts in various positions of authority were positive and hope-giving.
We could use more of that today.