Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thoughts for Midweek...

This week I have opted for a guest poster-ie the hubby. He usually has a different take on things and yes, he makes you think.....

Politics and Plumbers

Joe the Plumber G. Gordon Liddy
White House Plumber

Sitting watching the endless Election ads and one can only hope for the election to be over. The problem is that what ever happens will be 4 more years of someone. It’s hard to tell who is best when all we have to go by are 30 second blurbs about a candidate. One of the more memorable ones is the Joe the Plumber adds by McCain. This stirred up memories of 1972 of all things.

1972? Yes, you remember. We have Joe the plumber in our politics in 2008 but in 1972 it was the White House plumbers. The five burglers caught in the Watergate complex going through the Democratic National head quarters. The ruin of Nixon and the Republicans in the 70’s. Seems we have come full circle in some way. Maybe loosely I must admit but we are forced to relieve the history we have forgotten or chosen to put out of our collective memory.

So, if we're back to political plumbers and dirty campaigns, then what else. Some of the comparisons are interesting. In 1972, the USSR, USA, and China conducted nuclear tests. Now we are concerned about Iran and North Korea conducting nuclear tests. US airlines had begun mandatory baggage and passenger screening. I'm glad we have progressed this. In 1972 Nixon and the USSR's Brezhnev signed the SALT accord for nuclear missiles. Now Russia is concerned about our anti missiles program that’s being deployed in Europe. Jerry Lewis had his 7th Muscular dystrophy telethon. I hope we are closer to a cure today. Mariner 9 sent us pictures of Mars and Apollo 16 landed on the moon. Now we have a worn out space shuttle program and vehicles on Mars transmitting fascinating images back.

1972 was a very serious time. We were beginning to leave Vietnam and turning over control to their government. We pulled out and the South fell. Cambodia later became a killing field for the Kamar Rouge in the power vacuum we left behind. Indo China became a mess as we left. Now we are looking at the aspect of an exit strategy from Iraq. The cost of the war is also bogging us down. Vietnam affected our economy in the 1970s as our war is today. Let us not forget the cost for freedom is high and the effort for it must not cease.

This year we enjoyed watching the Olympics from China. A totalitarian government has deep pockets for pageantry. I imagine the London games are striving to make a good showing compared to the opening a closing of the games in Beijing. I don't envy them. In 1972 we had the Munich games which were marred by terrorism. Luckily these games were kept safe but one can't help but notice that China has a zest and program to win medals. Reminds us of the old Cold War Olympics. East vs. west. It also reminds us that terrorism been with us for a while.

It is also noted that 1972 was the first year that West Germany and East Germany recognized each. That sounds odd. How can you not recognize a country next to you? You can fill in your own punch lines.

Yes, after the White House Plumbers we elected a person with little experience. We voted "the bums out" of the white house after Nixon and Ford. We voted a one term governor of Georgia to be president. Now claims that democratic candidate has too little experience as he was just elected to the senate in 1997. After 1972 we had the oil embargo. Large American cars were on the way out for a long while. American jobs began to go away. The farm crisis took hold. We began importing more oil than producing it. Banks and saving in loans collapse. There was slow economic growth, inflation, productivity was down, and slow economic growth.

This is why I think of 1972 when I hear about another plumber and politics. But why get worked up. It is late and I should see what old shows are on. Sanford and Son, Gun Smoke, All in the Family, or Mary Tyler Moore. Oh, but wait, maybe I should read a book instead. I’ll avoid those campaign ads and sleep better.
Later gators....

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