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Category Archives: Politics

Now Twice, in Less Than 20 Years.

The past 24 hours have retriggered similar conversations to those many of us were having exactly 16 years ago at this time.  The question now might well be:  Will, and should, this system survive exactly as is for another century? Some thought here is warranted.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Politics, Presidential

 

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A Commendable Effort, I say.

After three tedious debates, in addition to their countless daily soundbites, our two currently most watched Americans finally showed their supposedly humorous sides– or at least we should say: they tried (one of them succeeding more than the other, as some of us will agree). Now in hindsight, this notable evening sounds all the better when summarized in two and a half minutes!

Dean Martin and Phyllis Diller they’re not, but I commend their efforts nonetheless.  If only we heard this sort of banter from them more often, perhaps the process through which we’re all now living would be a bit more palatable. All the more reason to enjoy such a rare occasion, I say.

 
 

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40 Years Ago Today.

To the point.

“Only if you’ve been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

“Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them.  And then, you destroy yourself.”

His final White House moment

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Famous People, History, Politics, Presidential

 

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Yes, But… What If?

For better or not-so-better, any moment in political history occurs just once, without a retake, yielding an indelible result.  Still, it’s often fascinating to consider alternate outcomes– both immediate and long-term– especially with the help of a deeply insightful book on the subject.

Suppose President-elect John F. Kennedy had been killed before his inauguration, as truly came close to happening one December morning.  Say the gunman in the Ambassador Hotel on that June night had been tackled before hitting his target, allowing Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign to proceed.  And even without an act of violence or death, consider how words alone could have gotten President Gerald Ford elected in his own right– and from there, who would have succeeded him.

Historians, academicians and philosophers often like to ponder the age-old question, “What if?” And for the rest of us who like to ask it as well, reporter/author Jeff Greenfield presents a captivating 400 pages to feed such an appetite, adding to numerous works of alternate history while showcasing an extensive and unique cast of characters.  As fact launches into fiction, we the readers are invited to contemplate, through good and bad, how history might have been written.  The entire “if, then” logic structure rings loudly, hypothetically enough.  Let’s just say the film in my last post clearly would not have been made!

“Then Everything Changed” proves a fascinating and reflective read for anyone who appreciates how it really was, while craving a glimpse into how it could have occurred.  “It” is far more than merely who holds office; the everyday media and social divergences are intertwined.   I’m thrilled to have picked up this two-year-old book, in the end leaving me satisfied that some pieces of history happened as they did– while wishing others might have turned out differently.  Ironically enough, some very memorable events that defined our reality still took place in Mr. Greenfield’s alternative scenario, just at different times among other players.  Such compelling instances simply strike nerves with all the more impact on the reality vs. fantasy balance.  And of course, in scenarios both real and imagined, Bugs Bunny always does beat Daffy Duck.

Ultimately, from tragedy, loss and failure to peace, victory and opportunity, with all that might have happened and the rest that never did, “Then Everything Changed” concludes with a final paragraph demonstrating the mark of a thoughtful and well-balanced author.  That is, I laughed out loud.  I bet you will too!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Books, Famous People, History, Politics, Presidential, Reviews

 

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A Journey Well Worth It.

“The Nixon presidency is endlessly fascinating, and his taped conversations, even now, are shocking, revealing and addictive.” (7/31/13)  

Two out of three’s not bad, so I contemplated in reaction to these words in The New York Times.

The “new” audio-visual elements are indeed revealing, launching any interested viewer onto a potentially addictive historical journey.  Shocking, no.  Still, despite its expected and obvious editorial slant coupled with some peculiar musical selections, “Our Nixon” is well worth the watch.

Then, what Ben Stein has to say seems well worth the read.  After all, there’s of course more than one viewpoint to consider along the journey, whatever descriptive terms one might employ.

 

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Softened or Not…

“Just as the public tends to view presidents more kindly once they’ve left office, ex-presidents, too, tend to soften their judgments – or at least their public comments – with time.”  (Huffington Post, 25 April 2013)

Softened or not, I always appreciate the rare occasion on which to view all living former U.S. presidents, among the current, in the same eyeshot.  Today’s gathering reminds me of another classic below from 1994, except in the present case no death was involved.  Naturally, some change with time more than others.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Famous People, History, News, Politics, Presidential

 

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The More Things Change…

2000

2004

2008

In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 presidential election, how the Electoral College has changed over the past decade, and how it has not, remains a complex yet interesting study.  Click here to examine Politico’s 2012 interactive results map, breaking down the red and blue landscape across every state and county.  To borrow the line yet again, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Current Events, News, Politics, Presidential

 

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