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I awoke Friday, inauguration day, with an epiphany. I try to stay way from politics, and I'm willing to give anyone a chance.  But sometimes it's hard.  Russia's still out there....
 

More than one way to conquer...

     Friday morning I woke up with an epiphany, one that had crept into my mind during the night. I arose with the intention of a cup of tea, reading the paper, and over breakfast turning on the TV to follow the beginning move towards the inauguration of a new president. Let me explain...

     I grew up in the era of the first real Russian threat. There was the Russian takeover of many eastern European counties after WWII. We had drills in school... if the alarm was given that we were under nuclear attack while in class, we had to crouch under our desks, cover the back of our necks against breaking window glass, and close our eyes until after the blinding flash of explosion. One student asked a teacher: "If we have our eyes closed, how will we know when the flash is over?" The teacher replied, "Don't worry, you'll see the flash right through your closed eyelids!" When I got home one day, I asked my father what he would do if we were attacked. He replied "I think I'd go stand outside and hope I would die quickly; I saw pictures of how residents of Hiroshima suffered!"

     I grew up in the McCarthy era, when we were so afraid of communism that anyone that was anybody, and even hinted at any sympathy for Russia or communism, was called before cruel hearings and fired from careers, taken out of the public eye and often jailed, even if they had been denounced illegitimately by a rival. After we left Lincoln, Nebraska, my future husband was stationed there, a 1st Lt. in SAC, and sometimes in Greenland, to guard against nuclear armed missiles feared to come over the Artic Circle to attack us. In the Everglades, North Dakota and elsewhere, we built bunkers holding missiles ready to attack back.

     We moved to Sarasota Fla; the Russians beat us into space with Sputnik; then the race was on, and eventually we apparently visited the moon. My father never believed that Sputnik was real, partly for religious reasons and partly because of a blind spot when it came to basic physics.

      I moved to Miami, and married, in time to live through the Russian missile crisis in Cuba. One evening I heard a steady faint droning. Going outside with a horizon limited by huge mango and avocado trees, there was an unending wide swath of airplanes, high in the sky, thousands and thousands of them. I was astonished and unbelieving that we actually had so many planes. The next day I told Floyd, my husband, expecting to be told I was imagining things. He said, "Seriously, Bess, you have no idea." Other times I would hear a deep thrumming in the ground, usually at night, and the next day would find that the paving on a main thoroughfare, a block away, was all chewed up by tank treads.

      Eventually Communism in Russia fell of its own weight, but that didn't eradicate their activities, just slow them down. Hacking or interfering with an election is easier than planning a nuclear attack. The epiphany? The Russians failed to scare us; they failed to take over Europe and even hold what they did conquer. They failed in Cuba thanks to Kennedy; in East Germany thanks to Reagan; they failed to beat us in space, in technology, in armed conflict in third world countries; communism and Russian aggression has displayed its failures in many places. With modern technology at its disposal, as well as advances in psychology and better understanding of public relations, perhaps they have now displayed a new weapon; one we fell for. Make us the laughing stock of the world, a clown state of government even for much of our own population. We just have to wait and see how it plays out...

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