Barry McGuire wrote this song in 1965, when I was 7. Young men were dying by the thousands in Vietnam,when they weren’t massacring villages of Vietnamese peasants. We watched it on TV every night for the next 8 years, and students rioted in the streets only to be shot down by the National Guard on their school campuses. I made plans to run to Canada rather than sign up for the draft. The war ended when I was 15 in 1973.
10 years later, Ronald Wilson Reagan was president, and threatening to put nuclear weapons in Europe, so close that The Soviet Union would not have time to verify an early warning, and would thus have to retaliate instantly. That was probably the most terrifying time of my life. I had dreams of nuclear war, missiles flying in to Tucson.
20 years after that, George W. Bush, previously the dumbest president ever, took us on a war for profit in Iraq, making Dick Cheney and Erik Prince filthy rich. I was on my way to a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon on that Eve Of Destruction. Some hippies in a school bus at the gas station told us the world was going to end. My reaction was to say I’d be in the Canyon and happy when it happened.
Now, Trumpiwise The Clown is pushing all of Kim Jong Dumb’s buttons and antagonizing Iran, staring at his dwindling approval ratings and wondering if tossing that nuclear football for a Hail Mary will get him another term as Tweeter In Chief.
I have to say I am not nearly as frightened as I was in 1983. As bad as it is, the likelihood of complete annihilation is not high. Then again, would it be worse to go out in a blinding flash with everyone else, or to survive and witness the aftermath of a presidential temper tantrum?