I’m So Old

I’m so old that I remember when passing the debt ceiling was just a box that Congress checked each year to ensure the full faith and credit of the United States. There was no conflating future spending with payment for past spending. There was no threatening of our economy. We just paid our bills.

I remember when abandoning world leadership, as well as abandoning our allies, was unthinkable, when Republicans insisted on muscular foreign policy and would never advocate for Russia or China.

And I remember when foreign autocrats, dictators and bullies were scorned and it wouldn’t even occur to a red, white and blue American to praise or emulate them, much less invite these thugs to deliver a keynote address.

I’m so old that I remember when promoting child labor or child marriage or defending statutory rape were unthinkable.

I distinctly recall a time when one country invading another nation’s territory, threatening its sovereignty and committing war crimes were universally abhorred, especially by Republicans, who would never condone, much less praise such actions.

I remember clearly when lying about voting fraud and election results were bad things and when actively promoting such lies was seen as treachery.

I remember a time when making death threats against fellow citizens was unacceptable.

I’m so old that I remember when there were profiles in courage to write about in books. And books were good things that only evil despots banned and burned.

I’m so old that I remember a time when having more rights was a good thing and something to defend and protect.

I remember when Supreme Court justices were held in the highest esteem by the entire country, this because they earned that esteem.

I’m so old that I remember when a president of the United States would never deny the reality of a deadly pandemic for months, then prescribe treatments that had absolutely no efficacy and some which would kill patients immediately. No president would accuse and ridicule our dedicated public health experts or reduce testing in order to make his numbers look better, all leading to over a million dead Americans.

There was even a time when a politician accused of crimes and about to be indicted for several more couldn’t possibly collect endorsements for his candidacy for the next election for president. And the notion of running for the presidency from a prison cell would have been universally considered absurd.

I distinctly recall when a mass shooting was murder, as were shooting someone who rang the wrong doorbell or who got into the wrong car or who pulled into the wrong driveway. It wouldn’t have occurred to anyone then that such shootings were someone exercising Second Amendment rights or that “stand your ground” meant that it’s okay to just blast away. Back then private citizens possessing weapons of war was unthinkable.

I remember when both major political parties had clearly stated policies and program ideas to implement those policies and they negotiated to find a way forward. It was all based on agreed upon facts and observable reality. How quaint.

I remember when the American people weren’t so disgusted with politics that 41% refused to declare a party affiliation.

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I’m so old that I remember when committing business records fraud, making illegal campaign contributions, stealing government records, some highly classified, leaking top secret documents to adversaries, committing rape, defamation and numerous episodes of adultery, inciting a mob to riot against our nation in an act of sedition, soliciting vote count fraud and committing tax fraud were universally believed to be illegal and worthy of prosecution. Except for adultery, which is a civil violation.

I must be really old.

Quote of the Week
  • “Clarence Thomas has got to fall back. He is the definition of a cuck, which, if you don’t know, is someone who lets another guy pay for his mom’s house.
  • “Or, I know a lot of people are, like, isn’t a cuck a guy who watches his wife screw America? Either way, he’s gotta go.
  • “And I don’t think there will be justice on the Supreme Court until Clarence Thomas steps down and is replaced by Anita Hill.”
  • – Jena Friedman on The Beat with Ari Melber, April 28, 2023
Betcha you laughed at that last one.

Today is a good day to be the light.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
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