Wednesday, 8:00 AM. 27 degrees F, wind NW, calm. The sky is clear except for a massive wall of black clouds on the horizon, which rendered the dawn a sickly yellow-green, a lingering ghost of the massive storm still dying eastward.
We are on our way this morning, first to do a little pheasant hunting with old friend Bill in Oconomowoc, and then to Madison on Friday for an Urban Forestry Council meeting. So, no blog for a few days.
“Sandy,” the storm of the century, or centuries, not only continues to raise its havoc, but it continues to delay political commentary, a truly unusual thing given that the election is now less than a week away. That said, it has given everyone, including myself, time for some introspection regarding politics and this most important, I would say crucial, election.
My introspection of the last several days has taken me back to another, very similar time in history, the Great Depression, of which I am a child. I was born right in the middle of it, to parents as much affected by it as probably any were. My father lost his farm in the farm depression, a precursor to the big general depression. Neither mother nor father had much of anything except each other during the Depression, although that proved enough for them, as they came out of it O.K., actually prospered during it, mostly because they were hard working and extremely frugal.
Most people today do not realize that the Great Depression lasted more or less two decades, from the late 1920’s until the mid-‘40’s, the only real end to it being the mega-stimulus of the Second World War, and the pent-up consumer needs it created . The social programs of the Roosevelt Administrations were palliative, and nothing more. By the end of the twenty-year mess, even the most unsophisticated citizens realized that it was the war that ended the depression. I can still recall stupid tavern talk during later recessions, when out of work men would say, “What we really need is a good war.” They would say it and then look around sheepishly, ashamed of what had come out of their mouths, but it was the truth, Democratic Party propaganda notwithstanding (and virtually everyone was a Democrat back then).
So I am looking at this election through depression-colored glasses, and see quite clearly that throwing money and massive social programs at this Great Recession isn’t going to cure it, just make people feel a bit better about it. And in my own opinion, all the alphabet agencies of the Thirties and Forties only extended the misery, and the current spending spree and explosion of social programs will only prolong the current economic malaise.
And if we re-elect President Obama I believe we are virtually guaranteeing a reprise of the mid-Twentieth Century, a time full of Poverty, Ignorance, and finally War. That’s Three Horsemen out of four, and Disease comes along all by itself when the time is ripe. Apocalypse Now? Well, just around the corner.