Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Libby Indictment. Some memories of Watergate

News of Vice Presidential aid I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby's indictment and resignation reminds me of an earlier time.

Mrs. Bertleson (I think that was her name) ran out to a car I was sitting in and proclaimed, "Ehrlichman and Haldeman just resigned!"

Excitement in her voice.

It was April 30th, 1973 and someone was giving me a ride home from Pullman High School TV Production class. Watergate was in the news. Careers in media were "the thing."

A TV was set up in our school's "people pit." It was tuned to Watergate hearings. Students could mill around and see American history unfold.

Great for civics class.

Even the people pit was an innovation. Steps that went nowhere. Carpeted steps for sitting, lounging. Architects noticed what students liked to do. It was a brand new building.

President Nixon was not popular in that school. The Vietnam war was dragging on.

There were still some conservatives. They would point out that people had better be careful not to trash the President too much. The Russians were still coming and they didn't allow any criticism of their leaders.

Now there is talk of threats from Iran. Threatening to wipe Israel off the map and possibly getting a nuclear weapon.

Does anyone remember the "Domino Theory?" That was a big worry during Vietnam War. "If we let down our guard, the Communists will take over Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, eventually America."

Stepping stones, but not the friendly carpeted steps of our people pit.

Did that ever happen? Did the domino stepping stones ever fall?

Not that I remember, but we did get "Domino's Pizza." And Russia got the Big Mac.

The communists started quarreling among one another and their empires crumbled. Vietnam invaded Cambodia, after we got out of the way, and the Soviet Union kind of fell apart from its own weight. Or did it take Reagan (Nixon reborn?) to push them over?

Will the youth of Iran throw out the old guard religious zealots? Do they need us to help them, or are they better off with out us? Are we doing more harm than good; in Iraq, around the world?

Is our empire about to crumble?

These are both exciting and scary times. Some glee and jubilation over the problems of Bush (I never voted for him), but also a lot of worry.

America did survive Watergate and Vietnam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey I went to Pullman High School also (Class of 1998) and it was interesting to read about your description of the "People Pit." You will be happy to know that the pit continues to live on today.