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Today and Tomorrow

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I was walking my dog when I saw him. I had met him a few times years before when he was a history teacher at the local high school before he left for a government job but I had not seen him since. He was slightly hunched, sitting on a bench looking at the river below. The gray tweed jacket collar encroached on the nape of his neck and seemed to scrape against his silver hair. He heard me coming and turned, his lean weathered face broke into a kind smile. I said hello and he moved to one end of the bench inviting me to join him. I did and we were both silent for a few moments.
Then he spoke. “I am eighty years old today,” I exchanged his words with the usual birthday greeting adding “Are you happy?”

“No, I am not. I am distressed.”

“I was surprised at his openness. How do you mean?”

“ I was born during the first FDR Administration. I have seen much that was bright and even brilliant but I do not like the time of now. We are in dark times getting darker. “

“Happy Birthday was the wrong thing to say, then?”

“Not at all, the sentiment was appreciated.”

My dog sensed this was not a quick good-by and settled in with a long stretch.
“I said that because of my feelings. Turbulence has been building in the cavity of my chest for some time and it is not a cardiac concern.”

“What then?”

“As a history teacher I have a pretty good vision on the flow of history and I see rapids building and very choppy white water ahead. I fear for the good ship Columbia.””

“You mean the United States?

“Of course. ”He looked at me with annoyance, his lips grimacing. I wasn’t sure if it was me or the thoughts brewing in his mind. Then he spoke.”
“I have both thoughts and feelings about what is happening here in the United States. The thoughts are based on fact, the feelings on pure instinct.”
I wasn’t sure if he was inviting a question but I asked anyway,” What thoughts do you have?”

“ As a nation, we are in a state of transformation, the cause of the rough waters.”

“Transforming to what?”

“I’m not sure but it is away from what we were.>”

“I don’t follow.” His look of annoyance with the lips reappeared.”
My instinct tells me we, as a nation, are morphing into a new nation.”

“ How so?”

“When I was young fifty years ago, America was my country. Today, I feel it is someone else’s country. That is what my instinct tells me.”

“When did that morphing take place?.

I am not sure perhaps the seeds were sown in 1913 or 1971 when the Federal Reserve started up and the gold standard was abandoned respectively. It’s all about power and money is an integral part of it.”

“Who then owns the country? “

“I don’t know but like the ancient Roman Republic morphing into Imperial Rome our American Republic is morphing into something else. That’s my instinct talking.”

“You say you have facts, what are the facts?”

”It is obvious from recent revelations that the Democratic Party has rigged the presidential nominating process with a thing called Super Delegates, a composition of party bosses and lobbyists that holds sway over the nominating process lest the people vote to nominate someone not to their liking. On the Republican side, the same thing is in evidence, Mr. Trump is not to the liking of the Party Bosses– the Establishment-, so they are seeking to derail his nomination. In both instances it is a matter of political power and subsequently absolute power. The citizens of the Republic do not have the true say as to who the candidates will be in either instance in the event no candidate attains the necessary delegates going into their respective conventions. Those votes cast by the citizenry will be validated only if the candidates are in sync with the powers that be. Those, sadly, are the facts.”

“Where then is the morphing?”

“My instinct tells me that the Establishment and the Super Delegates are not distant from each other. The Establishment on the Republican side are a grouping of corporate factors, the partisan press, talk radio. On the Democratic side, the so-called mainstream media, Wall Street, and global enterprises. I’m sure others are in the shadows as well.”

“So are they morphing into one large entity? Is that the thrust of your point?”

“Sadly yes, the thread that may be weaving them into a singular fabric is, of course, wealth on a global scale: wealth that satisfies the hunger for power and control on a global scale.”

The eighty year old man was rising to leave but my curiosity was aroused.
“Can you name some names”

He nodded reflectively. “If we meet again, we can chat. I am on a new regimen and will probably be back next week but I must leave now, my wife is waiting for me. If you are walking your dog, this time next week, have a seat.”

“I may do that.”

“Perhaps then, we will meet again.” he said,turning and stepping briskly down the pathway.

My dog sensed it was time to leave, arched his back and rose We walked away in the opposite direction as a cloud drifted in front of the morning sun.

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