Friday, November 22, 2013

22 NOV 13

One day in Dallas . . .

Got to remembering today.

I'm 67 years old.
Now nearer to the end than to the beginning of all things "Me."
Been thinking about politics and presidents.

Had these thoughts on things presidential:

The first president I can remember is Eisenhower.
I liked him because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I was 10.

Then came Kennedy . . . 
He became a sorta teen-idol figure.
I loved his look and sense of style.
Plus, he drove PT Boats in the war.
Cool.

Lyndon Johnson . . .
I alternately hated or pitied him.
Hated his micro-management of the war in Vietnam.
Pitied his obvious pain at the American troop losses
that ensued.

Nixon . . .
Couldn't get a read on him.
He wasn't called, "Tricky Dick" for naught.
(Although I did write a college paper in 1974, defending
him, for a Political Science class I took via USAFI.)

Gerald Ford . . .
A caretaker ...
a nice guy who was just "there."

Carter . . . 
An embarrassment to all of us ex-patriots living in Berlin.
Thought his handling of the Iranian Hostage Crisis abysmal.

Ronald Reagan . . . 
Loved how he rebuilt the military to counter Soviet threats.
(But then, I'm a bit biased on the subject.)
Don't really know how his "Trickle Down" theory of economics
worked ... whether it did what he claimed or not. All I know
is that the country seemed to thrive, economically.

George the First . . .
A solid bureaucrat.
Well versed in the world of international derring do.
Plus, he was another WWII vet, one who'd flown combat
missions and had once been shot down.

Clinton . . .
A flim-flam man who made good.
The first president of my own generation
and he managed to avoid military service
by staying in college. (At least he was smart.)

George the Second . . .
A good man, trying hard
but not always getting it right.
Another one who avoided service in Vietnam
but at least he flew jets for the Air Guard.
(And how many thousands of my fellow citizens
joined the Guard for the exact same reason?)

Barack Obama . . .
An empty suit, not near as smart as
he thinks himself to be.
Still ... duly elected ... twice!

As for 2016 ...
dunno for sure.
It could very well be Clinton v Christie.

All I know for sure is that after 67 of my years,
The Republic still stands.

Being career military ... both in and out of uniform,
I learned to keep my presidential political thoughts to myself.

(Plus, I once worked with a soldier who's last prior duty station had been
the White House. Part of his duties required him to sweep the briefing
room for bugs prior to the president's morning briefing. At the front
of the room was a large flip-chart, with a black cover stenciled with
"PRESIDENT'S EYES ONLY." On his last duty day, he peeked under the
cover at the top briefing sheet. He told us that after reading what the
man has to deal with before breakfast, daily, he'd never criticize another
sitting president again.)

I've always tried to emulate him in that.

-Fini

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