Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mushroom Clouds and Miss Mac Murray by Cindy Sheehan


I am a child of the Cold War.

I was born in 1957 in Los Angeles, probably under one of the mushroom clouds that regularly blew over from the above ground Nevada nuclear test sites.

The very public witch hunts of Joseph McCarthy, Herbert Hoover and HUAC were over by then, but the damage and fear of the "Red Under the Bed" persisted, along with the "proxy" wars between the USSR and the USA that included millions dead in Korea and Vietnam, among other places. The radioactive fruits of the nuclear arms race still persist to this day with thousands of live nukes across the globe and many nations poisoned by the US's usage of depleted uranium munitions.

I was in kindergarten in Bellflower, Ca, when the missile crisis between the US and Soviet Union occurred off the coast of Cuba. I didn't understand what was happening, but in hindsight, I remember my parents being very tense as they watched the nuclear near miss on TV.

My most enduring, recurring nightmare is about being outside and seeing a mushroom cloud off in the distance. The awful feeling of "oh, no--this is it" and the immense sense of relief when I awaken to find out that World War III wasn't happening--yet--has been repeated frequently throughout my life.

So, what does my 2nd grade teach, Miss Mac Murray have to do with any of this? 

It was 1964: the conflict in Vietnam was bubbling and getting ready to boil over; Kennedy had been assassinated when I was in first grade; something was happening with the "Red Chinese." I wasn't sure what a "Red Chinese" was, but I knew I liked Chinese food and knew that the workers at the Hong Kong Kitchen were not white, but they weren't "Red," either, so they probably weren't poisoning our food.

Like every dutiful American student, I rose to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before school thinking for several years that the "one nation, Under God," was "invisible." 

Anyway, in a stunning display of child abuse, Miss Mac Murray asked us all a question one day: "If a red commie came up to you and told you that if you recited the pledge of allegiance he would shoot you in the head, what would you do?" Again, I wasn't sure what a "red commie" looked like, but I pictured a real life Boris Badenov (the bad guy in Rocky and Bullwinkle). But, I was very confident of the answer to Miss Mac Murray's question, I raised my hand, was called on, and I said, "I wouldn't say it!" WRONG! I was dragged out of my seat, put in the corner for the first and only time of my second grade life and told to stay and think about how I betrayed my country. I stayed for a long time, stubbornly (and intelligently) thinking, "I don't care, I still wouldn't say it." I laugh at the people who still call me "un-American." Little do they know that they weren't the first and I, apparently, have been a traitor since second grade.

Fellow Cold War babies have similar stories of mass-conditioning and fear based propaganda to keep us USAians afraid of the "enemy."

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US's decades long perfect enemy became, if not an ally, at least not a partner in Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). 

In the second decade of the 21st century, the war powers that be still have the barbaric capability of destroying the world many times over with its nuclear arsenals. Growing up with "brinkmanship" and the fear of nuclear annihilation makes it even more confusing to me why Democrats are so hellbent on increasing hostilities with Russia by blaming it for everything: even the fact that its war criminal, super-predator, unpopular candidate, Hillary Clinton was beaten by Trump. The same Trump, whose biggest flaw to many of those liberal democrats, is that (at least in the beginning), he wanted to have better relations with Russia than did the Obama regime.

Now, the military junta that has been putatively in charge of foreign policy for decades has now been given carte blanche by Trump to not even pretend to be subordinate to the Commander in Chief. Consequently, the US is increasing its provocation of Russia, especially in Syria. I wonder where the "No Nukes," and "No War" liberals disappeared to?

I believe that these pseudo-libs would rather live under the fear of being melted by a nuke than to admit that Hillary Clinton lost because she was Hillary Clinton. I was confused by the rising John Birch, Russophobia of the Democrat left, until I recalled my history lessons. It wasn't McCarthy that started the "commie" witch hunts of the '40s and '50s, it was democrat Truman with his loyalty oaths and sweeping investigations of Federal employees that began the whole enchilada of red-baiting; informing on your family, neighbors, and colleagues; and secret police harassment heading into the new Cold War in 1947. The Neo-Trumanites are just following in a dangerously conservative Democrat tradition.

Don't worry, Democrats---just teach your children and grandchildren to "Duck and Cover."



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2 comments:

  1. The United States government will always find a way to start wars and revolutions. If we don't have the communists, we have the Islamic terrorists, and if we don't have them, we'll find somebody else.

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  2. Many of us who question have had similar moments is early childhood.

    In the third grade a teacher pulled me off the playground and led me to a vacant classroom. She wanted my promise to never do "that" again. Not wanting to get into trouble in the future I thought it important to find out what "that" was. So, I said, "What did I do?"

    The teacher said she couldn't strap me unless another teacher was present and left to get another teacher.
    In California in public schools in the fifties it was still permissible to strap children.

    She returned with the strap and another teacher and asked me again if I was ever going to do "that" again? Of course, I promised to never do "that" again.

    With that promise I was allowed to return to my classmates. On questioning them the consensus was that I was jump roping on the cement, which was considered dangerous.

    Forty years later I watched my son and his friends jump rope on the cement at public school and asked them about it. They told me that the even surface of the concrete was considered safer than the uneven surface of the dirt.

    But, who knows what "that" really was?

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