Paul Elisha: Observations From "The Greatest Generation"
For those of us with multi-generational and still functioning memories, except for techno-centric system difficulties, there’s little to be optimistic about with respect to the present state of governance at just about every level, in these apparently ‘disunited states of America’. For this archaic member of the so-called “Greatest Generation,” time seems to have U-turned into reverse mode, by more than ninety years. Although it had backed away from the League of Nations and World Court, The U.S. in 1921 (the year before this commentator was born) convened separate conferences on limiting naval tonnage and non-use of asphyxiating gasses; to which most nations agreed. The U.S. avoided signing a commitment against the use of armed force, without congressional approval, which somehow seems not to have been given.
On October 12th, 1915, Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt declared this to a convention of the Knights Of Columbus: “There is no room in this country for ‘hyphenated Americanism…. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation, at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities!”
Today, we’re still unable to agree on a viable stimulus for immigration reform. We do have Constitutional denial of specific church-state affiliation which is nullified, once each year, so the President and Congress can convene a “National Prayer Breakfast.”
The sight of this hypocrisy was only exceeded by the throng of athletes at this year’s Russian hosted winter-fest in Sotyi, where the former Soviet Secret Police Commissar-turned-President applauded politely, as former slave-state escapees and American mercenaries passed in review, en-route to a poly-chromed Olympic circus, while local Georgians, lacking bread and freedom, watched in stupefied and (some genderless) disbelief.
That recalcitrant Congress, back in 1921, bears more than a little resemblance to the one ensconced in our National Capitol today. Small wonder some WWII veterans with still active memories (like this one) find little to be optimistic about.
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