03:05:05 pm on
Monday 22 Jul 2024

Cut Off
AJ Robinson

My mom, Bob Dole and the Pearl Harbor Attack are all different. Yet, they are the same. Try to figure that one out.

Year end review.

It’s the end of the year. This is a time when I pause to think back over the past twelve months and ponder what’s come before. Yet, this year my gaze stretches back a little further and it gives me cause to pause.

My mom passed away in June, Bob Dole just recently died, at the age of ninety-eight, and this year marks the eightieth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack. A small number of the veterans attended the and it’s doubtful many of them will make it to next year; certainly, by the ninetieth anniversary they’ll mostly be gone.

These events have one very powerful element in common: our past is slipping away. Oh sure, we have books and movies, memoirs and other mementos, but actual people, living representations of that era are vanishing and with them a very important resource is evaporating into the ethers: wisdom.

My mom, Bob and all those people old enough to remember the early part of the Twentieth Century helped this nation in its growth and development. They lived through the Great Depression, saw the rise of fascism and Nazism, helped the free nations come together to defeat them, saw the Cold War and all the achievements of that era and all of it had a profound affect on them.

They understood the ebb and flow of history. They saw the value of compromise and compassion. They knew hardship and abundance. They realised that it was important to be thankful for what you have, however meager. We don’t understand any of that today.

A recent report said that college students, particularly Democrats, don’t want to associate with people of the other political party. Don’t want to date them, be friends or do business with them. That’s harsh, but in keeping with their limited life experiences. Think on it.

Bred on optimism, living in fatalism.

These young people grew up in the era of Obama as president. They saw such optimism and hope for the future. Then they saw The Great Orange elected. Not merely elected; supported by people who claim to love our nation and cherish our constitution. Think on it.

Yet, that man symbolizes everything that is not American. Our young see that and how are they supposed to feel? Think on it.

Our young people have little life experience, as did mom, Bob or the others. They can’t look back over their lives and say, “Well, times are tough now, but there’s always hope for the future.” With the passing of people like Bob there are no elder statesmen and women to step up to the plate, and microphone, and give them words of encouragement. No, instead they get Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and fake news from the internet and Facebook.

This isn’t the Nixon era. That man was corrupt, but he could make a good speech, he could put forth valid ideas. He created the EPA and appointed some decent justices to the Supreme Court. He most definitely loved our country, if in an unusual way.

When push came to shove, Nixon obeyed the law. He resigned in disgrace. Does anyone think any of that applies to The Orange? Think on it.

Next month is January, which gets its name from the Roman god Janus, the two-faced god who could look forwards and backwards, at the same time. Traditionally, the month is seen as a time for doing just that: look back and look forward. When I look back and see the path we’ve trod I feel especially sad at the loss of important people, such as Bob Dole and my mom.

Think on it., in 2022.

We’re becoming cut off from the past a little more each year. When I look forward, I see little to be hopeful about. Think on it.

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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