Sunday, March 18, 2012

Giving the demagogue my paper route money...

Ronald Reagan revival...

I keep hearing in the media a new trend of comparing current, modern American Republicans to the former President Ronald Reagan as if he has new "clout."

I'm really aghast to remember that I threw my support behind Reagan, the B-movie actor, union representative, all around funny guy, who basically changed the direction of the world.

He was hardly a man without controversy. The press made him out to be a "puppet," or stupid.

There are other words I would "now" use to describe him: ruthless, maybe? Controlling, arrogant, narcissistic, egocentric, etc. you get the idea.

My paper route...

When I was young, about 13, I had income, I had a newspaper route. I was not responsible at all and no one should have ever put me in charge of making sure fucking farmers in Greensburg, Indiana had there precious fucking newspaper every single morning at 5 am.

First of all, by this time, I hardly went to school, only if I wanted to or I woke up on time. So, expecting me to be awake and with newspaper by 5 am was ridiculous.

I had great expectations of making money so I did give this a try--for three years. However, there were no days off. Everyday of my young life was bound to this goddam paper route. Okay, this was hardly my point. Sorry, I'm suffering from a brutal hangover. I'm drinking water this morning, no Sprite. Err, afternoon I mean. Could be the evening. London is Portland with an accent. (If you can believe it, dehydrated as I am, I just made plans with a Londoner to have a few pints. Nice alcoholic life. LOL)

My family would suffer as well...

Since there was no chance I could "deliver" on this promise everyday, I did have to find a way out of this paper delivery nightmare. I trained my sister to be my stand in.

She was the only person insane enough to wake me up at 4 am daily. Really my sister deserves some credit as there are some who know the dangers of waking a bi-polar up early. (or late or at all) We would all haggle at 4 am about money, responsibility--there was a lot of yelling in our house in the wee hours. Usually it was just easier to provide free labor and deliver my papers than to argue with me.

Somehow I managed to eek a living, you know teenage living, ice cream, candy...(porn) that kind of thing.

Jeezus, where am I going with this?

Anyway, also on my list of priorities were political contributions apparently. So, somehow getting back to my initial point, I gave generously to Ronald Reagan for many years, since I was employed in the newspaper delivery business at age 12 to be exact.

Several dollar bills were turned into checks by the parents and sent off to the Reagan campaign. I was a serious voter, though I couldn't vote yet. But I did vote with  my money. 

I also voted for him as President, second term, my age was a year off the first election. Becoming 18 was for me the year I could become the powerful voter I had only dreamed of. (I know, weird) While others awaited the age to drink, I just wanted to take control of the White House. lol

Those parallels...

Now this part is ironic in some sense, as I had to collect for my route, I had to go to the customer and ask for money. This I did regularly and early.

Thus I discovered the magic potion for more money: ask for it.

What happened was I got caught in the same economic plight as did America under Ronald Reagan. I took money for services rendered in the uncertain future. I suggested, after one customer gave me a payment for six months, that all customers do this.

This way I would have all my money ahead of the game.

Unknowingly, I used "Reagonomics." 

Not a good idea.

I learned the hard way when I spent all my money and had no way of getting more money after I set all my customers, or most, on the old six month plan...(not a great plan.)

Ronald Reagan was sort of doing the same thing.We had over extended credit in this country by a long shot. The American dream was being funded by plastic. And there was also egregious government overspending on the "cold war."

For those not familiar with the cold war (and I do not say this facetiously as people are selectively informed--there is far too much information-too many obstacles to knowing fucking everything. I don't remember the content of books I read 20 years ago. So, I'm not being sarcastic here, more understanding.) it was a money burner for this country.

Basically, the former Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear power, and a great weapons stash. We were in a competition, on paper really. Ideologically we had democracy visions versus communism/socialism which were not as diametrically opposed as we think they are. Corruption sees no differences in ideology.

The short version is that we spent money building weapons against each other, money in the trillions. Reagan had his own "Star Wars" plan to trump the Soviets by shooting their weapons out of the sky before they could hit American soil.

"We won!"

As much as I criticize...

I may tell you now that I'm embarrassed to have voted for him. But he played a role in history that needed to be played. He was a tough guy. Or he played the role of a tough guy as he was an actor. He was a great demagogue, he told us what we wanted to hear.

Once again, after WWII, Germany was split into two sides: East Germany and West Germany. There was even a wall to segregate the communists from the rest of the world. These people behind the "iron curtain" would often defect to what we fondly called "our side."

Actually, the truth is there were Americans who also changed their thinking and wanted to be communists. It's the polarities I always refer to. This could have also been called the "bi-polar war" too.

But the US and the media played it up big when a communist would want to leave their own country. We would take these people into our country just for saying they did not want to be a socialist, which is BTW, still a dirty word here in the US.

Compare that to our current immigration policy. 

Oh the propaganda...

We lived this crazy ideology--but we did so happily as we used our credit to buy new things or do new things, which kept us distracted. We became overextended as we had no intention of working that hard to pay for all of least now anyway.

Much like my six month plan going bust on me, these same economic, or even philosophical practices were failing the average American.

His focused strengths...

Reagan did hard line these Soviets and in 1989, the wall in Germany was razed to the ground and the country became one again. We gave credit to Reagan for taking down this "awful" government and ending the nuclear threat, as well as reuniting Germany. 

But it went back and forth until the likes of Ronald Reagan arrived. This was his destiny to be the last of the Mohicans, a hard ass President who "smack talked" the Soviets to the point the people lost confidence in their government.

He was a bad ass and really did some crazy things to keep the American people enthralled in this competition so he could continue to spend our money on it. Also, keep in mind these were "nukes" we were pointing at each other. These were weapons to kill people and the whole planet.

This President played a critical role in the survival of our species. (hard to admit)

I had dreams...

When I was young I would have nightmares about nuclear weapons, it was a reoccurring thing. Duck and cover never worked in those dreams. The infamous mushroom cloud would rise up and then I'd awake in a sweat.

The things Ronald Reagan did to the Soviets to back them out of our 50 year competition were nothing short of brilliant. But I would not think they belong in this current "era."

I don't think many would think well of a President who was that single minded.

George W. Bush was emulating Reagan, and he fell short in every way. He did manage to spend as much as Reagan-trillions upon trillions though, that's the only comparison.

But Bush's war in Iraq, an unholy war, that never lead to anything good and decent, was so un-Reagan like. Bush never had the resolve of Reagan--the faith-the belief. Bush (whacked) played his role as we all do, but it was one we should be disturbed about and afraid to repeat.

Too long here, but my point is that we play a role in this world no matter who we are. To compare Reagan to anyone of recent is a waste of your breath and energy as there is no comparison.

I would not vote for him now, but yes, he was the answer then.

We as the awakened human race have an obligation to be what this world needs right now. This country would NOT do well under Reagan at this time.

This world definitely needs a real leader, just not one like Reagan. He had his time, he had his place, like everyone/thing else.

So, there you go.

I'm going to get back to hydrating as tomorrow I begin my "bus top" tour of London. And God knows tomorrow will be just another reason to slip into a pub and drink some beer. I'll be hitting the tourist circuit and I promise pictures.

Really, I'm so overwhelmed with everything, (being a fucking foreigner is just what I need, hell every American needs to be a foreigner, we are so damned xenophobic) that I just want to digest it as I go along. But while on the bus cruising around the open spaces, I'll make sure to grab the camera.

As is usual for me, I'm more interested in the people, their perspective, more so than the environment itself. I'll get to it though...

The Bi-polar American in London.

Note: The email version of this story went out before I was done writing it. I'll have to make sure not to hit the publish button before I'm done. So, this story may not be exactly like the other story. If you're really bored compare them.

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