Tomorrow Belongs To Me
by Pat Patterson
Originally posted here.
Two long and brilliantly fascinating comments:
1. I was talking with Tobiyah and Jennifer, my intelligent and VERY politically astute young (mid 20’s, early 30’s) black daughters the other night about the election,
AND I remembered my teen years, particularly 1968, the year I turned 15:
- Tet Offensive,
- The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Bobby Kennedy,
- Chicago Democratic Convention,
- and later the Kent State shootings.
It seems to me that we didn’t HAVE ANY choices back then, from my perspective.
I voted for George McGovern on an absentee ballot the day they taught us how to fire Claymore mines (FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY) in Basic Training at Ft. Jackson (D-7-2). (He won Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.)
And then I reflected back a few more years to pre-teen years;the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and how we were traveling from Texas to Georgia on the old two lane roads, and the miles and miles of military convoys we had to pass.
And remembering movies like “Alas Babylon” (1960) and nightmares that the Russians were coming down the hallway to kill my baby sister, and the ‘duck and cover‘ exercises we had to practice in school, and the 1963 school civil defense school evacuation drills where we had to walk home in groups because you couldn’t count on the bus if the bombs dropped.
And I suppose I could add my experience as a young GI in Germany, knowing I was there to stop the tanks from rolling across the Fulda Gap; and walking across Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin in 1975 wearing my uniform and waving to the Soviets and East German troops.
And I concluded that we ain’t got nothing now that even comes close to being a problem, compared to then.
2. The second thought followed watching Donald Trump’s speech, after he received the endorsement of the NRA (I’m a Life Member), and listening to his rhetoric.
Recently, the last living “Casablanca” actress, Madeleine LeBeau, passed away. When I heard that, I wanted to watch the scene of her crying as she sang “La Marseillaise;” and, after I did, I followed some links. That can sometimes lead to trouble, I know, but in this case, it just gave me occasion to listen to a couple of other WWII era songs, like the German paratrooper song, and the Horst Wessel song, and the apocryphal Hitler Youth song “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” (which isn’t from WWII, as it was written for the 1966 Broadway musical “Cabaret”); and then, the thought…
…the thought that I was wishing that I could be patriotic, and feel good about what Donald Trump says, without hearing (in my head) Adolf Hitler using some of the same type of rhetoric to gain leadership of Germany.