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I hope the Kos community will allow me the indulgence of this long memory/rant/whine/vision. It is simply a long stream of consciousness release of ideas, thoughts, feelings and memories that fill my mind and possess me these days and nights as I attempt to see clearly the reality I find myself in now in America. (WHAT IT IS NOT) It is not meant as a definitive summary of our history together nor the problems we face, nor the solutions we must find. It is meant as an expression of my thoughts and feelings and dreams and reactions only. However, (THE PURPOSE OF THE PIECE) I hope it will energize us all to fight all the harder in the coming year to turn things around and join together to create the world we dream of and wish to live in.

I remember America before Conservatism.

It wasn't perfect.
But it was still the greatest country in the world.

The other night I couldn't sleep and in my mind I created this variation of the great song Imagine by John Lennon (and then I got up and wrote the first draft of this diary):

Imagine there’s no Fox
No Limbaugh, Hannity, or O’Reilly
No one to lie about and hate you.
Imagine there’s no Reagan, Bush or Cheney
No one to feed the rich and starve you.
Imagine that.
with apologies to and in remembrance of the great John Lennon, true man of peace

We didn't have any billionaires, we didn't have 50 million in poverty even with most of them working either.

Banks didn't get bailed out and then pay billions in bonuses to the bankers who committed the fraud that crashed them, and the mentally ill and veterans didn't live on the streets because no one wanted to bail them out. We punished one, and helped the other, back then.

The rich paid higher taxes but were still rich and we had entrepreneurs creating businesses and expanding technology, and full time workers could pay rent and still feed their families, even pay college tuition for their kids. We had strong unions and strong corporations at the same time. Imagine that! We had vital small towns and family farms and ‘mom and pop’ stores and good schools and something called ‘upward mobility’ was possible and we were even getting closer to something called ‘equal opportunity’ for all regardless of race, creed, or gender.

Our president then spoke of a “Great Society” and it seemed real and possible to become even better.
Imagine that.

That’s all called Socialism and anti-American now.

We were the envy and the light of the world.

We weren't perfect.
Far from it. Very far. We had lots of problems, lots of people were angry about lots of things.

There was the Cold War, there was Mutually Assured Destruction. There was Selma and Viet Nam and Kent State. There was the Oil Embargo and Stagflation. There was Nixon and Watergate. On and on. But we were trying to change things for the better. Slowly but surely.

Sometimes it got violent, and ugly, sometimes we made progress. Jack and Bobby and Martin were murdered. They were our heroes and we were stunned, shocked and we mourned. But change kept coming, laws were changed, rights granted and enshrined in law, the war ended, eventually, and others came forward to organize and work for their rights too and try to change things they thought weren't right or fair or equitable. Women, Gay Men and Women and others.

Change happened. Change was constant and inevitable and it was generally accepted that it would continue forward—progressing—and that was good. Good for all of us. We were a progressive nation and people. It seemed to me. At that time. And in my memory of it now.

America and the American experiment in "Democracy," the American "Dream" itself, was still possible. Anything and everything still seemed possible.


Then a man was elected who declared “It’s morning in America” and he began the movement to undo all of that as the America I remember rapidly vanished into the descending darkness. Things changed. The American Dream became a nightmare.

People began to believe that helping the poor was causing them to be dependent, rather than become independent. So we cut them off.

People began to believe that we needed to let the rich become even richer and then their wealth would ‘trickle down’ on all of us. So we let them take all the money and not give much back.

As more and more people became poor because jobs vanished, they were called lazy and useless and help was refused.

“Let them die!” people say now. “Moochers!”

More and more people lost jobs and the opportunity to find jobs because the jobs were gone.

Yet still people believe that the rich will share their wealth, if we don’t ‘punish success’ with taxes, which are now ‘theft’ instead of the ‘price of civilization,’ the cost of creating the America I remember. So now the already unimaginably wealthy steal more and more and more from our common economy and more and more become poor and hopeless and homeless.

And as crazy as it sounds, people still want desperately to believe the new 'dream' of trickling down wealth and so fight and demonize and shout down those who say ‘Wake up! you've been lied to!’

And so now “Real Americans” fight like hell against anyone who even suggests we go back to doing things the way we used to.

Those people are ‘traitors’ they scream! They—we—are called “Liberals” now, a label of utter contempt, a name which once meant “real mainstream American values” in the America I remember. Then, the way I remember it, they were known and respected as the people who made “the American Dream” actually come true. But now it’s said that they want to ‘destroy America.’

And people believe it and talk about hunting them down and actually killing them, even going so far as to make “liberal hunting licenses’ and sell them on the internet, and some have already been hunted down and killed.

And no one seems to care, instead they complain that the one’s doing the shooting are the persecuted ones. Today. In today’s America.

Our president is called a Marxist and people threaten to kill him simply because they think, they just imagine, that he wants to take us back to that America. The one that I remember.

And now, at Christmas, congress cuts veteran’s pensions—their pensions! soldiers who served in our wars, imagine that!—and cut food stamps again, and refuses to extend unemployment to millions out of work with no hope of a job, while the Tea Party still screams about their taxes supporting lazy moochers as billions more are spent on death machines, trillions committed to high tech aircraft, ships and tanks, and unmanned drones slaughter wedding parties by remote control in a foreign country 1000s of miles away on the other side of the earth.

We are in a ‘War Against Terror’ you see. Against it. Against a feeling, against fear, and so it will be an endless war of course.

Today our poor homeless children go hungry in rat infested abandoned buildings, and our old folks freeze because heating subsidies are cut, and they want to go after the social security and medicare they paid for all their lives next because ‘we can’t afford it!’

Today oil corporations make billions in profits every year, and speculators reap still more profits running the cost of that heating oil to levels above the fixed budgets of our retired workers, and the oil companies get tax breaks in the billions and sometimes actually get refunds from the government, our government, our money, instead of paying taxes, any taxes.

Running for president, Mitt Romney whips up the hate against the 47% who don’t pay income tax because they can’t, because they simply don’t have enough income—they’re on social security or veteran’s pensions—or have any income at all because of his own stated policies and the way he made his own millions for years destroying American businesses and jobs.

And the ‘conservative’ ‘patriots’ take to the internet to complain in every comment thread how they have to pay for those ‘takers’ and its not fair, and it’s the ‘Liberals’ fault, and how its going to ‘destroy’ the country with debt, while ignoring simple math.

Today someone punches a salvation army volunteer for wishing her a cheerful ‘Happy Holidays!’ because that’s just not the right thing to say and that’s what’s really important nowadays—everyone worshiping the ‘right’ god, having the ‘right’ beliefs—and loudly saying so despite his supposed son, the one they claim to worship as their ‘savior,’ admonishing them not to pray in public or make a public show of devotion to that god.


It’s now become nearly unimaginable that we could ever restore that country which once was real. That world we once lived in, and grew up in and prospered in and believed in. That world we don’t need to imagine, if only we remember it.

But still I imagine.
And I imagine John Lennon singing ‘Imagine.’


Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine that.

I want my country back.

Imagine that.

Good luck and thanks for attending.

Originally posted to srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, maggid, disrael, Bluefin

    no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

    by srfRantz on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 03:30:29 PM PST

  •  You know this song got John Lennon killed? (0+ / 0-)
    Chapman later said he was incensed by Lennon's "more popular than Jesus" remark, calling it blasphemy, and the songs "God", and "Imagine", because of the incongruity between the lyric "Imagine no possessions" and Lennon's personal wealth. Chapman even sang the song with the altered lyric: "Imagine John Lennon is dead."
  •  The past sucked doggy butt (5+ / 0-)

    The same right wing morons that exist today existed then and they could lynch black folks and smack women and pay both groups shit for their work. And don't even get me started on the environmental stuff we neglected for decades.

    Nostalgia is your brain telling you you hate getting old.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:39:11 PM PST

    •  I had a comment in progress (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      saying the same thing in many more words, but yours is better: nostalgia is your brain telling you you hate getting old. Exactly.

      Some things were better, some worse. I'm not going to weigh them. Whether they are better or worse now on the whole depends upon who you are. But the emotion of nostalgia is something we know better than to trust. It isn't reliable.

    •  I don't think my point could have been missed more (6+ / 0-)

      wow. just wow. in all these years on Kos I vote that dumbest comment ever. sorry, but I have to call 'em as I see 'em.


      in case you're wondering, the point was Liberalism worked. Conservatism has been a disaster. duh.

      I had hoped to not generalize that much, by including all kinds of caveats, and pointing out lots of sucky things back then too, I thought the comparison was abundantly clear, especially as I restated it often.

      but where/how you got this was about nostalgia??? Jeebus.

      you know what?


      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:41:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that liberalism didn't happen in a vacuum (0+ / 0-)

        you pointed to the past and talked about how good it used to be. I said it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. When people don't get what you're saying it's up to you to explain it. I'm not the one being misunderstood here.

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:59:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the thing, jbou. (6+ / 0-)

          Up through the '70's, America was inarguably, demonstrably, provably on a trajectory toward social and economic justice. Every year, a little bit more of the dream was realized, and the hopes and expectations for continued progress were justified.

          Since the election of Ronald Reagan, that trajectory has, like a missile depleted of fuel, passed the high point of the arc and is now plummeting toward destruction.

          And if you can't see and understand that, given the overwhelming evidence of these past three decades, then, respectfully, you really don't understand shit.

          In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

          by WisePiper on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:13:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get that part... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WisePiper, winkk

            but the economic justice was not being spread to everyone. That was my point. It was easier to share the wealth when it was mostly white dudes benefiting from it.

            I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

            by jbou on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:21:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But, again, the trajectory concept is a huge (4+ / 0-)

              part of any comparison between then and now. While people of color were disproportionately mired in poverty, their opportunities to climb the economic ladder were continuously improving. The structural impediments to full and rightful participation in the body politic were being knocked down one by one by one.

              Now? The income disparity is greater than it's been in nearly a century, and POC are bearing the brunt of the pain. No longer can the parents in the disadvantaged economic and social classes console themselves with the knowledge that at least their offspring will benefit from continued progress toward equality.

              In short, absent radical upheaval, we're fucked. The Great Experiment is hellbent on failure.

              In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

              by WisePiper on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:47:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  the Democratic party sold out... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WisePiper, alice kleeman

                and that's why the gap between rich and poor has been growing.

                I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                by jbou on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:06:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We agree on that somewhat (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  alice kleeman

                  But the Democratic party sold out because they weren't getting any pressure from constituents.  Once upon a time, people turned the screws on their elected leaders, and this tended to be led by the young.  Nowadays, y'all be like, "Take my rights.  Destroy the planet.  Blow shit up on the other side of the world... with drones.  Who cares?  I have a p-pic to snapchat."

                  They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                  by CharlieHipHop on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:20:35 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  thank you for getting it (0+ / 0-)

            Is it that hard to follow for other commenters?

            Or is it going to be herd mentality.

            DK can be so fickle.
            Yesterday I had rec list for 24 hrs for a throwaway piece and got a ton of insightful comments from a slew of perspectives. Enlightening.

            no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

            by srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:23:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In my view, when the central point of a diary (0+ / 0-)

              is not understood, the fault lies equally with the readers and the writer. I really appreciated what you wrote, but greater clarity regarding what was wrong in the past may have rendered your diary less assailable.

              In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

              by WisePiper on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:44:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I considered that of course, first thing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WisePiper, JayRaye

                I didn't even have what was wrong in the past in the first posting, because that wasn't the point. I added it in the later edit because I anticipated the criticism. I think it actually defeated my point.

                Which was about what worked then, that Liberalism provided us, and how that is gone now, and beaten back by Conservatism, and we need to get it back. That's all.
                Simple point. IMHO.

                It was meant to say how Conservatism fucked things up, that had worked for us. that's why that is the first line.

                If I start listing all the things that were wrong and needed fixing, the things we did fix, the things we were working on, the things we still manage to get done see the problem. It wasn't meant to be a whole history of the past 50 years. And I think that's where I got off track. and what clouded the issue.

                but that guy made a claim I said something I didn't that's just poor reading comprehension or reading with a preconception from the title. I even added the disclaimer to undercut that at the get go.

                the first version I think now was better. but it disappeared with 2 recs and virtually no readers.

                I'm about to punt anyhow.

                the irony is I wrote something yesterday I didn't even want anyone to read, just a throwaway to vent something and it gets rec listed and lots of insightful comments. crazy...

                no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

                by srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 06:45:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not a diary writer, but I get your point. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Alice in Florida

                  Over the years, I've had a number of comments garner 75+ recs, and the majority of them were snarky, throw-away one liners.

                  (There's a lesson there, but I'm not sure I want to learn it.)

                  In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

                  by WisePiper on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 07:01:12 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The only difference between then (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alice kleeman, Vetwife

            and now is the RW Media Machine exists today.  Tuned and in sync.  There were just as many Teahadists back then.  But, they didn't have a microphone.
            I don't believe The Left moves forward much without having what The Right has.
            Netroots Radio is an effort toward doing just that - beginning to build what they have.  What the RW has.  There are a handful of others on here making similar efforts.  :)  We just need 200,000 more.  And, we best get started sooner rather than later or there won't be a later.

            •  the only difference? really? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marykk, JayRaye, alice kleeman, Vetwife

              Reagan and Bushes didn't happen? none of what they've done in 30 years didn't happen? none of what they've UNdone over 30 years happened?

              are you kidding me?

              no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

              by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:16:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, thirty years of RW Media. (0+ / 0-)

                But, it still existed before that.  Remember the Hard Hats in the '60s??  I'm guessing not.
                But, how The Right has been able to do what they've done over the past 30, 40 years is ALL due to the infrastructure they've built over the last 60, 70 years.  And, much of that infrastructure is the Big Bad RW Media Machine they've built over the last 30 years, led mostly by el Rushbo his self.
                Yes, I'm saying what has happened over the past 30, 40 years wouldn't have happened without that Big Bad RW Media Machine – and is Exactly Why I helped launch our counter media, Netroots Radio.
                I'm also saying that if we don't take a clue from the RW and start building our own infrastructure/ Media monster they'll bury us with theirs.
                Your rant suggests this all happened suddenly and in a vacuum.  It didn't.  It existed in the '50s, '60s.  As CharlieHipHop explains, it was just more subtle then.  Quieter.  It appeared that The Left was winning back then becuz there were tons of us working and the Government coffers overflowing.  It was more of a "progressive period" backed by those overflowing coffers.  But, The Right certainly was around - and determined to get back in the game.  They have.  They did it by building a Ground-Up infrastructure – from Dog Catecher to the White House.
                We need to do the same.  Counter-media can only help.  There are a handful or two here on the G.O.S. doing just that.  We need many more.  Bud and I talk about this - and are highly involved in this - every Wed. and Sun. night on our Jibber Your Jabber Show.  A "shameless plug" maybe, but unless we get this party started there won't be a "progressive movement" worth a damn.

            •  It existed back then too, believe me (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alice kleeman

              It was more subtle, but it existed.  

              The difference was, people were more willing to put pressure on them and call them on their lies and bullshit.

              What's missing now is a sense of civic responsibility, a feeling that we should participate in our democracy, that we have a stake and that we damn well better stand up and be counted.  That existed right up through the '80s.  I remember the anti-Apartheid movement as being incredibly powerful, and I remember a small sense of achievement when Mandela took office, having been a tiny part of it.  Since then, nobody seems to have a clue how to organize an effective, grassroots, public campaign to fight any of the EGREGIOUS injustices that are spreading like a cancer through our culture.  We'd rather spew comments on the Internet, and I'm guilty of that myself.

              Not sure what happened, but activism has largely died out since then.

              They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

              by CharlieHipHop on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:25:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  no i didnt. (0+ / 0-)


          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:25:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dude, you are totally clueless (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alice kleeman

          The past was worse than today in many respects.  Human beings were considered property not so long ago in parts of this country.  Children slaved away in factories instead of going to school.

          The progress didn't happen by itself.  People should be out in the streets by the millions now.  We should be participating vigorously.  Rights are a use-them-or-lose-them proposition.

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:17:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no you are clueless (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that wasn't the point at all. or my claim. did you read the f***ing diary?

            never have a seen such a slew of idiot responses

            no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

            by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:44:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with most of the things you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical

              Wrote. But you are very rude to those that do not agree with you.
              Calling people's comments idiotic if they do not agree with you?  
              That is below low.
              Let them disagree w/o calling them jerks.
              It says a lot about you.

              Now, crawl back into your  bible and drool about the good ol' days when God, the mass murderer, flooded the world and killed almost everyone including the animals. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS. Ziggy fingers on an Ipad :)

              by snoopydawg on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:55:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If they were disagreeing with what he actually (0+ / 0-)

                wrote, then that would be fine.

                But they jumped thotlessly to an erroneous conclusion about what he wrote, put words he did not say into his mouth, and then disagreed with their own words which they had stuffed into his mouth.

                And that is, indeed, a stupid and thotless thing to do.

                God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                by JayRaye on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 10:52:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  did I say that? I said repeatedly I was not saying (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lennykat, JayRaye

            that. jeebus h. freaking k-rist.

            what are you 10? 8? 3 years old?

            I repeated it over and over that I wasnt' saying that. and still...OMG... still I get clueless morons telling me over and over that I'm clueless about the past not being so great.

            and I was talking about my lifetime, the 60s till now.
            not freaking slavery.

            clueless? you are the definition of clueless.

            get the hell off my diary!
            how do I ban people? can I ban people?

            jeebus h. head-desking myself until I'm dead now. f*ck!

            or freaking ban me. damn I hate you all hate you.

            I'm dead now. dead freaking dead.

            stupid, stupid stupid

            WTF am I on The Blaze? did I enter a parallel universe somehow.

            dead. I want to be dead now.

            if you aren't laughing with me by now, you have no sense of humour.

            but dead, I'm dead now.

            head-desk and out!

            Wonkette? are you hiring?

            oh btw I have a new candidate for stupidest person on the  internet.

            is this abusive? I can't stop now...

            I'm losing my mind. the stupid has killed me.

            and on DKos of all places...who'd thunk?


            no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

            by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:00:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  wait CharlieHipHop was your clueless to me (0+ / 0-)

              or someone else?

              I'm losing it.
              you totally get it in another post, so I figured out now you were talking to someone who didn't? not to me?

              anyhow excuse me for ranting at you personally didn't really mean to.

              that was bubbling up from reading the whole thread.

              so duck and let it fly over and hit them. LOL

              I think I'm better now.


              no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

              by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:07:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You may as well give it up, srf. (0+ / 0-)

              when they become determined to stick words into your mouth and then argue against the words that they stuck into your mouth instead of commenting on what you  actually wrote,

              well, there is nothing you can do about that.

              You see, it makes them feel superior to do this.
              It's also lazy on their part to follow the first arrogant jerk that commented after he jumped to a conclusion without even trying to give the diary thotful consideration.

              But that won't stop them, the herd just gains momentum.

              God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

              by JayRaye on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:08:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  When you use the word "remember" (0+ / 0-)

        in a positive sense, that's considered nostalgia, evidently.

        Maybe people are in a bad mood because things are looking particularly grim at the moment. It's pretty clear we're on the downward path now, whereas (the lost point of your diary) we were on the upswing back in the 60s. And the main thing we had then isn't well expressed in your diary--there were jobs, jobs that paid well, or well enough, to provide security for most people.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:54:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks but the jobs thing is the first thing I (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          actually wrote down. it was my first thought.

          and I put in the first part. and its reiterated repeatedly from the other side, i.e. post conservatism when there are no jobs and they aren't coming back.

          but thanks for the positive comment

          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:46:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think you missed the point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srfRantz, JayRaye, Kanscott

      The past sucked doggy butt, but throughout American history, people were fighting to make things better and to undo injustice -- abolitionists, suffragettes, labor activists, civil rights activists, anti-war/pro-peace activists, anti-nuke activists, environmental activists -- all of these fought and sacrificed to make things better.

      That is what is missing from America now: The fighting, progressive spirit that made us, if not perfect, gradually great.

      Nostalgia is your brain telling you you hate getting old.
      I'm not nostalgic, but it makes me a little sick that young people today are so goddamn apathetic and ungrateful that they're letting all the progress slip away into oblivion.

      They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

      by CharlieHipHop on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:13:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  things were progressing slowly. the cons were (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Kanscott, melo, Nisi Prius, snoopydawg

      sabotaging and assassinating progress but we were moving ahead - slowly.

      then reagan's people sabotaged carter with their 'october surprise' and reagan killed the fairness doctrine. that began 25 years of mostly non-progress as music loving liberals got their asses kicked over and over by a low tech talk radio monopoly of 1200 radio stations, many endorsed by our 'liberal' universities, as those stations and their blowhard gods we given a free-speech-free-ride to rewrite history, swiftboat well-meaning citizens, create the teabagger alternative reality, and make hate and racism 'acceptable again.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:04:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But the dark side existed also (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbou, Arctic Belle, melo

    Lets go back over the last hundred years:

    The first Democratic President was Woodrow Wilson, who while an academic and President of Princeton, only one term as Gov. of N.Y. was also a Southerner, born in Virgina.  The film, "Birth of a Nation" that lauds the KKK attempt to take back America from the freed slaved who where actually getting elected to Congress---the world premier was in Wilson's White House.  He also brought Jim Crow laws to the federal Government, with jobs for whites and for blacks.

    Our next Democrat was FDR, who and this is interesting, had to contemplate whether to join the party of his cousin Teddy, or the Democrats.  Republicans still had their progressive wing, and actually continued to up to past Reagan.  Mitt's dad George was part of it.

    And FDR with a depression and then a world war to deal with, pretty much accepted the racial and religious exclusions of his day, with only a bit of guff from Eleanor.  After the war the U.S., by dint of events we didn't control, was the only industrialized country standing.  So we prospered, a H.S. Grad could raise a family on one salary.  And I still remember in 1953 when my mom got a job in the DC government, that my father was irate, "No wife of mine is going to work." And my poor mom was the entrepreneurial one in the family.

    So, for Women, Blacks and Gays, and for those with handicaps, it's been a long slog.  And as for other countries eating our lunch economically, We promoted this, partly i guess because we understood that when the people of a country can't survive they become open for dictators like Hitler who promise, and sometimes deliver, wealth by conquering other countries.

    The world has changed in ways few imagined when I was a kid.  And I guess it will continue to, for better and for worse.

    So, this has been an interesting era, but to look back only at what we have missed, is not accepting how everything has changed everywhere.  


    •  interesting comment, care to comment on my piece? (0+ / 0-)

      One more total whiff comment and diary comes down

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:16:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was a response to your diary... (0+ / 0-)

        Your tone was that conservatives have ruined an ideal society.  I was illustrating that it never was, not for the groups that I itemized.  

        •  no it wasn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Not even close

          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:21:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I take away from the diary.. this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snoopydawg, JayRaye

            if I am clueless then I apologize but I take away from your diary the absolute truth regarding the cowboy riding in with the Fed guy by his side whispering in his ear how America can surely be ruined and robbed for the wealthy and call it trickle down....  The union was going to get weaker when Reagan pulled the traffic controller stunt.   He had the scary Bush family in his control of America and it ushered in even bigger problems... Before Reagan...who should have stuck with his Chesterfield hanging from his mouth and a bedtime story for Bonzo ...America was full of problems  but still had a chance.   Reagan became the Messiah of the right and the whole take it down started.
            We did have problems but we also had a chance... Very little after that cowboy brought in his idealogy and thugs to power.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:56:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  as long as you were a straight white male (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that worshipped Jesus, the old days were pretty good.

    •  missed the point entirely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      jbou this is on you. First comments set the frame to follow. I even added the disclaimer at the start to try and head this off. And added the summary of all the problems we had.

      I'd concede my point wasn't clear if I hadn't made it repeatedly.

      I'm guessing people aren't reading past the title much.

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:14:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You shouldn't worry about the criticism (0+ / 0-)

        And fwiw, I agree with jbou, I just would normally refrain from posting it.

        The country's always been rightwing nutville from my POV.  Of course, I grew up in Indiana, but hey.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 07:02:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  p.s. I don't think anybody's criticizing you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just they're just letting out their own POV.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 07:07:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh I don't care about criticism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          if they care to give it to the diary I wrote

          instead of the one I didn't write.

          which I could have written but didn't

          because I didn't want to and

          because I wrote this one about something else

          that I did want to write about

          so they could give me, and the community, their input about this

          instead of telling us about stuff we know about

          but I didn't write about

          because I wrote about this.

          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:12:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's still their POV (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You could have responded differently too.

            Who are you to say what you wrote means in other people's minds?

            Personally, I fail to see how any of the comments you criticized were off topic.  You just didn't like them and you jumped down their throats.

            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

            by yet another liberal on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:20:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Considering the quality of public education driven (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        srfRantz, JayRaye

        by neocons for the last thirty years, you shouldn't expect very high reading comprehension or abstract association skills... Here or anywhere else for that matter.

        If content exceeds the level of comprehension required for instructions for how to set up a computer game, you can expect this sort of reaction. I've actually found that to be fairly consistent here on DK in certain areas.

        I invite you to read my take on your observation further down. "Nostalgia" does not necessarily correllate with historical facts... But that's also an abstract some find difficult to digest.

        •  this is worse than the morons on RWNJ sites (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          seriously. I expected better here.

          I agree with you on the quality of comprehension and thinking skills out there today. but you see it from members of my generation too if they're RW.

          but this seems to be willful neglect or even refusal of absorbing even the most oft repeated and clearly obvious points. in favor of pointing out what I obviously chose NOT to write about.

          in fact, my own biggest criticism of the piece after I wrote it was I hit people over the head with my point repeatedly. (that's a technique I enjoy implementing in my writing stylistically, like variations on a theme in music...)

          but then I even went back and included references to and made a huge disclaimer at the top that I wasn't going to talk about that--all the things wrong back in the day, as that's another and very long story--and asking they please don't go off on that.

          I blows my freaking mind.

          Please Don't do it. So they do.
          You see where my 'fuck you' attitude is coming from?

          This was some of my best writing ever. and no one gives a shit or notices.

          one idiot completely misreads the piece and then they 'all' do. (my grateful thanks to the exceptions)

          I've seen this heard mentality in comment sections across the spectrum. first one sets the topic no matter how off base it is. its why I lept on him right off the bat. I should have pulled the piece right then. there was no way to come out of doing that not looking like an ass.

          so being the sensitive creative artist type I am and someone with a huge empathetic sense and drive to share with others I wrote about something that moved me deeply, an insight I had, a long riff on a theme that floated through my brain one night and gelled into this piece, only to have it completely ignored, and so I get annoyed and am loathe to write again. its who I am, I don't apologize for being sensitive or caring.

          while lame pap I toss off, basically a whine about a troll I met elsewhere I wrote only for personal release of the moment, hoping no one  would even see it or at best get a bunch of laughs, gets hundreds of insightful comments and sits on the rec list for a full day to my utter embarrassment.

          I chose to publish here because of the high level of intelligence and comprehension of the community. I guess I need to reevaluate that decision. or stop writing. or stop being so sensitive.

          hmmm which of those do I have control over?

          also get a good editor. LOL I admit I have a love of words to a fault. stylistically.

          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:37:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Someone very wise once said: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Arctic Belle, srfRantz

            "Do or do not - there is no 'try'."

            Get a thicker skin and continue to express yourself- here and elsewhere. There will always be those who find fault. Polish your communications skill with diligence and write from your heart using facts... not "truth" (because truth is a fact spun to support someone's agenda).

            You'll be fine.

          •  Regarding the disclaimer: your piece now (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            starts by telling people not to think of an elephant, so of course those who are just coming to the diary are looking all around for elephants. And you've got an elephant stampede going here.

            I think the best approach to this subject is probably to concentrate not on broad political ideology and movements but more narrowly on economic matters, which is where the real problem lies--truth is, the reason the civil rights battles of the 60s were so dramatic is that people then were starting from such a low point. The problems faced by people of color today are mostly not the explicit racial barriers of old but lack of economic opportunity, and again that is not directly race-based but due to the fact that there are no longer enough jobs to go around, which magnifies the residual effects of racial disadvantage.

            The problems women face now are just so different from the situation in the old days that broad comparisons really don't work. Before the 70s, women weren't expected to work outside the home after marriage--is that a positive or a negative? It's a negative in that they had very limited career options, but positive in the sense that one man's paycheck could support a family--women now mostly have to work even if they'd rather be homemakers, since it takes two incomes to pay for a home. In fact, in can be said that an unfortunate side effect of the women's movement has been to help drive down wages via increasing the size of the labor force. (Once corporations figured this out they were all too happy to promote "equality" for women).

            Sweeping generalizations are very tempting but hazardous--really hard to do right.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:47:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I feel your pain....... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srfRantz, marykk

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:13:54 PM PST

  •  The pulse of any civilization throughout history (14+ / 0-)

    ... is measured by what it produces and when.

    There's no denying that the 20th century was the most bloody, violent time in human history (so far, anyway) - but while the rest of the world was busy re-hashing centuries-old grudge matches, the United States was doing several things:
    - the Panama Canal
    - the Hoover Dam
    - digging itself out of a depression caused by the same exact things that Wall Street is getting away with today
    - amazing architecture
    - the Interstate highway system
    - nation-wide electric power
    - international telephony
    - quantum leaps in medical and materials science
    - mapping the human genome
    - commercial air transportation
    - space exploration, both manned and unmanned
    - a national support network for the aged
    - world-class contributions to the performing arts
    - anti-discrimination and voting rights legislation
    - computers
    - this Internet that allows you to read this
    - ... and one hell of a lot more things that would give me typing fatigue trying to list.

    So here we are, about halfway through the second decade of the 21st Century. By comparison, what does the U.S. have to show for its conservative political leanings of the last 30 years?

    Nothing. Nothing enduring; nothing uplifting. Nothing of substantial value. Nothing.... BIG - except, perhaps, undeclared wars and an active deconstruction of every single thing this nation accomplished during the last 110 years. Intellectual largesse, the corporatization of morality and a deliberate dumbing-down of America's youth in order to control them have done nearly irreparable damage to tnis country by politicians who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. And somehow the vicious bastards who are doing this manage to get reelected- both neocon and DINO.

    Tea party my ass: where are the real American patriots who used to care about their brothers and sisters, build great things and perform wondrous acts of creativity and compassion? Where have they gone?

    "You say you want a revolution, well, you know-
    We'd all love to see the plan.
    You tell me it's the Constitution, well, you know-
    We're all doing what we can...
    But if you want money for people with minds that hate...
    All I can tell you is, brother, you have to wait."

    Problem is, I'm not so sure "it's gonna be alright" anymore. The American pulse has been rendered weak and thready by greed and willful ignorance. It killed the Greeks- it killed the Romans- and it's killing us.

    •  wonderful, well done, and thanks for carrying on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with the actual theme of my piece

      instead of another tirade about all the things that were wrong with this country that we're all very well aware of, thank you.

      maybe you should be my editor? LOL

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:39:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hate to tell you (0+ / 0-)

    But your memory is faulty. The world almost always hated you. Or don't you remember Woodrow Wilson shutting down countries left and right that were asking for help declaring independence in the same breath of America? Don't you remember the roots of the Vietnam War being sown in in World War II?

    by DAISHI on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:51:25 AM PST

    •  I don't think I was alive in 1915 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, marykk, Alice in Florida

      pretty sure or I'd remember stuff like that

      and this is now the stupidest, most pointless and most irrelevant comment ever read, perhaps ever posted anywhere.
      I think everyone here is more stupid now for having read it.

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:07:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  srfRantz, I'm so sorry that this is the reception (8+ / 0-)

    got to this fine diary, but I'm not really surprised.

    Too bad so many folks jump right over what you are actually trying to say and jump straight to lecturing you about "nostalgia."

    If those of us who were there!!! at the time thot America was so perfect back then, then why do you suppose we were fighting so hard to change things.

    We devoted our late teens and our early twenties to trying to stop that terrible war. You honestly think we are nostalgic for those terrible images of napalmed children on TV? You think we don't realize that these were non-white people who were being murdered daily in our name?

    What I do miss from those days is the feeling of hope, the ability to imagine a better world. The feeling that the right side was winning. Civil rights, women's rights, the peace movement, we were winning at that time. Dr Martin Luther King made great strides in uniting all those movements: the peace movement, the poor people's movement, the labor movement, the civil rights movement. And we had could imagine that, if we continued to fight, then justice would win out.  

    That hope faded with Reagan Revolution. Seeing our children's generation embrace Reagan and embrace "young Republicanism" that was painful. And it's been downhill ever since, esp for the labor movement and for poor workers, they have become even more poor.

    Now working people, of all races, are facing a much less hopeful time in the struggle. Our struggle for justice is being beaten back, working people of all races are suffering, and there seems to be no limit as to how far back the ruling class will try to force us to go. They are even talking openly, some of them, about ending child labor laws. The period we (working people) are in now is a period of resistance. We (working people) will be lucky to hold onto the gains that were made at such a terrible cost.

    And that is depressing. It's much harder to fight what feels like a loosing battle. But here we are. And that is the fight that we are in right now. And we have to keep on fighting even when it seems that all of the odds are against. If folks who work full time and don't even make enuf money for one person can stand up and fight without loosing hope, then rest of us need to continue to fight also, even against all the odds.

    I will warn the ruling class and the upper middle class about one thing: it was the labor movement which actually saved capitalism, by blunting the worst of the exploitation of capitalism.  The labor unions replaced open class struggle with business unionism. Now, the majority of the ruling class and upper middle class seems bent on destroying even this class-collaborationist type of unionism. Have you thot for even one minute about what might grow up to replace those business unions once you have destroyed them?

    I also miss that America, The America where we could still believe that thru hard fot struggles, justice was possible. The America we have now is bent on beating the working people down into nothing. And they are succeeding. Yes, the New America will still be a great place for the Ruling Class and the upper middle class. But for the rest of us, not so much.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:14:41 AM PST

    •  beautiful JayeRaye thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, myrmecia gulosa

      this. people. this.


      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:49:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        yep.  I would like to add that the 'ruling class' status can change very rapidly (note: tv show on jet repos).  My grandparents on my mother side were very wealthy and lost the majority of their wealth in the great depression ( my mother was driven to school in limos before her parents wealth was wiped out).  

        "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

        by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 04:58:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats elected Reagan (0+ / 0-)

    and they will elect the next GOP president.

  •  oh crap, how do I get off the spotlight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph

    I gave up on this diary and was going to take it down. my embarrassing hurt feelings on display now were just for my own healing. its a process I do to vent and get over shit.

    I'm way too sensitive for my own good and I know it.

    oh crap. have at me if you will.

    but please try to get the point at least.


    no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

    by srfRantz on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:42:43 AM PST

    •  . (0+ / 0-)

      don't worry, not all of us think negatively about what you wrote.  I think one of the issues today that were not present in those earlier times was almost anybody could find a job that paid enough to live on.  

      The rate of real inflation has far outstripped wages and is the hidden oppressor of human activity and the ability of people to be involved enough politically to push for real change without risking all of what they need such as a job and a home.  Note the huge demonstrations in Thailand, the workers there are being forced to work 24 hr shifts with 2 hr breaks before starting another 12 hr shift....I think the people demonstrating are just the people who cannot find jobs because the workers cannot take time off from work.  They have been made into slaves... like us.

      "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:11:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  their RW radio monopoly has been working great! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    while democracy-loving, thinking, reading americans continue to ignore it.

    a world without limbaugh hannity indeed- their effectiveness solely the result of ignoring RW radio, which put them on every corner and stump in the country yelling their own hate and history revision and lies and ignorance and the talking points of our major RW think tanks- with invisibility cloaks as far as the music-loving left was concerned- for 20 years.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 10:51:17 AM PST

  •  A different perspective (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, melo, Nisi Prius

    You've prompted me to add my two peneth. From a UK perspective whilst you had Reagan we had Maggie. While we managed to push back on certain things (poll tax) she turned our Mixed economy into a purer capitalist one. She and Reagan were allies in starting the shift in wealth upwards and curtailing the rights of the people to fight back.

    I too remember those 'halcyon' days of marching and protesting, singing "Ho Ho Ho Chi Min" outside the American (Or Amerika, as we use to call it then) embassy. I can remember when Unions had real strength and we had 'full' employment with a pay rise each year. Here in the UK especially we've lost a lot of the ground the early labour moment won for us, even now the encroachment continues to take savage bites out of the safety net.

    Given the example of Greece I think things are going to have to get a lot worse before they motivate Mr. Average to take to his feet and have Tommy Atkins at his back.The lesson I learnt about marches was they only work if their big enough and have popular backing.

    Old as I am I don't expect to see the 'revolution' happen in my lifetime but with the impending disasters of climate change, overpopulation and automation (A la Google), not forgetting the next economic collapse the ground is getting more fertile.


  •  Right on some points, but missing on other points (0+ / 0-)

    First I wasn't around back in the 50's and 60's so I cannot attest to how good or bad things were.  I am not a republican and I am not a democrat.  

    In reading your diary I would say I agree with your take on how economically things went into decline with Reagonomics and trickle down and these things continue to this day though I would argue this is greed pure and simple not necessarily "conservativism".  The idea that people should be encouraged to work hard, be imaginative and inventive and make their own way is a noble one.  The state should not impose on this.  The problem is when greed takes over at the expense of society as a whole.  But this only addresses the economic injustice in the country and this alone is not what has sent us in decline.

    The other half of the equation is the erosion of the social fabric.   The family is the basic building block of any society.  Families create stability.  Families take commitment and hard work.  Things like birth control and the legalization of abortion have led to the objectification of women and the destruction of the family.  Sex as recreation and free of commitment leads to single parenthood and exposes children to economic and developmental disadvantages.  Moral relativism, another progressive cause, adds to the erosion of the social fabric.  We have no common values.  So we think people should share the monetary wealth but when it comes to morals and values its all about the individual.

    Your opinion on what Jesus meant about praying in private and not openly expressing ones beliefs is flat wrong.  The private prayer admonishment was for hypocrites who pray in public only because they want to be seen - to make it about them instead of God.  And you totally missed the mark worship and expression.  Jesus said go and make disciples.  He told them to spread the good news to all.  He wanted people to evangelize.  He wanted people to love one another.  He also called for repentance from sin and to sin no more - so he was no moral relativist.    

    So in summary, conservatives have corrupted individualism and in turn have eroded the economic fabric of our country while progressives have corrupted individualism and eroded the societal fabric. Both of these things has led to the slow death of our once great nation.  

    •  * Sigh* (0+ / 0-)

      So sorry your Great Male Supremacy feels threatened by the recognition that women are people too.

      Your precious "Family" was a mini-slave state in which the male head of the family had all the rights, all the power and all the money, and the "little woman" was his abject, total slave. HE decided how many children they would have, even if it killed her - and it sometimes did.

      Talk about "objectification of women" - it was a thousand times worse under your precious "Patriarchal Absolute Power" Family.

      Take that rubbish and shove it, and stop trying to mansplain how much "better off" we women were under the Patriarchy.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:06:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  sorry you had to explain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph, JayRaye

    I'm sorry there are so many youngens on the tubes and here at dkos.............they no longer listen to the earned/gained wisdom of us oldens.  we hold a memory not shared on you tube and virals.  there are books but they are not read.........

    we oldens do remember how bad it was, but that the great promise was still held.

    things would get better, we would see a better future.  not the flying cars or some bright shining utopia.  just shit would get better.  we - us - the so called boomers would make it so. then we saw our hopes gunned down.  and in our mourning failed to see the slimy hands of the monied buying up state legislators and then congress.  we saw an actor become president and destroy unions, and create divisions. there were psychopaths running the backrooms of power - Atwater with his pure evil southern strategy,  small evil minds like rove  craving power and wealth, an imperial presidency.......aynrand disciples grinding down the very consumers their corporations needed to survive. privatizing a prison system that needed to be constantly fed, privatizing an education system that had created generations of middle class immigrant entrepreneurs, solid workers in solid neighborhoods, created debt ridden citizens instead of secure able to save for their own future citizens.  destroying pensions and investment accounts in the favor of banks and wall street skim offs.

    yes we remember the bad times for blacks and gays and women, but we were working diligently to make it better. we had daughters, and gay sons, and interracial marriages we thought would evolve into a better life for all.

    and now they are throwing crumbs our way.  you can't find a decent job but hey - the nice gay couple down the block can get married.  you can't get a decent education, but wow there is a black guy in the white house.  you can watch all the porn you want, you just can't sleep at night because of the gun fire in the street.  women can achieve general stars - if she can survive the assaults on the way. you can roll a joint in one place, but have your future destroyed for that doobie in another.

    we were Liberals once.  we thought we were progressive. we got up in the morning knowing in our hearts there were more of us, our ranks growing daily, than there were of "them".  so here we are. our ranks thinned by fear. our numbers ignored by gerrymandering.  

    and here a lone diarist has to update his own post to explain what "the good old days" really meant, because the youngin's are too young to have any signposts or monuments of context.  sad.  we were important.............

  •  it is precisely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the points you made and what we older folks remember about back then that has me focus on the economics and trade aspect that has radically changed since then.

    We made stuff, we still do but don't make our own underwear anymore which is absolutely ridiculous.. we are shitting our pants wearing underwear made by sweatshops in some foreign country who are being exploited just as we are.

    Here is a very good documentary about globalization and poverty (53 minutes).

    The root of our powerlessness is the design of economic/monetary and trade policy to ensure that powerlessness.   The powerz-that-be can pretend all they want that bailing out all these corrupt institutions and the wealthy shareholders is going to fix something .... it won't.  There is no historical record that massive monetization of bad debts by huge banks has EVER worked... but that's what they are doing.

    Though I am often hated here on dkos for writing this but it fiat currency that is responsible for the retardedness of our politicians... the stagflation of the 70's was due to going off the f'g gold standard, Nixon wanted to print more money to 'win' the war in vietnam.  The war in vietnam was more about corporate interests than anything the american people  wanted.  Now we have overpriced crappy Nike tennis shoes made by vietnamese who earn $50 a month making them and stupid amerikans pay $90 or more for the shit.  

    It is always about the money but the game hit a brick wall in 2008 and the central bankers have been monetizing massive unpayable debts, incurred by crazy corrupt bankers, the world over ever since.  It will not last, there is no record in history of that ever working but politicians are such cowards they would rather hyperinflate the currency rather than do the hard but temporary reset of unpayable debt and issuance of a new currency... so they will monetize debt till the system shuts down when the fiat is not accepted outside the country any longer.

    The politicians aren't stupid but they are cowards and many of them corrupt.

    "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:45:24 PM PST

  •  I disagree with the diary. (0+ / 0-)

    America has come a damn long way since when I was born, and we're still going the right way.

    Nostos for what WAS... is nauseating.

    Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:47:39 AM PST

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
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      Income of poor and working people has been steadily declining over the past forty years and you think things have improved? Income inequality has steadily increased. Unions are being crushed. Children know actual hunger while food stamps are cut and politician openly advocate for the end of child labor laws.

      And yet you see improvement? Improvement for whom, exactly...?

      Obviously you have never gone hungry.

      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

      by JayRaye on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 10:44:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It seems to me that many of the comments focus (4+ / 0-)

    on facts, but the most important thing that has changed since I was young is attitude.  It used to be that there were a lot of problems in the country, and maybe the situation was factually worse than it is now, but people mostly had a "can do" attitude, and there was a feeling that things were going to get better.

    Basically starting around the time of Reagan, we went from being "can do" to "can't afford."  Around the same time, special interests overwhelmed the public interest, and most people lost hope.  That loss of hope and surrender to special interests is the legacy of conservatism.  

  •  Great Diary. (1+ / 0-)
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    Has nothing to do with "nostalgia." It's reality.  

  •  History never repeats itself . . . (1+ / 0-)
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    But of course human behavior does.

    First, to the writer, a bit of advice from an old codger:  just write what you're gonna write, submit it, and let it go.  If you worry about how people interpret your words, or how they react to them, you'll just drive yourself crazy.  And as long as you're still above ground, there's always the next post.

    Well, I can't stop now, so here's another piece of advice that I've received from several cultural historians:   Instead of viewing human history in terms of 30-40 year cycles, trying viewing it in terms of 1,000 year (or more) cycles.

    And now I'll end this in the best way that I know how to end any post--with a Vonnegut quote.  But I'm going to have to both reconstruct and paraphrase, since I can't find it online:
    Vonnegut said that, in the 1960s, during the Viet Nam war, he and many, many, many other American artists, celebrities, movie stars, musicians, etc threw an inestimable amount of time, money, energy, blood, sweat, tears, etc into a concerted effort stop the war.  He went on to say that the net effect of all this effort could be likened to the effect of dropping a lemon cream pie off the top of a 6-foot step ladder.

    Imagine saying that, and feeling that way about the most significant era of your life.  I think that's why some people get so emotional about the past.

    "One of the boss' hangers-on sometimes comes to call, at times you least expect. Tryin' to bully you, strongarm you, inspire you with fear--it has the opposite effect."--Bob Dylan, "Floater"

    by oldmaestro on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:29:30 PM PST

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