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My dear friend Mary wrote this on her Facebook page and it really spoke to me in light of the current atmosphere in the news media and on social media surrounding our Presidential election. What she has to say on the subject places the truth where it needs to be and so I wanted to share it with you all.
“Like so many in our country, I am saddened by the events of the past three days. I am deeply distressed by the explosion of hate and anger that is tearing this country apart. I have been thinking back to events that have clouded America just in my lifetime. I am a post-WWII baby boomer. At the end of WWII America was the savior of the world. Returning soldiers were cheered and honored with parades.
Then in 1950, Harry Truman, a Democrat, committed troops to Korea and American lives were lost again on foreign soil. Mr, Truman was a foul-mouthed, vulgar man who had little filter to his mouth. Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, was elected in 1952. Shortly after his inauguration he visited the war zone for 3 days, ate C-rations with his troops and generals and made a commitment that enough American lives had died. On July 23, 1953, peace was declared. After troops were pulled out of Korea, not one American soldier died on foreign soil during the rest of his term, a fact that no other president can claim.
Our next president, John Kennedy, a Democrat, had his legacy tarnished as a womanizer, the Cuban Bay of Pigs, the Cuban crisis and the entrance of the Cold War. How many of us remember the disaster drills at school of hiding under our desks if there was a nuclear attack? As if that was supposed to save us if a bomb were to hit. Those were also the civil rights years and our country was divided. I remember rumors that were flying during his campaign. He was a Catholic and rumors were that he had made a pact with Russia that if he was elected, non-converted Protestants were to be sent to concentration camps in Siberia. (LOL). The assassination of JFK was a dark time in our country. JFK was a good president, but he was not considered a great one.
JFK had sent advisors to Vietnam. Enter Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat. LBJ instituted the draft and troops in mass were sent to Vietnam. Again our country was split and on the brink of civil war. Civil Rights a continued issue, young men fleeing to Canada to dodge the draft, riots in our cities and on our campuses. Men returning from Vietnam were disrespected and spit upon.
Richard Nixon, a Republican, brought the troops home, but, without victory in Vietnam. Soldiers, even POWs, were treated with dishonor, no parades welcomed them. A very sad time in our country. President Nixon’s second term was disgraced with Watergate and his resignation.
Gerald Ford, known for his integrity and openness, tried to curb inflation, revive a depressed economy, reduce government intervention and spending. He tried to re-establish US power and prestige in the world and endeavored to prevent war in the Middle East. He was defeated by Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, in 1976.
Carter’s campaign was “A leader for change”. He promised to never tell a lie. His campaign was tarnished by an interview with Playboy where he admitted committing adultery “in his heart” and made other glib remarks about sex and infidelity. He had narrowly defeated Gerald Ford. Carter was a weak president. His presidency was marred by the hostage take over in Iran in which 66 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, released to his disgrace the day he left office. Carter’s second term hopes were ended by a crushing defeat by Ronald Reagan, a Republican. Carter’s reputation was saved after he left office for his humanitarian efforts and peace saving efforts in the Middle East.
Our country enjoyed a growing economy under Reagan. We enjoyed prosperity and peacetime under the leadership of Ronald Reagan. He was successful in foreign policy of tearing the Berlin Wall down and reuniting east and West Berlin. He designated the Martin Luther King holiday. A fairer tax code was put in place during his presidency.
George HW Bush, a Republican, became our 41st president January 1989. His desire was to have a kinder/gentler nation. The Americans with a Disability Act in 1990 is his credit. He authorized military invasions in Panama and Iraq. Operation Desert Storm freed Kuwait. His term was marred by economic recession and his bid for a second term was crushed by Bill Clinton, a Democrat,
Economic prosperity ruled during Clinton’s administration. His legacy was marred by an impeachment in 1998 and scandals of infidelity. Under Bill, invasions happened in Haiti, the Balkans, and Somali. There was the bombing of the World Trade Center, WACO, Texas, the Brady Bill, and NAFTA. Clinton was a champion for the LGBT community.
George W Bush became the 43rd president in January 2001. The campaign was a controversial one in which Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. The White House was trashed and items stolen as the Clinton administration vacated. Nine months into his presidency came the horrors of 9/11. Bush brought unity in our country and lead with compassion and a resolve to bring to justice those responsible. The Department of Homeland Security was established. War on terrorism was launched and invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan brought American into war again. Bush won tax bill cuts, prescription coverage for seniors, signed the “No Child Left Behind” bill. George entered his second term with high voter approval but his popularity plummeted after Hurricane Katrina, and the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Barrack Obama became our county’s 44th president in 2009. As with every other president, he has had his challenges, numerous mass shootings in the USA and a failure to bring home all the troops from the Middle East, Benghazi, Lybia, his Affordable Health Care, race relations. I suppose that historians will determine what kind of a president he was.
My point is that we are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Our leaders have “feet of clay”. Every president has had accomplishments and defeats. Citizens either love our leaders or they hate them. Somehow we must find a way to unity despite our differences or we will be split apart, hate and anger will prevail and there could be civil war and blood shed on our own soil by the hands of our own “American brothers and sisters, friends, and neighbors. May today’s crisis bring us all to our knees to again pray for, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Mary has really touched on a hard hitting truth. If we can not find a way to stop this needless bickering that gets us nowhere and find a way to move forward, we are at risk of losing everything that we hold dear.