Then and now

The imminent despair and hopelessness after JFK’s death and Donald Trump’s election

The author, a Paradise resident, is a wildlife biologist with 50 years of field experience.

It was about 53 years ago that we found out President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. While I had been a Nixon supporter, I was pleased with Kennedy’s charisma and leadership. The news was devastating. Our president, my president, had been killed!

For days, I felt as if I were going to throw up. Now, 53 years later, I am experiencing similar feelings—hopelessness and imminent despair, yet it is not the same. The difference between then and now is that there were able persons in Kennedy’s administration to take the reins and continue to lead us.

Today, we have placed the course of the nation in the hands of incompetents.

Another difference was that the assassination was the action of a bitter, angry young man with a desperate desire to act in a political way to further the cause of his commitment to Communism and in so doing elevate himself as an important “revolutionary.”

Today, the assassins are my neighbors, my barber, a retired school teacher, etc., who believe they should have been dealt a better hand and have been short-changed by a changing world. They believe they should have more and others less, especially those not of their ethnicity or religion. They have retreated to the mindset of blaming their failures on the actions of others—on taxation, immigration and globalization. They want the country to retreat to the 1930s, but personally retain all the technological comforts of 2016.

If these people truly wanted change, why—with an 11 percent approval rating—did Congress achieve almost complete re-election? The answer is simple and sad: They don’t want change, better conditions nationally and worldwide. They just want changes specific to each of them so as to enhance their comfort for the short terms of their lives.

In desperation, they have put their trust in the hands of a man who promises he will fix things without any explanation of how. The human race has had its share of failings, but this is by far the most self-serving.