Today’s song is another hit from Wayback because I’m thinking about progress. This one, ‘San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair’), was written by John Phillips but released by Scott McKenzie in 1967.
The song attracts me today because I heard it on the radio this morning. Some of the lines include, “All across the nation, such a strange vibration, people in motion. There’s a whole generation, with a new explanation. People in motion.”
Yes, I thought. That’s one of the things about the last Presidential election in the United States. Donald Trump preached a movement back. He appealed to people stuck in time. They weren’t in motion and weren’t moving forward. If they were moving, they were going backward to when men had more rights and white men had the most rights and privilege of anyone, and the wealthy were on pedestals as capable people. While these voters and supporters wouldn’t say they’re against these things, the man they selected is against regulations that protect people, animals, the environment, and the poor, sick and needy. Tearing down the public school system through Betsy DeVos isn’t a move forward, as that billionaire who never attended a public school will try to do. He’s gutting every system save defense while he promises new jobs and to rebuild the infrastructure. Yet, he also is going to cut taxes, reduces revenue, so there will be no money to pay for that infrastructure. He preyed on them with fear and promised he will build a wall to protect them. The Trump Wall will be beautiful, he claims, a big beautiful wall.
Many of those voters are in impoverished areas where industry has disappeared or pay minimum wages. The areas are dominated by elderly people, and the disability rates for these area are higher than the national average and increasing at a faster rate. These are the very people that the social net Trump is tearing about helps the most. Trump said he was draining the swamp and that he would change business as usual. His attack on Syria and his selection of wealthy cronies and family members to staff his White House show very much that it’s still a swamp. He criticized Obama for golfing too much while he golfs almost every weekend.
He is not the path forward. I’m going on without him and his supporters. Yes, the song may be fifty years old, but the sentiment that there are people moving forward and causing change is older yet. Yet, for some, it’s all new, strange and dangerous.