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Sun Aug 30, 2020, 10:55 AM

It's Dj vu All Over Again. And again. And again.

It's Déjà vu All Over Again. And again. And again.

Remember when Reagan told us that his election signaled "morning in America," and when the Republicans told us that we were about to become that "shining city on a hill," and when Peggy Noonan wrote about "a thousand points of light" for Dubya's daddy to read from a teleprompter not long after he used the same hate-and-fear techniques in those Willie Horton ads to stir racism in ways not too much less subtle than what Trump is deploying now to ensure an implacably divided America when and if his minions allow us to go to the polls in November?

Well, I do. That's cuz I'm old, though not entirely without memory. A couple of generations have grown to adulthood since the '80s, and it sure seems like some of this ancient history never adhered to their memories. Many Americans, then and now, just weren't paying attention. And lots of people were still learning to use the toilet or tie their shoes when some of this stuff was happening, so they had other priorities.

Remember who else had "other priorities"? Dick Cheney had other priorities back when he was a partying young asshole in Wyoming, old enough to go to Vietnam, but able to skate past getting drafted. Though he evaded service, he was a big cheerleader for that war, one of those shitty Young Republicans some of us still remember from the '60s because so many of them seemed exactly like Tucker Carlson, enough so to seem like Tucker was cloned from some of their rotten old DNA.

Remember that oft-repeated line from Santayana to the effect that "those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it." Well, lots of us who lived through the latter half of the 20th century do remember a lot of stuff being repeated right now, most significantly the appeal the Republicans are making to our worst angels, our fears, our racism, our ignorance, our hate. What we're seeing now looks and sounds and feels a lot like what we've seen, heard, and felt before. We remember it from 1968, when Tricky Dick Nixon and George Wallace were both working this old mine of fool's gold in only slightly different styles, one with a southern accent the other with the softer tones of Whittier, California. We later saw Lee Atwater pulling this same ol' shit, and Karl Rove, and Rush Limbaugh. We could pick up echoes of it most any day we were twisting the radio dial and winding up on "Christian" broadcasting or right wing radio talk shows that drew ratings by provoking racists to give 'em a call.

Remember George Lincoln Rockwell? If you aren't old, you probably don't. Google him. Remember who said that we needed to "bomb Viet Nam back to the Stone Age"? Chances are that if you're not old enough to collect Social Security, you don't. Remember which political party resisted the creation of the Social Security system? And have you noticed any pattern of efforts to privatize Social Security so consistent at least since Reagan was looking to get rid of it.


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