Being on a rock mid-Atlantic gives you some new perspectives.
Like why our jam doesn’t taste of fruit – and how we manage to keep our dogs quiet in the morning.
Listening to the dogs of Santa Lucia shout accross the village at each other put me in mind of that Springsteen epic from Darkness on the Edge of Town
The dogs on Main Street howl
‘Cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain’t a boy, no, I’m a man
And I believe in a promised land
I have been reading a long essay by John Mauldin sent by email by my correspondent Per Andelius (thanks Per). I have published it here (the Election; making difficult choices).
You may not have time to read it (I have). It is a call for an end to partisan politics and a call for the tribes led by Clinton and Trump to get behind good economic behaviour to make America great again.
In the end, what Maudlin is asking us to get behind is sound management and his belief is that America can work its way out of its problems. Anyone who thinks that the populist discontent that Trump taps into is anything new, should listen to the frustrations of Springsteen.
I’ve done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start
This was written and published in 1978.
America’s sense of entitlement comes from the promise of a land -if not full of milk and honey- at least fit for all. As Mauldin’s analysis shows, it patently isn’t. Nor – I suspect has it ever been. Nor – I suspect – will it ever be.
My sadness is for the progress that America has made over the past eight years under a good and just president. The frustration of Obama in seeing the prospect of this work undone is sadder than the abstract notions that Trump is putting forward as policy.
Bigotry against Mexicans and the building of a wall will not improve the plight of white Texans, it might make them happy in the short term – but it won’t give them their promised land. (I take one of the many targets I could have a dig at)
My sadness is that Trump (and Clinton) have points of view that don’t brook opposition (and here I am with Maudlin). It is not enough to say that those who support Clinton are party to her criminality nor is it enough to say that those who support Trump are party to his bigotry.
I have put no adjectives like “supposed” or “real” next to the charges laid against each candidate since it is precisely these judgements that are dividing America.
How do you build a promised land like this?
Promised Land ends with its chorus and the assertion that a promised land can be attained. I never bought the song , nor that assertion. The only action that the singer has in mind is mindless destruction
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
Even as a 16 year old , listening in my bedroom on a Dansette, this did not make sense. It didn’t then and it doesn’t now. You build a promised land, you don’t destroy it. I am sure Springsteen knew that too.