Sixty one years ago, as a young campaign worker, I stood a few feet from the President of the United States as he told a crowd “They say I give them Hell. I don’t give them Hell. I tell the truth and they think it’s Hell.”
Evidently things have changed in American politics. Here is a clip of President Obama’s motorcade through Bristol, Tennessee, on July 30, 2009. Click in the full screen icon, and watch closely at the 1:38 mark.
Truman was close enough to the people to shake hands at times. And believe it or not, America had not fully recovered from the Depression, and jobs were still tight.
Later, I saw both President Reagan’s motorcade and then the first George Bush’s motorcade. Both were quite simple, a few cops running point, a Secret Service wagon, the Prez’s limo, an unobtrusive chase car or two, and a cop car in the drag.
This display of power, with an attending ambulance and goons pointing guns at bystanders is something entirely new. It would be suitable for 1930’s Germany, or 1950’s Russia.
Evidently things have changed for the worse, either in society, or in the White House. And as far as I can see the American people have not changed much at all.