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(22,166 posts)
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:55 PM Jan 2021

My sad expectation for our future

The deployment of 25,000+ military and law enforcement forces in our nation's capital seems more than prudent given the disastrous siege of the Capitol. I'm confident that these professional women and men will protect our capital and its people. But I have a fear for the longer term for our country.

In the mid-1970s, my high school choral group was invited to tour Romania as part of a United Nations cultural exchange program. We spent three weeks traveling around this beautiful country, performing American music and meeting many wonderful people and seeing fantastic sites including Dracula's Castle! At the time, Nicolae Ceaușescu was Romania's president and he was viewed somewhat favorably in the West because he didn't always toe the line with the Soviet Union. It wouldn't be until years later that the world would discover that he was a vicious tyrant.

There were about 40 of us on the trip and for many of my fellow students, this was their first trip overseas. Actually, for some of them, it was their first time on an airplane! When we landed in Bucharest, the airport was filled with people, just like any airport back home. But then some students discovered that there were armed military scattered throughout the airport. Some of them were emotionally shaken and the tour guide hustled us out to our bus. Later, I asked the guide about the soldiers and she said people had come to accept them and to give them a wide berth.

In the post-1970s skyjackings, we came to accept the intrusiveness of searches and metal detectors in our airports. In the post-9/11 era, we came to accept even more intrusiveness and the stationing of military and police in all of our transportation hubs and shopping malls. We came to accept government's intrusion into our phone calls and electronic communications.

We even came to accept torture.

What I fear is that D.C. will become a locked-down city where the Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court and all the other Federal facilities will have even more restricted access. These are the dangers that the right-wing terrorists are inflicting on our nation. The buildings that house our republic have to be protected from some of the citizens represented by the people working within those buildings! Who said that irony is dead?

I understand that these actions by our governments-- at every level-- are intended to protect us from the violence that permeates our society particularly from these right-wing seditionists.

But I remember D.C. when you could walk into many buildings without any security and the others with a tour or a guide. I remember airports without soldiers guarding them. I remember when flying was comfortable and even a little bit fun.

All of those days are gone.

33 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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My sad expectation for our future (Original Post) PJMcK Jan 2021 OP
I spent summers in Franco's Spain in the early and mid 1970s. The Guardia Civil with their scary tblue37 Jan 2021 #1
Weird, isn't it? PJMcK Jan 2021 #5
Very weird! tblue37 Jan 2021 #16
Thank you Hekate Jan 2021 #2
Sadly, you're welcome (n/t) PJMcK Jan 2021 #4
Here's my father's DC memory. He was going to Georgetown law school when Karadeniz Jan 2021 #3
Great story! PJMcK Jan 2021 #8
I'm sure they didn't attach a gift tag. Personally, I always hoped the butler snuck it back to the Karadeniz Jan 2021 #17
Sad lack of imagination. You're not even sleeping with your Hortensis Jan 2021 #6
Well, we don't know one another's lives PJMcK Jan 2021 #11
I haven't "accepted" anything you imagine. You have a very Hortensis Jan 2021 #14
Okay, here are a few questions PJMcK Jan 2021 #18
Not walking in your shoes. Look, these people have already Hortensis Jan 2021 #22
" Second, do you ever go to a shopping mall? Notice the heavily armed cops? Why are they there?" Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2021 #23
New York City and its environs (n/t) PJMcK Jan 2021 #24
I'm presently in the south of France and 'Operation Vigipirate' is very much in evidence, GoneOffShore Jan 2021 #30
Thank you StarfishSaver Jan 2021 #28
I don't think bdamomma Jan 2021 #7
I don't think we will ever look the same onethatcares Jan 2021 #12
Absolutely right! PJMcK Jan 2021 #13
This message was self-deleted by its author Chin music Jan 2021 #9
Our government is made up of a variety of characters PJMcK Jan 2021 #20
I hear you! cilla4progress Jan 2021 #10
Romania is a fantastic country with a wonderful history PJMcK Jan 2021 #15
I find their history cilla4progress Jan 2021 #19
It won't always be that way Thekaspervote Jan 2021 #21
The US is somewhat peculiar. Most militaries have an internal security role. Klaralven Jan 2021 #25
I still love flying and traveling. BannonsLiver Jan 2021 #26
Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu were executed by their countrymen in 1989. We won't do that irisblue Jan 2021 #27
Your details are correct PJMcK Jan 2021 #29
I began to feel that way after 9/11 Maeve Jan 2021 #31
Ronald Ratf***ing Reagan Roisin Ni Fiachra Jan 2021 #32
K&R nam78_two Jan 2021 #33


(65,778 posts)
1. I spent summers in Franco's Spain in the early and mid 1970s. The Guardia Civil with their scary
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:00 PM
Jan 2021

weapons were everywhere.

I know just what you mean.


(22,166 posts)
5. Weird, isn't it?
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:14 PM
Jan 2021

On that trip in the 1970s, one classmate grabbed me by the arm and thrusting her camera in my hands dragged me over to one of the soldiers. Using hand signs, she politely asked if she could have her picture taken with him. He laughed and assented. She was quite a contrast from our compatriots who were in tears!

That picture was part of the photo collage at her funeral last year.


(22,825 posts)
3. Here's my father's DC memory. He was going to Georgetown law school when
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:07 PM
Jan 2021

Prohibition stopped. I don't know when that took effect, but near Christmas or New Years... snow was on the ground... Dad and his roommate slogged their way right up to the White House front door and left FDR a present, a bottle of champagne.

We haven't seen that much public accessibility in ages...maybe it stopped during WWII.


(22,166 posts)
8. Great story!
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:16 PM
Jan 2021

Did your dad get a thank you note?!

I think the accessibility got tighter during the 1960s when there was so much societal tension. Or perhaps it's just a continuous curve...


(22,825 posts)
17. I'm sure they didn't attach a gift tag. Personally, I always hoped the butler snuck it back to the
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:50 PM
Jan 2021

Kitchen for staff. FDR, as dad would've said, needed more booze like Custer needed more Indians!


(58,785 posts)
6. Sad lack of imagination. You're not even sleeping with your
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:14 PM
Jan 2021

family under a railroad overpass after going broke and losing the family farm, stealing veggies from other people's fields, of course no cell phone or computer, or national retirement program, which weren't invented yet.

At least those people had some excuse for imagining all those days for them were gone.


(22,166 posts)
11. Well, we don't know one another's lives
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:35 PM
Jan 2021

Like far too many people, I've had some terribly bad times in my six decades. To be clear, my post wasn't about long-term history and the travesties in U.S. history.

My point was not meant to be reflect anything other than how things have changed in our country's society since my youth. We've accepted that our country has become a military state. Take a look at the materiel that police forces have and tell me we're not an inch away from a police state!

Your reference to an earlier time of crisis is not really apt but your point is spot on. There are far too many Americans who are hurting and need our governments' help. We all need better leaders and I'm hopeful that President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer will steer our ship of state on the right course.


(58,785 posts)
14. I haven't "accepted" anything you imagine. You have a very
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:45 PM
Jan 2021

romantic notion of a time when people were better. I know better. Those who came before us had to defeat these sorts before and did, after coming dreadfully close to losing. We have become better people and society over the past 100 years, and I feel sorry for those who can only see problems and not realize that.


(22,166 posts)
18. Okay, here are a few questions
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:56 PM
Jan 2021

First, do you ever fly on a commercial airliner? You say you haven't accepted anything I "imagined." When you go into the airport, what do you see and experience as you try to board your flight?

Second, do you ever go to a shopping mall? Notice the heavily armed cops? Why are they there?

It doesn't matter if we accept their presence or not. They are there. Period.

As far as your observation that I'm being romantic, that's your misinterpretation. I was commenting about my perceptions in my lifetime. Of course I know that lots of bad shit has been happening since before we were a United States! But that wasn't the point of my post.

To be clear, I was simply writing about how we never saw military and the police presence was minimal if at all.

Hortensis, I consider you an online compatriot and I've been avidly reading your posts for years. I'm not really interested in an argument with someone I think of as a colleague.

Enjoy your weekend.


(58,785 posts)
22. Not walking in your shoes. Look, these people have already
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:15 PM
Jan 2021

lost and don't know it. They're a minority of hard-core conservatives driven by fear and reacting furiously to changes in society's thinking that have already happened. What do you think it means that 77% approved of the peaceful BLM marches in over 700 towns and cities?

As someone put it, posted here this morning, this is "A funeral for white supremacy, for an outdated, outmoded male power. What we are witnessing is backlash. These people are not the future, they are the barnacles on the future that is going to happen with or without them."

It's a long funeral, and they have a lot of big changes to fear, not just racial and gender equality. But they're the current iteration fighting the "fundamental through line" that's run all through our nation's history. We've progressed enormously and a great deal of that progress has occurred during our lifetimes and in us.

Addendum: Here, I went and found this for you. Optimism and long views don't win ratings races, but now and then someone slips a little in.


Lady Freedom Returns

(14,120 posts)
23. " Second, do you ever go to a shopping mall? Notice the heavily armed cops? Why are they there?"
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:34 PM
Jan 2021

What heavily armed cops? Your lucky to find a security guard! Where the heck do you ship?


(17,356 posts)
30. I'm presently in the south of France and 'Operation Vigipirate' is very much in evidence,
Sun Jan 17, 2021, 08:54 AM
Jan 2021

with infantry, paratroop, or legionnaire squads walking the streets of Marseille, Aix, Montpellier, Nice, et al on a daily basis.

The Gendamarie and the police are all armed. And when there are demonstrations, whether large or small there is a police presence. Metal detectors at the entrances to live performance venues, museums and the occasional store add a layer of security.

I lived in the UK in the 1970's during the troubles.


(64,135 posts)
7. I don't think
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:15 PM
Jan 2021

we will ever look the same to the world again. We have a opening sore on us just from lies, greed and propaganda. All roads lead to Russia.

tRump should be held accountable and his guilty thugs and accomplices.


(16,305 posts)
12. I don't think we will ever look the same
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:35 PM
Jan 2021

to each other again.

The masks came off in the strangest ways as we got to see our neighbors hating our other neighbors for the color of their skin or the humanity of wanting healthcare insurance for us all.

and we have armed citizens on the streets, everywhere.


(22,166 posts)
13. Absolutely right!
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:38 PM
Jan 2021

I've lost friends and ended family relationships because of Trump.

He's a cancer. When President Biden is sworn in, I'll exhale.

Response to PJMcK (Original post)


(22,166 posts)
20. Our government is made up of a variety of characters
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:02 PM
Jan 2021

They span the political spectrum from Fascism to Anarchy.

Thankfully, the majority of them are somewhat patriotic and take their oaths of office somewhat seriously.

(What a pathetically sad but accurate that sentence was!)

I would never suggest that our governments-- at any level-- are flawless since history has proven that to not be the case.

Really, the only point I was making was that D.C. will probably be an occupied city from now on thanks to the seditionists.


(24,946 posts)
10. I hear you!
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:29 PM
Jan 2021

I remember in about 1984 walking barefoot on the Mall including into the Washington Monument - after dark! It was all open and accessible.

My dear friend immigrated to US from Romania several years ago. I enjoy hearing her stories of life under Ceaușescu, comparing it to US, and I ask her a lot of q's about it!


(22,166 posts)
15. Romania is a fantastic country with a wonderful history
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:46 PM
Jan 2021

It has a remarkable diversity from the Romanian Alps to the Black Sea resorts to the cosmopolitan cities of Bucharest and Cluj.

One night, we stayed in a peasant village and it was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. These were people who had very little but they generously opened their village and homes to us. One fellow gave us a tour of the town and its particular highlights. He didn't speak English and we didn't speak Romanian but we were able to combine French, Spanish, Latin(!) and hand signs to communicate. It was fun as hell! Needless to say, we gave gifts to the families we stayed with. I stayed in touch with my host-family for about a dozen years following the trip.

I've always been a foodie so I really enjoyed learning a new cuisine. Unfortunately, my classmates weren't quite as open minded as some of us were and the tour guide had to arrange some changes to our diets, much to some of our regrets!


(32,942 posts)
21. It won't always be that way
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:13 PM
Jan 2021

I tried to link it, but couldn’t

Look up Anand Giridharadas statement on msnbc last word 1/15. Quite hopeful, and profound



(7,510 posts)
25. The US is somewhat peculiar. Most militaries have an internal security role.
Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:34 PM
Jan 2021

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Posse Commitatus Act of 1878 was passed in order to end the military occupation of the Confederate States. It mostly prohibits the use of the military to enforce the law within the United States.

Thus, we have the peculiar notion that the military should be restricted to remote training bases and used to enforce our laws globally outside of the US.

Other countries generally give the military the responsibility for assisting other law enforcement organizations and providing the ultimate assurance of public order. Their armies are garrisoned more widely and tend to patrol and train among the populations, as well as provide backup security. French soldiers were guarding the Eiffel Tower in the late '80s.

In the '70s it would be unusual to see tanks on the roads in the US. It was not so unusual in West Germany.


(16,676 posts)
26. I still love flying and traveling.
Sun Jan 17, 2021, 12:24 AM
Jan 2021

I’ll be on a plane somewhere as soon as it’s safe.

I expect the coming years will look a little like the troubles in the UK and Ireland. I think we’ll see bombings and other attacks.

You will see RW terrorists supplant ME terrorists as the primary threat in the eyes of most Americans. Of course that’s nothing new for me. I live in the city that was the site of the worst act of terrorism in American history prior to 9/11, and it was a white dude from Niagara County NY that did it.


(33,149 posts)
27. Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu were executed by their countrymen in 1989. We won't do that
Sun Jan 17, 2021, 12:33 AM
Jan 2021

Our civic and social structures are much older then Romania, we are not at current as damaged as Eastern Europe was in the 70s. I can see your point, but I disagree with the premise.

I'll pick this up tomorrow, with a fuller reasoning b/c I'm going to bed.


(22,166 posts)
29. Your details are correct
Sun Jan 17, 2021, 08:26 AM
Jan 2021

I was not drawing a parallel between the U.S. and Romania. I was simply commenting how the U.S. has begun to look like a police state because we have armed guards nearly everywhere. That isn't going to change for the rest of my life because the political and social discord in the U.S. is too stark.


(42,398 posts)
31. I began to feel that way after 9/11
Sun Jan 17, 2021, 09:21 AM
Jan 2021

We took a family trip to DC in the summer of 2001--easy travel, only minor hassles with security (and some of the strongest security was at the Holocaust Museum, because RWNJs were threats back then, too). It felt like the whole city was ours.
Then came the lock-down. They even took trash cans out of the Metro stations for fear of bombs (we'd snagged newspapers out of them when we were there--four kids, we were cheap!)

It will get tight, then better again when we get the domestic terrorists back in their box and nail that lid shut.

Roisin Ni Fiachra

(2,574 posts)
32. Ronald Ratf***ing Reagan
Sun Jan 17, 2021, 09:28 AM
Jan 2021

The enemy of truth, love, and kindness, who led our country down the dark path of lies and hate that led directly to Donald Trump and a nation almost half full of ignorant, confused, hateful fascist lunatics. Before Reagan, there was no Fox News, no Rush Limbaugh, no RW hate radio lies filling the heads of the gullible ignorant with violent, hateful Naziesque bulls**t.

The day that cruel, evil man was elected is the day the light began to gradually dim in our country, and brought us to this place of darkness, where violent, psychotic fascist lunatics literally urinated and defecated upon the citadel of American Democracy.

We must remain steadfastly unite against fascism, and push it back into bottom of the toxic cesspool that, summoned by Reagan, it crawled out of, until it is all but eradicated from the national consciousness. The reign of the narcissistic psychopath fascist President, the hateful, twisted, ideological spawn of Reagan, is in its death throes.

The dragon has been slain, and with new leadership, we must be the force that changes the dark and twisted path that Reagan set us on, and move forward to make America better than it has ever been, a place that is kind, and safe, and sane, for everyone.

Build back better than ever.

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