The American antiques history of song and expression to signify an era is well established. From Yankee Doodle Dandy, to John Brown's Body, It's a Long Way to Tipperarry, Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime, Hey Hey the Gang's all Here, When Johnnie Comes Marching Home Again, Hurrah, Hurrah, the phrase reminds of the times. After listening to Knock, Knock Knocking on Heaven's Door, one is reminded of the folly of the decade and more of the Vietnam War, the change for better and worse brought on by the resulting youth revolt.
The thousands of young men killed, mutilated, minds driven to breaking points, called killer back home on leave. Even after having served, on relief in San Francisco; at some point, time's up. Into the 1970's, young men found themselves on a bus to Canada and some safe house haven in civilization outside America. Each newly arrived American soon made it known to friends in San Francisco those they met in Canada who were sympathetic to their plight and walked in anti war protests arm in arm, even if only once on campus.
And even a working parent as myself would find himself preparing a cot in the basement for an overnight stay by a young man who knocked at my door and said he had been given my address at a cafe in San Francisco. He understood that he could be gratified with a cot for an overnight stay, as he had just come from the bus depot. I at first would stand astounded that this total stranger had seen my address on a bulletin board in a cafe, under "Overnight Safe Haven- Victoria Canada, an island in Canada just over the border".
At first it frightened me, but as there was nothing I could do, I simply continued my first night safe haven reputation that my trust with some struggling folks in San Francisco would not let me betray. And how those young American people changed my Victoria and Canada for the better is a from tragic to magic story that can be told thousands of times. Young Americans on campus with us locals even in Canada renounced the war and the profiteering that saw wealth pour to the corporations that produced the chemicals and bombs.
This became a focus that brought environmental concerns along with a growing American feeling the war was not really essential to America's primary security. Yet, for years the war dragged on and denuded portions of Vietnam and the lives of millions of Viet and American people. The war in Iraq has not yet to my awareness created more than a trickle of moral objectors, but this time it is a volunteer army, so the frustration is more economic as war spending and subsidies to convert corn to drive vehicles has doubled the price of essential corn as food for the poor of the world.
America's recent folly among a long list is to redirect inefficient corn from food to fuel, creating a doubling of corn prices to the poor of the world. Blissfully unaware, this Pesident seems to float in his own dream world with his visions bubble, and we hear John McCain curry up to favor these Bush policies to world wide fear or more of the same which will inevitably lead to disaster. A logic and solution based policy must reverse this, and many other Bush follies, to attain a balanced budget, a balance world.
Rather than using the most efficient non-essential "food"- sugar, which in a vehicle is a powerfully efficient sugar to convert for fuel, as Brazil has mastered, is increasing worldwide hunger. Follies upon folly are mounting to create a very unstable base to build forward, until we stabilize the platform that we now balance like a bear on a board on a barrel with no end in sight, considering the blinkered vision that brought us to 1990's prosperity and general isolated battles in concert with our friends.
And, no small challenge, in 2009 we must see a more logical budget. Such as in place under Clinton and Congress in a strong economy that for the first time in American history was going to be paid off by the end of this decade. Instead America is now trapped in a trillion dollar deficit that mounts daily. As well, it's "my way or the highway" attitude has increased hatred by others in faraway lands that we bomb, and their surviving young boys and girls learn to strap bombs around their waists to reply back for relatives killed.
Oh, America! God must weep: To consider that true American antiques personalities as Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson, the practical achiever and the idealistic philosopher seeking an idealized America worthy of the finest instincts of the best of ancient Greece. A Socrates, Plato, Jefferson or Franklin could not have conceived of approving a Guantanamo based approach to the British and even more the Germans, mostly who came back as settlers after the necessary War for Independence.
They had found America was filled with good patriots who were deeply fine people, and wanted to be a part of it. We need that now. "Knocking on Heaven's Door" when spoken in a teen song in the 60's meant escape to Canada, Sweden, or die. America is again at a serious crossroads. And as Churchill might have said, America is as sound as democracy, which after it tries every possible solution, will finally get on and do the right thing. We can hqardly wait. The renewing roar and smile of the Eagle will right itself, adapting to a quickly changing world.
The great news is, America will find many friends wanting to mend and fix. Europe, the British, their Canadian, Australian and New Zealander soul mates are there, with the same values and beliefs America has so wisely adapted from its British roots. And to now, a attacked America arose as one and forced upon evil empires at that time, Japan and Germany,to accept solid core values of modern democracy and capitalism. Both nations are now core members of the cilization standards club of the world thanks to the sacrifice of American blood.
Job well done, time to come home. It is time to stop the bleeding, and commence with the healing. Time for America to step up to the plate and play ball! Many nations of the world are in line to feel they can again be trusted friends of an America that has had a series of setbacks and actions that need major adjusting, and as America always does, comes around to again. The future has more than a silver lining.