From a Eugene McCarthy Fan to a Trump Fan in a Half Century

When I was twenty years old and still in college but mostly skipping classes touring with my band, I had too-long hair and was protesting passionately for equal rights, and rooting my ass off for Eugene McCarthy to be President and end the war in Viet Nam and bring our brave boys home, and fight for equal rights for all, and tell us that our country must first fix itself before it can fix the world, and then graciously accept our blessed torch as the beacon of freedom and prosperity and kumbaya for the rest of the world, all with the message of  The Beatles “All You Need Is Love” still marinating in many of our psyches for the prior four years. It would have been completely impossible back then, or even up to four years ago, for me to even imagine (it would have sounded too absurd) that 50 years later, my worldview and view of leadership would so radically change as to become a “rooter” for Donald Trump.

In 1968, there was turmoil in this country. The year started off with the bloody Tet Offensive in Viet Nam and with the tragic My Lai incident there later in the year, and as the war was raging and the media bombarding us with graphic pictures of the dead and wounded along with all the other endless horrors of war, every day, every night, the war was in our living rooms and on the covers of our newspapers and magazines, and the anti-war protests grew in size and violence, and “anarchy” was a word heard a bit too frequently than was comfortable. BTW, it should be commended that all this information was brought to the American people by the media working bravely on the front lines alongside of the troops. In addition, and of great significance, Civil rights protests and marches were blossoming all over the country, sometimes accompanied by violence, and then Martin Luther King, a blessed messenger of peace, was assassinated by one hate-driven white man and riots broke out all over the country, which speaks to the tinder-box atmosphere that had been building up for a while in the minority communities. Two months after the MLK murder, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a shoo-in for President of the US that year, was assassinated after a successful California primary, the second Kennedy within the same decade to suffer such a fate.

The country was coming apart at the seams and I thought, admittedly perhaps naively at the time, that because I believed that Eugene McCarthy was true patriot, that he was in favor of “peace – now, bring the troops home” and that his heart was in the right place as to social issues such as  equal opportunity for all, that he would make a good leader, and I still believe I was right, that he would have been a good leader, but at a more evolved time in world history, not then. In the type of world we realistically live in now, Trump is about as close as one can get to the “right” leader for our times. Certainly not perfect, but highly effective, blunt to a fault, a hard worker, and a pit bull with America’s and its true allies interests at heart, willing to build some unusually creative coalitions in order to meet his goals, he will get things done, and in all fairness, he’s now already make the world a safer place. Trump has a big-picture vision, first for America, and then, if the world is smart enough and ego-less enough to accept Trump”s help, they will be handsomely rewarded, also. If not, Trump will move on without them.

I dug down deep and painfully searched my soul, spirit, and ego. My ego just wants this agreement to happen so it can tease, “I Told You So” while feeling superior to the “other side” because my ego is a competitive, sore-losing, soul-less child who wants what it wants when it wants it and thinks its smarter than everyone else and that it has everyone fooled (how’s that for humiliating my own ego? hint, hint), but my spirit is channeling Trump’s dream that this will be the beginning of a not-scary New World Order and a secure future of peace and prosperity for the entire world, including the planet Earth itself and all its inhabitants.

Do I feel like a hypocrite or a traitor? My ego tried to convince me of that but I came to the realization that my IDEALS of Peace, Equality, Opportunity, and Kumbaya have not changed in the last 50 years. I want all those same things from Trump that I wanted from McCarthy, but with a higher degree of respect for the rule of law, of our country and of our flag as the symbol that so many American’s loved as they fell fighting for it, as it personifies the struggles for our freedoms. I say these things with gratitude to those who sacrificed (and there were many) so that others who are younger may perhaps understand the gut-wrenching depths of their sentiments about our flag and country, and yet still with the recognition and respect that Freedom of Speech is our constitutional right for all of us, perhaps a bit of background explanation and empathy may sensitize people as to their choice of symbolism. I hope so.

Could I have achieved my goals with another leader? Not in the past few decades. Not with more of the same. Trump’s skill at negotiation, brinksmanship, only accepting a win-win-win-win-win(don’t forget about South Korea, Japan, and China) and nothing less, wihout budging on real security for South Korea and Japan may leave all parties somewhat unfulfilled but I believe he performed a diplomatic miracle and should be supported and appreciated as a man who keeps his word. Successful negotiations are only successful if nobody leaves completely satisfied.

Trump’s “arrogance” and “instability” that some say drives them crazy is, for better or worse, part of the whole package. Better that than a Nuclear World War, don’t you think?. Yet, there are those who are already denigrating and being pessimistic and even rooting against the success of this agreement. What does that say about their true selves that they would allow their (often irrational) hatred of Trump to cloud their desire for peace? You would think they would all rise up and embrace this agreement and pray for its success, even if it wins Trump (and Kim) the Nobel Peace Prize, which this definitely will.

Be proud, America. You have a leader who is a powerful and fearless advocate for America and for peace and prosperity in the world. He’s willing to compromise, but he’s been left a lopsided mess by prior administrations who have forever kicked the can down the road, often accepting less than optimal conditions for America while vastly enriching themselves and their cronies in the process.

Measure the true value of the potential of this agreement against your stubborn ego defense of your narratives and then go ahead and humiliate your own ego and let your spirit shine through. We are all connected, and if we begin to come together and realize that, we can, all together as one, manifest wonderful things for ourselves and our world. Sometimes, you just need to let go and trust the Universe that it has your back, IF you’re truly seeking peace and justice and IF you take meaningful actions to achieve your goals. That’s what a true leader does. and in the case of Trump, he is a strong leader. He knows how to use U.S. power (economic and military) to bring everyone to the table and close the deal. It’s a fact. For your own sake and with much love in my heart, I hope you can learn to deal with it. In fact, embrace it, because if you do, then in short order many good things will happen — that’s the Universe letting us know we’re on the right track.

Epilogue: I watched the entire coverage of the Trump-Kim summit glued to my seat through the night into the wee hours of the morning, and then Trump’s entire press conference and right on through daybreak. I watched by switching around from Channel 12 Local news (B+), MSNBC (F), CNBC (C+), CNN (F), FOX (B+), BBC (B-), and I24 News (B+). IMO, none of the talking heads really see or talk about the big picture here. Prior to this experience, I really didn’t believe that there was such a cabal as “fake news,” but by watching the different channels for so many hours talk about something that I had just witnessed with my own eyes and ears thru so many different hosts and guests, it was so sadly obvious that fear and hatred and envy of Trump slants their narratives to the point at which they often sound silly, vicious, non-sensical, meanspirited, or like out and out liers. Not only do I now believe that fake news is a real thing, but I think it’s rampant in the US and even world media. Someone once said, “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.” It appears that America and perhaps the entire world finally has a real leader in the pursuit of peace and economic trade equity. The others can follow or sit on the sidelines, but do not get in the way for your own selfish concerns. Trump will deal with those often legitimate concerns once he fries the bigger fish and builds up more trust and a deeper relationship.

A Nobel Peace Prize for Donald J. Trump… who’d a’thunk it?

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