I took a little walk down to Wall Street, USA at lunch just now. I actually went into Federal Hall for the first time. (That’s George Washington on the steps, the Stock Exchange in the background.) I hadn’t known that the building was erected some 40 years after GW’s first innaugaral. The original structure wasn’t so imposing.
The scene there was frenetic. Of course, tourists are always in abundance in NYC these days, what with the dollar being so low, but the television cameras were out in force. I had to fight my way past a crowd gathered to here the latest pronouncement from the Oracle…er, update from the trading floor. An historic time, this, and liable to more deeply change the country than 9/11 I would say. That threat came from without – now, as the saying goes, the enemy is us.
David Brooks, with his finger in his ear to take the nation’s pulse, is fit to be tied as he decries the Republican “nihilists.” He can’t believe that they are acting as though it is 1984 and the “enemy” is socialism or “Mondale liberalism.” (It’s always 1984 somewhere!) Well, soi disant conservatives on the right tend to be out of touch with history, Dave. They yearn for the golden days of 1884! The Republican elephant is splintering into its constituent parts: Palin-ite religious paleo-conservatives; Wall Street money men; and strict captialist libertarians, similar to what were called in the 19th century, horrorible to say,…liberals!
The hub hub makes me think of the last days of the ancien regime. Hope it doesn’t get to that! History is happening right before me – real people, milling around, wondering what’s going on – hanging on the words of the suits emerging from the temples of Mammon. Surely, many of them must be thinking, “All those words of the politicians…what do they mean? This whole system, it’s just made of people! It’s not rocket science, it’s not the weather. Some people wanted to get very rich in a very easy way, and now they’re terrified. Of course they want us to bail them out.”