Promises, Deals and Trust
The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination
actually took me even further back. There has been much written last week about
the era of the early 1960’s and how the world changed on November 22, 1963. I
was one of those writers. But the world was changing way before that.
The United States had led the world back from the brink of
totalitarianism becoming the dominant form of government only to find that its
wartime ally, the Soviet Union, had become its cold war rival squaring off
across Europe and the world over territory democracy had thought was firmly in
its camp. Along with the contest for land was the contest in space as the
Soviets beat us by launching the first successful man-made satellite and then
the first orbiting man. We were playing catch-up, but we had youth on our side.
That youthful energy was embodied in our president whose death shook us to our
core even as we eventually won the world over with the ideas of freedom and
democracy. The wall in Berlin was built in the early 60’s but the work done by
Kennedy and his successors was instrumental in having it fall over 25 years
In the late 50’s and early 60’s a deal was being forged with
the youth of America. It went something like this. If you work hard, excel in
school, and obey the law, you will prosper, you will all go to the moon and
beyond, and you will be part of a government as good as you are. Walt Disney
told us this was so. Our social studies teachers told us this was so. President
Kennedy was the messiah that convinced us that it was so. Then, suddenly, it
was no more.
I believe that the outpouring of grief that we witnessed
last week was as much for the unfulfilled promises and broken deals made to us
as adolescents that appeared to have died that day in Dallas, but actually
never were contractual at all. If the Baby Boomers wanted to go to the moon,
they would have to get themselves there and not blame Lee Harvey Oswald for the
fact that they remained on Earth. As for the goodness of government, when you
consider that the only two Boomers who may ever become Chief Executives were
Clinton and Bush 43, you have to question whether our generation has any right
to feel cheated when one leader couldn’t keep his pants on and the other
couldn’t think straight when it came to the serious matters of war and peace. I
suspect if their classmates who went to or died in Vietnam had risen to the
Presidency, better behavior might have obtained.
Mine was the generation that never trusted anyone over 30.
Well, we are in our 60s now and we made a mess of it thus we don’t even trust
I think the outpouring of grief at this time is as much for
our own failures as for the promise that died in Dallas that day. If we didn’t
get into space, whose fault is that? The money needed to commercialize space
travel was flushed down various foreign toilets in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and
Iraq. If the government is no longer a force for good, whose fault is that? We
are the government. If our generation pinned all its hopes on one man who was
sick, addicted and philandering, what kind of judges of character are we
So Baby Boomers, what now? Florida? Golf? Senility? I hope
It’s not too late. We can still contribute. Our dreams no
more died in Dallas 50 years ago than they should today with the meltdown of
ObamaCare and the complete lack of leadership displayed by those we mistakenly
elected to lead us or who others chose for such positions (talk about
outlandish promises that some actually believe in, look no further than 1515).
We can rally. It’s late in the game, but there is still time on the clock.
Remember how this all started. “Ask not what your country
can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.
A Lovely Letter from Mr. Smith published in today’s Chronicle. Thanks to him. LZ
Clear talk on healthcare
Regarding “Most ‘providers’ don’t have the old first name – doctor” (Page B10, Sunday), after being forced to listen to the clueless ramblings of a bunch of politicians who have no idea what they’re talking about, we finally get a coherent – and scathing – indictment of the healthcare system in America from somebody who is entitled to an opinion on the subject.
In less than 1000 words, Dr. Leonard Zwelling captures the decades-long failure of the system better than any book on the subject and provides a clear explanation of why Obamacare is simply more of the same.
Dr. Zwelling has a genius for terminology that allows the subject to finally make sense to laymen. Phrases like “health care industrial complex,” “corporatizing of medicine” and “baristas of bariatrics” perfectly explain the ever-expanding cast of profiteers, politicians, meddlers, hucksters, bureaucrats and opportunists that come between a patient and her doctor, the most prominent among those being the health insurance companies and the federal government.
Analysis of his essay ought to be a semester-long course in high school, and nobody should be allowed to graduate until they understand it completely.
For my part, I am going to send the link to everybody I know. Then I’m going to print out a hundred copies and hand them to anybody hungering for an explanation.
Pete Smith, Cypress