Monday, August 05, 2013

A Note About Humor, The Past, And Our Current State

(Humor)The YouTube.COM video clip collection:

Check out, where president Reagan tells jokes. Stand up comedy was clearly one of president Reagan's gifts. The jokes are very well delivered. He was an excellent actor. I enjoyed watching the jokes. His 'Aw-Shucks' manner was very endearing.

(The Past) And the current state of our civilization:

President Reagan's popularity is best understood when you consider how we all think when faced with a new and complex world that we do not understand and consequently live in fear of. In such a time we do remember fondly things of the past when everything seemed simpler and less complex.

And, it is true that things in the past do appear simpler and less complex, not because they were but because that is how the human mind works, it remembers the past in a fonder light than it is capable of when trying to model and predict a necessarily uncertain future.

When you consider the politics and world situation we found ourselves in when he came to office it does fit perfectly this model. The oil crisis had occurred, the interest rate crisis had occurred preceded by a national price freezes, the embassy in Tehran had been taken over. We had just completed the first national war that we lost. President Carter reacted to Soviet aggression by ramping up the military and boycotting the Olympics, funding the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. He also reduced the nationwide speed limit to 55 miles per hour. He pardoned the Vietnam War protesters All these thing that we now see as normal reactions to a modern changing world put people in a state where they wanted something old and familiar.

Ronald Reagan's manner provided just the right prescription to allow us to 'escape-into-the-past. His foreign policies only pushed forward those put in place by President Carter. His domestic policies were not to too outrageous, other than the Savings and Loan deregulation debacle which certainly foreshadowed the national and global financial collapse of the 2000s (caused by the same inattention to regulation). He certainly continued down the path that eventually led to Osama and 11 September 2001.

What I'm saying is that he and his policies did not distinguish themselves from the arc of history we see clearly today.

Sadly the world is still complex, and still instills fear in the minds and hearts of its people. We see the reactions to this complexity and fear in the rise of groups like the current incarnation of the ultra right wing of the GOP, and the lashing out against progressive policies of the Democrats lead by Barack Hussein Obama our first African American president, who like president Carter is reacting in a superlative way to the challenges this new world we find ourselves in provides us with.

An open question is: Will the GOP prevail in their quest to attempt to turn back the clock or will progressive politics prevail in their quest to deal with what we find before us and move on and forward to a better future?

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