Dear Dirty America


A Dreary Dullness Pervading American Politics

May 22
19:30 2012
Perthshire, Scotland
A dreary Nixon working the crowd
Let me be clear, I’m not American! I have American connections. I used to be very interested in politics of all kinds! My earliest political memory is the battle for the leadership of the Labour Party in the early sixties. 

This was between the slippery operator, Harold Wilson, and the quick-witted maverick George Brown. The end result of a bad tempered campaign was a narrow win for Wilson! I was very disappointed, Brown was by far a more interesting character! The seed was sown. I’ve always had time for and backed the eccentric over the mundane and boring! 

What, you may well be asking, has any of the above got to do with American politics? Nothing and everything, is the answer! It proves that generally, countries that elect the most charismatic and interesting candidate, spend lots of time and money trying to get rid of them! Or in some cases, not electing them at all. 

Let’s zoom back to the sixties again. In America, prior to J F K, politicians were, to say the least, grey and dull. Wearing their dullness like a badge of honour. Richard Nixon being a prime example! When faced with the young and vibrant Kennedy, Nixon looked shifty and ill at ease! Which, as it turned out, he really was! 

Even with all his advantages, J F K, struggled to beat the grey, dull and shifty Nixon! This shows how Americans make political choices. Not based on intellect or charisma, but on how a dull boring person seems more trustworthy! 

Here in the UK, much the same thing happened. Wilson versus Brown. Very similar eras, early sixties. The problem with free thinking leaders is that they are generally against loss of innocent lives in politically driven wars. 

Vietnam would have ended sooner if Kennedy had been re-elected. This wouldn’t have pleased the military industrial complex, which was driving the conflict. For this reason alone, Kennedy was skating on thin ice! Having headed off the Cuban missile crisis, he was in a strong position to end the slaughter in south east Asia. 

The people holding the real power in America couldn’t take the chance of Kennedy being voted in again and resorted to doing what some people would call the unthinkable! This was carried out with ruthless efficiency! Any hope of truth coming out was gone with the death of the patsy, Lee Harvey Oswald. 

Kennedys successor, Lyndon Johnson, a hardliner Texan, was thought to be ideal for the powers that be, but didn’t conform to type! He turned out to be a bit of a free thinker too! This would not be tolerated. 

In a surprise announcement, Johnson, declared he would not be seeking re-election! Was he leant on? Do Republicans froth at the mouth? Make up your own minds! 

Nixon was perfect. A non intellectual, and a yes-man of frightening proportions, he fitted the bill perfectly!
In the UK, Wilson was Prime Minister, plying his cronies with Knighthoods, fat contracts, and bending over for the Trades Unions! Mr Dull was a spineless ass kisser! 

During this time Edward Heath became Conservative leader. A single, organ playing orchestra conducting nonentity. To say he was useless, is an insult to uselessness in general! 

Back in America, Nixon was going mad at a rate not seen since the reign of mad King George! He was recording all his Oval Office conversations. And apparently talking Mandarin to a one legged blue parrot called Chuckles! This may be a rumour, but it has a ring of truth to me! Nixon wasn’t well! 

While this might be fanciful, (ok, it is fanciful), it shows that if the grey dull face fits, then such a person’s mental state isn’t important to the holders of the levers of power! 

In Britain, we got Mrs Thatcher, a woman so grey, other grey things wouldn’t stand next to her for fear of association! She not only fitted the bill, she loved to tell everyone just how dull she and her family were! 

In America, Gerald Ford appeared, stumbling out of the political shadows! A man so dull and grey, he could have been a rock! Only not as nimble! 

I began this piece as an angry vibrant young man. Ending part one as a grey, dull shell, resembling something I once was! Part two will bring us up to the present day. Waiting for November, and the shambles masquerading as a free election! Vote for hope, not the long slow death the right is promoting! 

Michael J Blair is a regular contributor to DDA, and he can be reached at: His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair


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