January 17, 2017
I admit it, I’m afraid and I’m not ashamed.
In three days, we will have a new president of the United States, and for the first time since I was 12, I fear for the future of the world as a whole and of our nation in particular. I spent my formative years at the end of the cold war, and I’ve gone on and on about how the movies Def Con 4, Threads, and The Day After traumatized me as a child. I spent my childhood convinced that living as close to Detroit as I did, I wouldn’t wake up one day because the big one had been dropped and everything I knew would have been reduced to component elements and scattered half way around the world.
Then the wall fell.
I was in eighth grade living in Dayton, Ohio with my grandparents when the rumblings in Eastern Europe caught my attention. I’d watched in the year leading up fascinated as Gorbachev implemented glasnost throughout the Soviet Union and relinquished more and more of Moscow's control back to the Warsaw Pact nations. I was hopeful that maybe the threat of nuclear terror I’d lived my entire life was easing back, but I never expected what happened on November 9, 1989.
I remember exactly what was happening when I happened. I was sitting in my grandma’s kitchen working on one of my horrible comic books.
Oh yeah, quick note, when I was a preteen, we did not have the word tween back then, I wrote and drew my own universe of comic books. To be honest, I can’t draw to save my life, and all of my characters looked like the bastard children of the Pillsbury Doughboy and Gloop or Gleep from the Herculoids. Regardless, I loved making those stupid comics, and I might give a rundown of what I remember about them one of these days, sadly they never survived the multiple moves I made in my youth.
So back in 1989 I was drawing comics and the news was on in the background, CNN to be specific. This was not an unusual as I’ve always been a news and politics junkie. After Star Trek and Cartoons, young Josh would always choose the news over regular TV. Whatever I was working on was set aside and forgotten after the news from Berlin began filling the airwaves. I watched the crowds and celebrants as they stood astride that gargantuan monstrosity that was the Berlin wall. It was one the headiest experiences of my life. Now it’s all about to be, in a sense, undone.
President Trump is about to usher in the most corrupt and compromised administration since the end of the Civil War. I hope to the lights in the sky I’m wrong, but I’m pretty much convinced this assessment is spot on. From the corporations and banks running the country to his friendship toward traditional adversaries and disdain for many of our allies and the tensions ratcheting up across the globe I’m scared for the first time in my adult life.
I worry we are being set up to be isolated from the rest of the world behind. Not an Iron Curtain backed by a Soviet Sword but a Great Wall backed by ignorance and fear.