Living in the Past. The Trumpers Cannot Go Home Again

“Make America Great Again”. That was the slogan of the former president who after one term managed, to the delight of Vladimir Putin and other dictators, to turn American against American. Did anyone figure out when it was in the past of America that we want to emulate? The slogan incorporates with the word “again” the idea that at some point America was great and we should try to make it today like it was then.

When was that? What was America like in those years past that it is not like today? Is not that slogan meaningless unless you can point to that time. If you cannot you are living in an imaginary world if you are a Trump supporter. I ask those supporters when was America great for all Americans of all races, creeds, life styles, and ethnicities. The truth is there is no time in the past when that was the case. We have been constantly trying to better ourselves in America in order to “form a more perfect union” which means to examine what we have done, ask how can we do it better, and then proceed to do it. We do not want to go backwards.

Change is something frightening to many people. They would like to live in an imagined past. That’s why we have such a term as Luddite. Those were the folks who oppose the use of textile machines and went about destroying them. The term is now use to describe folk who are opposed to change, especially technological. When you fear change you imagine some time years ago when you had no such fear.

When I think of this, A.E. Housman’s poem, “To An Athlete Dying Young” comes to mind. A particular compelling line is: “Now you will not swell the rout Of lads that wore their honours out, Runners whom renown outran, And the name died before the man.”

The Trump idea of some point in the past when things were great is the same as the person who four decades later tells of his or her great achievements as a young person – a high school football star, a college debater, a mountain climbed, a star cheerleader, a homecoming queen, a blue ribbon at the county fair  – that once was a happening in his or her life. You listen and say to yourself, “that’s great but tell me what you have done in the forty years since.” Or, as Housman pointed out that: “the name died before the man” who cannot escape from what once was.

The plague that hit America did not happen in 2021 but back in 2017 when Trump took the oath of office. He wants us to live in the past, an idea that appeals to many people – to the time before gay rights, women’s rights, the Medicare Act, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Social Security Act – all instances of government intervention that the Trump folk believe are communist (liberal) inspired.

A person some called America’s greatest philosopher said: “It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.” When I read his classic I came away with the idea that if people see a better way of life they will always strive and fight to maintain it. The Trump Americans cannot go home again, the old homestead is no longer standing, and the laurel has withered.  Most Americans have seen a better day ahead. America is great now and it will become greater as we move forward.





11 replies on “Living in the Past. The Trumpers Cannot Go Home Again”

  1. I see that Michael Flynn has forgotten the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. He announced to the crowd at a campaign event that he was going to lead them in the pledge. He also urged the crowd, including Bikers for Trump, to listen to each word in the pledge as he recited it. Flynn began the pledge, but only got as far as “United States of America” before blanking out. This was an extremely bad look for a flag waver. Fortunately for all, Flynn did not promise to follow up by reciting the Rosary. The moral of this story is that we need to keep a close eye on the extremists at both ends of the political spectrum.
    To Norwood Born: I’d love to find out if John Connolly has been reunited with his family, and whether his health is strong enough to let him spend at least a few months with his loved one. I’m also curious about Catherine Greig, and how she’s doing. As the only two people in the long, sorry Bulger saga who refused to talk, they command our concern and attention. Yes, folks, the only people who didn’t squeal are not gangsters! So much for the supposed criminal code of silence.
    I’m also curious about why the sleuths at the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons haven’t been able to charge anybody with Whitey Bulger’s murder. I’m guessing that gross incompetence is
    at work here. Were this prison surveillance cameras turned off? Or were they broken? Or possibly stolen by the guards?

    1. Dan:

      I too wonder about the murder of Whitey and why no one has been charged with it. The Boston Globe had it solved within a couple of weeks of it happening if I recall right. Maybe the cameras were not broken but someone forgot to turn them on. Or then again, maybe the prison guards were in on the set up – the whole thing was strange. Perhaps the Bulgers suit against the prison will give us some insight into it.

      Catherine Greig was the one who really stood up and kept her mouth shut. She was facing a much longer time in prison, up to life I believe, for her refusal to testify after being immunized. I did hear she was doing well. Her lawyer is Kevin Reddington who is skilled at what he does so she was in good hands.

      John Connolly was in the difficult position that he had no one to turn on. Well, I guess he could have given them something on Bill Bulger but as he told me in 2002 during his trial when I suggested to him that it seemed to me that is what his trial was about he said something to the effect how can I give them anything on him, he is a man of integrity, I wouldn’t lie about it. So you are right the federal prosecutors would gladly have given John Connolly a break if he lied – they obviously would not be concerned with whether he lied or not because they let their other witnesses lie – but the problem is that even were Connolly tempted to lie to save himself what could he say about Bill? So back to mu first thought, Connolly had nothing to give the federal prosecutors to save himself. I have not heard much of him but there was some news a while ago that he was spending the first days of his freedom in the good weather in Florida. Hopefully he got together with his family then.

      As for General Flynn, all I can say is that seeing a guy like him become a lieutenant general makes me worry about what type of people are leading our nation’s troops. There is clearly something wrong with him.

      1. I, of course, profoundly disagree with your assessment of General Flynn. Typical, like the Federal Prosecutors/FBI went after Flynn, they trumped up accusations against him, and pathetically some, especially anti-Trump, liberal Democratic Americans, believe every falsehood, taken out of context usually, to defame great men like General Flynn and William Bulger and Boston Police Officer Ken Conley, and Boston City Councilor . . .and so many more, thousands, now being poltically proseucted for politcal crimes, anti PC crimes, mostly being on the Conservative sign of AMericans’ political spectrum today . . . .I profoundly disagree and see the defamation of GEneral Flynn have begun, you noticed, after Trump defeated the Hillarians . . .and only then did the corrupt anti-PC, anti conservatives prosecution began with a Warped Speed acceleration, because we have seen that Federal andState corruption not only with the persecution of an innocent man, but the attempt by the STATE in cahoots with some FEDERAL judges were trying to bankrupt and destroy the South Boston Allied War Veterans who ran the annual ST. Patrick’s Day Parade . . coincidence since long before men and women were characgerized as BIgots, Racists, Backwards Deplorables who rightfully opposed Forced Busing as did my brother who’s three children once walked a block to their grammar school, now each one was required to get on a bus and travel to miles away three distant schools in Boston . . . .and before that they came for religious affiliated, the pro-life since Roe, and long before that going back to the No Nothings and before there were those in Governments, not just the USA, which singled out some who think differently, or who were born differently, and the PC correct on the sidelines cheered as Swartz and the owner of Caswell’s Motel, and Chuck Turner were set up, persecuted, bankrupted, squeezed and threatened with fifty years in prison, unless they cooperated with the FEDs . . .Seig Heil

        1. Flynn pleaded guilty. None of the others did.

          You already made a comment today. The rules do not allow a second comment. As you see some are complaining about the repetition by you and Ms. Try to stick to the rules.

        2. With all due respect; Bill, go write a book. Saying something 100 times doesn’t make it true. Write a book.

  2. When was America great? When it was progressive, not perfect. When is was striving to form a more perfect union.
    Let’s look at a few Administrations; Lincoln’s (need no elaboration) prior to him the time of our Founding Fathers who fought like hell, shed blood, sacrificed all to extricate itself from the British Empire. later in FDR’s times (defeated Nazis and Imperialistic Aggressors) and instituted campassionate programs for the poor, not the Welfare State imposed by LBJ/
    America was great under Nixon who opened doors with China, extricated US from Vietnam, and Nixon signed into laws to be executed by the EPA and emulated by States’ like MA DEP, and likewise offshoots were programs OSHA, occupational safety and health, inextricably intertwined with EPA and HHS and other health/safety efforts like FDA . . .good government programs, not blood sucking Bloated Big Government excesses.
    Also America was great under Truman, Ike and JFK., need no explication nor elaboration.
    America was best under Reagan, economically and internationally, without shooting a gun, Russia willingly gave up its Soviet Union.

    I’ll say who lives in the past, those who falsely race bait and to learn read Thomas Sowell or harken unto attorney Mr. Leo Terrell and Senator who said, America is not racist, and even VP said that. We are not in Jim Crow times, but some leftistsliberals like to broad brush their Conservative opponents as Racists, when in fact those who support abortion under Roe, on demand, and support race based decision making, are in fact the Reverse Racists, the Worst Racists, because many are academic high falutin who never digged a ditch or get their hands bloody in soil.

    So, you’ve seen a few years when were great compared to other contemporaneous int eh world.

    And how are the regressives? The Leftists, the Race Critical theorists, the revisionist historians who think America started in 1619, when Europeans set foot in America for at least one hundred years before that, and US was not formed until the culmination of the bloody war from 1775-1781 formed US, an imperfect union, a federalist Republic, brilliantly conceived with checks and balances, and power to the people.

    The great lie, among the many great lies, that leftist liberals tell is that to be American First means you are heartless, when in fact, the danger to America is the AMerican Second Globalists.

    You cite Stalin. I say this without equivocation. Neither Biden nor Putin are close to Stalin.

    In my humble opinion, Biden is hovering closer to Stalin now than Putin has in his twenty or thirty years in rule in Russia.

    And Biden in fifty years in Senate, VP and now President, has done what , , ,nothing but war mongering, blundering, spending and spending as if the laborers hard earned money was grown on trees to be distributed liberally by FEDs.

    The differences in opinions between conservatives and leftists is vast, irreconcilable on many issues.

    When was America great again . . .when it invented Jazz and Rock and Roll and its offspring, a fountain of wealth, given to the World

    1. Nixon-Violated GATT and allowed totalitarian economy into Western Free market association. Adding insult to injury, granted Most Favored Nation status to boot.
      Lost more American lives that all his predecessors.
      Agree, could have been great (EPA etc,); attempted reorg. Notime.

      Reagan-Grandaddy of deficits. Iran/Contra. More later.

  3. Your blog also reflects modern day America. I first came on it years ago because I had a mindset pertaining to Jimmy and Billy Bulger that was formed from mostly the Globe, Herald and some books that had come out. Your background and the jobs you have had gave you unique insight into many of those events.However, your comment section which was once diverse has come to be dominated by two people. After a while I turn away from it. People seem more interested in being part of events rather than just following it. Trying to shape perception rather then a civil exchange of views.I would be very interested in if you think Biden will run again, and how an election between the Governor of Florida and the Vice President would end up. Regards,

    1. norwood born, those opposing views give you a headache . . . .the former President of UMass and the longest serving Senate President in American history was a true intellectual and a true public servant and a great father, husband, and neighbor . . .

      I suspect altho you suspect now the Boston Globe and the leftists, you have still not developed an acute acumen of the evils looming on your doorstep by Biden’s leftists appartacheks

      Don’t believe? Look up Preferential Care at Harvard Medial Hospitals, Brigham and Women, where racist treatment will give preferences to blacks and browns over Whites and Asians, because Harvard thinks reverse racism is okey dokey so long as the Bidenites order and the reversse racists at the Globe, CNN, MSNBC, NYT , WAPO et alia, on the left, have sold out Doctor Reverend’s Martin Luther KIng, Jr.’s idea of a nation where people are judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin.

      I think it is an act of Kindness to stand up to bullies, and falsifiers, and it is also kind, a duty, to open the eyes of those who still dwell in leftist liberalisms anti American ideologies

    2. Norwood:
      I too was caught up in part of the propaganda in the beginning especially in regards to Whitey being this major criminal. Upon further reflection I recognized it for what it was which was a a subtle way to go after Bill Bulger. The bigger they made Whitey the more Bill should have known about it. If he conducted a reign of terror for 25 years in Boston, of course you could say Bill had to have protected him. If he was a low life vicious bum who only killed around six folk involved in criminal activity in a tiny area of Boston then there would be no need for Bill to know about it.

      You are right about the comment section being dominated by two folks. I sometimes wish I was a kindergarten teacher because I would have a better idea how to treat them since they act like unruly children. I ask them to be concise, respond to the subject matter, write once a day unless someone comments on their writing and then respond with conciseness. We have gone from a civil exchange to ranting, most recently one commented with over 650 words. I don’t want to be a policeman at the blog and sometimes like to get away from it for a day or two so I may have to take additional steps.
      I do not think Biden will run in three years. He will be in his eighties and no matter what he may think he’s not going to be up to the job. I expect Harris will go for the top job, she will face opposition from others especially the Bernie types. The Democrats will tear each other apart and the GOP will give us another Trumper.
      I don’t see VP Pence having any chance in the Trump Party – he’ll never have the base support. The Florida governor will be a formidable vice president candidate. Right now I believe Trump will run again much to my dismay and America will suffer greatly.

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