Saturday, July 29, 2017

The sudden vote called by Mitch McConnell on Thursday night (almost midnight) was one of those calculated ploys; it was nervewracking, as it was meant to be, and the prospect of healthcare repeal was overwhelming. So, instead of watching the televised session, i watched "Random Harvest" and "The Talk of the Town" as part of TCM's Ronald Colman series. The climax of "Talk of the Town" comes at the courtroom, where Colman (a judge) rushes in to stop the vigilante mob from lynching Cary Grant (as a political dissident); Colman delivers one of those patented Sidney Buchman speeches (which were rift in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington") about democracy, and about how we must not give in to mob rule, we must live by the rule of law, which is the bedrock of our democracy. Listening to this oration, it was particularly poignant at this time, because there was a time when Hollywood stood up for principle. But, then, civics were part of the general curriculum of every school, and the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, etc. were part of what every school child knew. How the education system in the United States has been decimated was proven this Fourth of July. NPR did what it always did on the Fourth of July: there was a recitation of the Declaration of Independence. And the switchboards were flooded with calls from the backwoods of this country, because these uneducated morons felt that NPR should be defunded for broadcasting what they felt was some unpatriotic garbage! The Declaration of Independence! These people had never heard the Declaration of Independence! And these are the people who voted for Trump.

Of course, the upshot was that, at the last minute, the vote was 51 to 49, opposed to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. A very Hollywood ending!

But we are living with mob rule, with the ascension of fascism in this country. What's been horrifying about this development has been the utter squalidness of the whole Trump fiasco. The federal government is being dismantled daily, yet with such vulgarity and viciousness that the audacity is staggering.


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