Friday, November 7, 2008

One More American Moment

I shook Jack Kennedy's hand once. I was on the Letterman show with John McCain. That's about as close as I got to "politics,"until recently. I don't really have any "politics," but one night a few months ago I was horrified as I sat in a car in the parking lot of an American Mall and heard Sarah Palin's rightwing dog-trot. That's history now. You can read about that horror in an earlier blog. I felt John McCain, a decent man, had been forced to put a gun in his mouth. So I decided to vote early, and I think millions of other people did the same thing. It was a proud and very moving moment at 9pm the other night when Obama took the presidency. Now he has his work cut out for him, but I read him as a decent man and an example of why this country works in the end. The world applauded. As far as Christian Right Wing Conservatives, they not only shot themselves in both feet, they destroyed so called Republican Evangelical Christian Conservatism (as a political force) for decades to come, and probably forever. By forcing Palin on McCain and allowing all the jive "terrorist" and "thug" talk about Obama; by assuming that there were millions of "pro-life" fanatics out there (pro life for babies, but not for those on death row) who would now jump on the band wagon they "f....d up," as a Republican friend told me. What they succeeded in doing was drawing out millions of non political people like me and millions of blacks and Chicanos and, most importantly, millions of people under the age of thirty (both "liberal" and "conservative") who were appalled at the shoddy, ignorant and hateful way the Republicans had tried to turn the election. They were appalled by Palin. And now that the election is decided, those same Ultra Right Republicans who convinced McCain to take on Palin have turned on Palin - snapping like the cowardly hyenas they are. Doomed piranha fish in a barrell eating each other. You've got to feel a little sorry for poor Sarah; she was just being who she is. Like Dylan said about the man who shot Medgar Evers: "she was only a pawn in their game." So John McCain, who is a fine American, though he crashed three fighter planes in maverick moves, now crashed his biggest plane of all - a jumbo jet filled with Evangelical Republicans who perished in the flames. The only one left is poor Rush Limbaugh who's staggering around trying to find a few skin heads to back him up. Finally: those under-thirty voters who Republicans unwittingly lured out of the woodwork are gonna be around for a long, long time. What does that say about the future of Right Wing Politics? Adios, radical conservatisms; you all done did it to yourself. You violated the primal rule: you don't sh..t where you eat. So, no sir, dear blog reader, whoever you were - I don't have any politics. I have a built in bullshit detector that I use when I write songs. I turned it on during this election for a brief moment and it started ringing. Songs are my day job and I'm going back to it. I leave you to your "politics," or what's left of it. Let's move forward. We're God's children, aint we? (Has anybody got a rhyming dictionary for any of this rant?) TR

16 comments:

Saddle Tramp said...

TR . . .
I guess I will break the ice ( don't shoot me I'm only the truck driver ). I never met Jack Kennedy that rare mix of intelligence and personality, irregardless of the peccadillos. Class in the White House not since repeated. Perhaps now. I see a glimmer. In Texas we said that someone was " shittin' too close to the house " , too close to the [White] House in this case. I'm for anyone who is. " still willin' " to try for those who are not just for the constinuency of the wealthy. I know all too well the plight of the helpless and innocent. No details will be given. We need a change of
air. When greed leads for the few we are washed up as a nation. What the hell do they take us for?
Regarding Jack Kennedy, I was in Mrs. Moore's 4th grade classroom at Barranca Elementary School when the news
came over the loud speaker. God forbid . . .
Sometime later we took a field trip to see the President's rocking chair that had come to L.A. on it's nationwide tour. It was a time of kiss your ass goodbye drills and of
The Viet Nam War, The Beatles, The Stones and Roy Orbinson's " Pretty Woman " and on and on singing from
cheap transistor radios as I walked the streets. Sounded magical. It was magical.
A new era upon us now and I pray a good one. All God's children. Amen Tom Russell !

Going over my newly arrived treasure.
In this order :

TR's new anthology
In Between Films
And Then I Wrote
Dylan's Bootleg Vol. 8
FS Theatre Box of Danger
And more . . .

Mano a Mano later tonight . . .

-ST
Via Ripon, CA. running back to back loads up to McMinnville, OR.

High Five said...

"What they succeeded in doing was drawing out millions of non political people like me and millions of blacks and Chicanos"


Apparently, that's what propelled the Prop 8 in California (and other states) to victory. It seems minority voters aren't as tolerant of gay rights as others.
Everything is a trade-off in politics.

editor said...

Politics is the lowest form of human endeavor — and thus is too often left to the bottom feeders.

I agree that the evangelical right has shot its bolt as a political force.

I expect little of Obama. I will be satisfied with basic competence, which I think he is smart enough and pragmatic enough to deliver.

Saddle Tramp said...

Yes, politics [is] compromise as is anything and as in anything, the lines drawn reflect our character. I understand the sentiment of lowered expectations. One dances with the cost paid for any threat to the [white] ruling class or any other group[s] of false self-importance. Colin Powell, a class act, had to walk that line. Not black enough, they complained. We know the others as well. He came through. Was he pandering to his future. I don't think so. That said, nothing great has ever been accomplished with low expectations. Prepared for disappointment? Always. Who has a crystal ball? Not me. I just hope a flame is
rekindled for the sake of my children and all " God's children. " We will wait and see what time and circumstance has to offer to that fate . . .

" I have a dream . . . "


-ST. via Rice Hill, OR

Laura's neighbor said...

Dear Mr. Russell,

I'm glad you don't have any politics as your note says. Your music is so much more meaningful.

Unfortunetly, those politics don't have any TR. They'd learn a thing or two by listening to your songs. Maybe they'd look at life a little different and then run things better.

By the way, I'm needing one of those bullshit detector's. Can you tell me where I can find one?

Your fan in El Paso.

Charlene, Laura's neighbor.

jaybird said...

The Right Wing Christian Neo Cons
Now look at numbered days
As the new Oval Office Tenants
Prepare to change Republican ways

By Democratic process
Necessity for change
Remove the present danger
The war dogs with the mange

Decades ago a maverick
Pulling trigger on Hanoi
We let him go on that one
For he was just a boy

Too radical like his leader
Fictitious, fanatic and fear
Failed in the Electoral process
Now check your rear view mirror

They cut the mast in Isaac Lewis
The system was a failin
Much like the lame attempt
At selecting Sarah Palin

Now we the “Yes We Can”
Approach the giant slope
The people feel the energy
That comes when you have hope

The world is a different place
After Bush and Company took the reins
Obama and the people
Can remove the Far Right stains

Stray Dog said...

At least we can hope this time. Maybe that's enough to start. God, it's been a long time. . .

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tom,
I hope you are spot on with the future of the Neo Con Right, but I have this lingering fear that they are like cock roaches able to survive the worst. Let us hope Sarah Palin disappears back into the hinterlands of Alaska. It was however, an amazing moment to watch from, and participate in, from a far. A day I was proud to be an American,even though living overseas. To Obama I write: Kia Kaha! Be Strong.
Cheers Tom,
Robb

editor said...

Don't follow leaders. Watch your parking meters.

Saddle Tramp said...

Editor mi amigo . . . the less said, the more said. The cowboy way. Advice well given, advice well taken. One of my favorite Dylan songs and as Dylan also said " we are living in a political world " like it or not. The void will always be filled if not by the good, bad or indifferent, then by an absolute despot. I am not a herd person, far from it. However, humanity evidently requires leadership overall and like fire it is neither inherently good or bad, but amoral. I hope we have a good power structure this time. Who knows? I am by nature apololitical and anti-authoritarian. Most are not. The herd mentality. The reason TR resonates
in my bones along with my Bohemian ( by blood) roots. No
one blanket statement can pin down the truth. Dylan is
famous for it. Well, I have violated The Cowboy Way long
enough. Adiós and I still hope to get through Sisters to see you.I have circled all around you . . .

-ST Receiving much help from my Chicano amigos in the
City of Industry, CA. and I remain one of The Last
Bohemians.

editor said...

ST —

Point well made and taken. It is, indeed, a political world and political decisions matter. I'm glad Obama was elected and I'm looking for solid leadership out of him.

But I've always believed we're on our own out here, hopefully with some support from family and tribe if we've got em. Watch your topknot and keep your powder dry. Which, clearly, you do.

I still look forward to buying you a steak.

Saddle Tramp said...

Editor et al . . .

Made it to The Autry.
Trail notes:
Notwithstanding the rape & pillage that took place after Autry's death still worth the trip. Tuesdays are free and Cowboy and Western magazines given away.

[Maverick] Art exhibit
Banderas . . . Look for JM on a pistola
The basement is where the treasure lies. The Grey Fox is there.

Pick up a Fritz Scholder tee shirt and "Indian Not Indian".

Ate lunch at Carney's Expeess Limited across from The Standard Hotel on the strip . . .

Oh Pancho, oh Cisco . . .


Adiós

On the plane on the tarmac at LAX heading east.

Robin Easton said...

Powerful and SO well written. Best I've read in a long time. Dynamic and clear! I applaud you.

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

I like your ranting style in this one and its rhythmic energy. Your article is spot on. I concur. By the way, Rob Kloss sent me here and I'm glad I came. Shall be back.

Cheers
Paterika

Saddle Tramp said...

Elko, Nevada billboard on I-80 . . .

WANNA KNOW WHAT RHYMES WITH VARMINT?

COME TO THE ELKO COWBOY POETRY GATHERING
etc, etc


I ain't ever had no rhyming dictionary and have no plans to own one. It's gotta come from the bones and what you have absorbed. That said, I hope I make it to find out and maybe see you in the bargain. Tom you know how Buk hated rhymers, but that's not how it works in the songster's trade. Music all the same to me . . . hoping my timing works out better on this shot.

-ST Elko, Nevada [ Revisited ]

Albrock said...

Oh Tom, conservatism is far from dead. If anything, real conservatism will make a comeback. McCain-Palin's narrow loss only means neoconservatism is dead, and for that I am glad. But a Goldwater-style conservatism will be reborn. Don't you think America has turned it back on its main principles, Dems won't control the WH or congress for much longer.