Unless you’ve been in a coma, you’re aware the current political climate is… fraught, to say the least. If you have been in a coma, you may want to request to be put back under for a while longer. The first 12 days of the Trump administration have turned America in a tinderbox of division and rage. Both Democrats and Republicans have drawn hard lines in the sand and have dug in their heels in a way that makes it seem they’ll never find common ground again. Add in Trump and his extremism and it may feel like we’re living in the “interesting times” curse of alleged Ancient Chinese origin.
But time is a flat circle. Everything old is new again. History repeats itself. Sometimes quicker than we remember. And I’m not just talking the tall poppies of history like the Civil War, Japanese Internment Camps, McCarthyism, or Civil Rights. Even innocuous time periods in American history have had extremists influencing our elected representatives to varying degrees of success. Times such as 1995, when the United States was coming off the best economic year of the decade into a temporary slowdown. The Clinton administration had just passed its controversial crime bill, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, but also the Violence Against Women Act. Looking back, it’d be easy to put on the rose-colored glasses and long for the days of bipartisanship. But then Murphy Brown comes along to smack that rosy fantasy off your face and remind you nothing — not even the party talking points — has changed really in the last two decades with a clip featuring a stereotypical Democrat, Republican, and representative of the extreme interest groups. Though what was once considered the realm of dark comedy in the character of overwhelmed congressman Stuart Best (Wallace Shawn) now seems sadly prophetic.
Watch and laugh. Then cry. Then pick yourself up to fight another day. Hat tip to reader “SDS” for sending this to us via our tip line!