The Long Road Ahead

There have been times recently when I hardly recognized The United States as being my country. The far-right white-Anglo Saxon, Bible-toting hordes have become almost too easy to satirize. They seem to have done all the work for me. Their smug, self-righteous, myopic views have become so extreme at times, that they make even William F. Buckley seem like a screaming liberal. The tightly woven fabric of their narrow convictions has created a dichotomy of religious rhetoric mixed uncomfortably with guns and violent verbal abuses aimed at those who don’t always agree completely with them.

Jesus is no longer really the symbol of the far right American political ethos. Christ has been quite unceremoniously replaced by Donald Trump, whose screaming vulgarity and empty promises have beguiled his base into thinking we can actually go back to the 1950’s whiter-than-white society. The Christian cross is still part of white religious symbolism, but it has devolved into rather a violent weapon or battering ram used to injure and control rather than to comfort and protect. This has not gone unnoticed by other nations overseas. The joke has become ugly and threatening to our entire history as a republic.

Our laws and Constitution were assailed on January 6, 2021 by smug, would-be-heroes, who turned out to be the usual street thugs who would happily have turned our government into their personal venue for as much control as that of any tyrannical third world country.

To0 many have happily devoured a diet of conspiratorial, blood-boiling tabloid “news” by masters of duplicity, like Tucker Carlson and Rush Limbaugh, whose fear-factor techniques have made them very wealthy men, who feed upon the dismay and ignorance of a huge swath of the American public. Even some of my own relatives have come to believe only the most scathing critiques of the far-left. Some of those folks are cousins, who would think that Cotton Mather was too liberal. Their entire political ethos is based upon the conviction that there are liberal factions behind every door waiting to pull the wool over our eyes to turn America into a nation of spendthrift libertines, who scoff at any kind of morality. Their views are always prepackaged, neatly and scathingly composed (complete with photos) to raise the blood pressure of the unwary. It’s all really too absurd, but it does provide that adrenalin, roller coaster rush that is pleasing to a mind that has become so self-righteous that Fox News and its ilk become what they believe is their only lifeline to reality. Even Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini could not have accomplished such a feat of imposed fear and suspicion in such a short time. Of course, they didn’t have the mass media that now wafts its messages constantly over the airwaves.

I’ve not given up, despite the armies of opposition that surely lie ahead during the next few years. I still believe that America can and will find a balance and regain its sanity. If not, Costa Rica is looking pretty good to me.   JB

About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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