by Rick Blum
I was listening to talk radio the other day when a Trump supporter called in to complain that collectively we’ve gone off
the rails: too many broken homes, too much political correctness, too few morals to guide our public (and private) behavior.
Her prescription was to re-create the society many of us grew up under … or at least have heard lots about: the 1950s.
Her fervent desire was for president Trump to alleviate many of the clashes of today’s chaotic lifestyle by re-creating
the pre-digital world she grew up in sixty-odd years ago.
Well, as impossible as it is to turn back the clock (except in Hollywood escapist thrillers), this seemed like an eminently
sensible idea to me. I grew up in the ‘50s and can attest to the relative prosperity it afforded most citizens, as well
as the sense of unity as a nation that prevailed throughout the decade. It was a time when most of us lived in family
units headed by two parents of opposite sexes, didn’t lock our doors (at least not in the ‘burbs and more rural outposts),
and got all our news from serious broadcasters named Murrow, or Cronkite, or Huntley and Brinkley.
It was not a time of massive unrest (if you don’t count black civil disobedience throughout the South) or political extremism
(except, perhaps, for Joseph McCarthy, which few of us remember anyway). Most people went to church on Sunday morning,
and got there in an American-made car. There was no opioid addiction crisis, or even marijuana smoking, at least not
in public as far as I can recall. The ‘50s was also a time when wars (Korea) were short, jobs lasted lifetimes, and everyone
knew that Dad, not Bruce Springsteen, was the boss.
So I got to thinking: What would it actually take to re-create the post-WWII society this caller so longed for? What would
we need to do to escape the enmity and discord of today, and get back to this Elysian era? Here’s a short list of things
I came up with:
- Restore the top income tax rate to 91%.
- Raise the estate (death) tax, top rate back to 77%.
- Re-enact the Glass-Steagall Act to separate banks from securities firms.
- Repeal environmental laws that clean our skies and waterways.
- Repeal laws requiring seat belts and air bags.
- End socialist programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
- Legalize segregation in schools and businesses.
- Start each school day with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer.
- Ban mixed-race marriages.
- Send gays back into the closet.
- Make all abortions illegal.
- Restart the nuclear arms race.
- Allow the Yankees to buy all the best players year after year.
OK, that last one doesn’t sound so good. But all the others are eminently doable by a proven leader like our POTUS. He might
even fashion himself as a modern-day Ike, who built the interstate highway system, signed the first Civil Rights Act,
and warned us that the burgeoning military-industrial complex was likely to lead us into perpetual war. Yup, a ‘50s-style,
American presidency is clearly the model we need to get back to – or at least listen to more closely – and pronto!