Monday, October 03, 2016

October 3, 2106--Armageddon

It surprised me the other morning when Jack said that we are approaching Armageddon.

He's as solid a citizen as there is, totally rational, totally secular, totally progressive. He of all people was talking this way?

It might have been a response to what Joe said. Joe, a Trump supporter from even before Donald formally announced he was running for president.

"I'm for him," he responded when I challenged him at that time, "because he knows how to get things done." This before the full extent of how he actually "gets things done" was well known.

On Thursday Joe said, "If Trump loses the election, or even if he wins, I predict there will be a civil war within 20 years."

"Are you being serious?" I asked, "Or just wanting to be provocative now that your boy is on the path to defeat?"

"I'm being serious. There's so much dissension, so many angry people on all sides, race relations are heading for an explosion. And then there are all those rich people while everyone else is struggling and falling behind."

That's when Jack said that about Armageddon.

"You agree with Joe?" I was incredulous. This is the first time Jack agreed with him about anything, You think we're headed for a civil war?"

Jack who was sending money to Bernie before Hillary won the nomination and since then has been a fervent supporter of hers was being serious, which caused me to be concerned. Not about him but about the possibility of what they both were predicted.

"You talking Armageddon because of what Joe said about race and economic inequality?"

"Basically yes. And of course they're related. On a collision course."

"This feels very pessimistic. You tend, as most liberals, to be optimistic because as a liberal you think things can be improved by human intervention. Including by governments."

"In general that's true. But even progressives are fed up with governments. Yes, there are some things that are working well. For me, at my age, that includes Medicare. Though I know it among other things is bankrupting the country. When the due-bills arrive, that's when Joe's prediction will come true. When the money runs out and people don't get their medical care or Social Security. Then, watch out."

"He's right," Joe jumped back in, surprised to find Jack agreeing to anything he had to say. "It may be a trivial example, but have you driven on the roads lately?"

"Obviously. Even to get here to the diner."

"Didn't you tell me that because of the condition of the roads you had to get your tires aligned three times in eight months? And that you had to replace all four tires after a year and a half? Michelins? How much did all that set you back?"

"For all of it," Rona said, "more than a thousand."

"Who is responsible for the roads?" Joe asked.

"I guess the county."

"And what is the county?" Not waiting for me to answer he said, "Government that's what it is. Government."

"Your point?"

"Among other reasons, that's contributing to making people crazy. Fortunately for you you can come up with the thousand, but for a lot of folks, including right here, that's a month's take-home pay. And then, like it or not, agreeing with me or not, when they see people with food stamps and subsidized heat, and all that, the resentment builds and will, as I said, boil over when things get scarcer and more unequal. Civil war, pure and simple."

"Armageddon pure and simple," Jack chimed in not smiling so I knew he was being serious.

When later in the day I told another, even more progressive friend about this, he pulled me close to him and whispered, almost  as a non sequitur, "We never should have sent troops to Iraq or anywhere else in that region. What we should have done, what we should do, is announce that anyone that attacks Israel will get nuked."

Incredulous, I said, "Nuked? That would lead to Armageddon, wouldn't it?"

He thought for a moment, shrugged, and said,"That's where we're we headed anyway so . . ."

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