Daley, Richard

Daley, Richard:  (n) A mayor of Chicago in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. One of the last and toughest of the big-city political “bosses.”

’Tis a tale of the two Richards.

I could probably write an Almanac about it, but I shall keep it brief. Yes, I will make it short, if not sweet.

Richard Daley was the mayor of Chicago who believed in control by intimidation and using strength as a deterrent to protest.

So in 1968, when young people all over America headed to Chicago, Illinois, to make a stand against the Viet Nam War at the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Daley thought it was a good time to stop these punks and hoodlums, making an example of them by using his police force to push them, shove them, and often strike out.

America’s love generation—beaten and bloodied.

The television networks thought it good theater to cover this unfolding with a split screen—half of which broadcast speeches on the floor of the convention, and the other chronicling the struggle between college students and police officers.

It was a frightening, obtuse and mind-altering vision.

Meanwhile, another Richard, Nixon, sat back and watched the fiasco, ran for President and won in the midst of this turmoil over the Viet Nam War, which he promised to end.

Not only did he fail to cease the war, but he brought a level of corruption into the Presidency that had never been seen before, resigning in disgrace.

What would have happened if the one Richard—the Mayor of Chicago—had decided to treat the students as if they were the sons and daughters of America instead of crime bosses?

Would the other Richard–Nixon–have been able to capitalize on his second run at the chief position in the land and win?

A very interesting question. I’m sure it’s one that most people don’t care about anymore.

But since human beings have not come up with a new design for more than a hundred thousand years, it’s safe to assume that this kind of situation will rise again—where we need to be careful not to allow one Dick to make another dick.

Changeover

Changeover: (n) a change from one system or situation to another.

Once again, the system we have precariously referred to as democracy has created a changeover from one leader to another.

It happens every four to eight years, but each time it does, there are those among us who foretell of great evil and damnation because a
certain individual is occupying The Chair.

I have all sorts of chairs in my house. They’ve been occupied by a great variety of humans–and also creatures. But the truth of the matter is, the chair still maintains its quality and dignity.

We have selected a form of government that revels in the ridiculous notion of changeover. Businesses do not do this–they search and search until they find a good CEO and they keep that individual in the position until he or she dies or retires.

But not America.

We feel that a “musical chairs” approach to governing will grant us freedom from fascism. It might be true if those who were knocking over other people to get into the chair did not have a bit of fascism in themselves.

So when Eisenhower became President everyone was sure that as a general, he would try to take over the government with the military.

John Kennedy was going to let the Pope rule the country.

Lyndon Johnson would turn the United States over to the control of angry Negroes.

Richard Nixon was determined to bomb Southeast Asia into oblivion.

Jimmy Carter was so peaceful that he would lead us into war.

Ronald Reagan might tax America into poverty with his “trickle-down economics.”

George Bush, Sr., could cripple us with wars in the Middle East.

Bill Clinton was going to legalize every vice in America and have our children offered marijuana cookies in the cafeteria.

George Bush, Jr., would try to finish his Daddy’s war until he bankrupted the country.

Barack Obama–turn the nation over to African-Americans, while white people would be killed in the streets by the anti-Christ.

And now, folks claim that Donald Trump is going to lead us to the brink of destruction and thermonuclear war.

It’s just a changeover, folks.

As always, it is ugly, perhaps foolish and filled with mishaps.

But because we have taught ourselves in this republic to be more critical than helpful, it is virtually impossible for any one human being to devastate the glory of our freedom and the power of our principles.

 

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