This week I have been on a family vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando. A persistent theme at the Magic Kingdom and particularly at EPCOT is progress. A rather optimistic future is portrayed. I was personally reminded of my trip to Disneyland in 1963, a time when the General Electric Company proclaimed that “Progress is our most important product.” That was the era of mankind’s first trip to the moon. We believed that science and technology held the solution to all of our problems one day.
I am still an optimistic person, although with a greater appreciation for the complexity of our problems; however, I do not see optimism among the birthers. Rather than looking to progress, birthers hearken to the “good old days” that really never existed. They want to smash the status quo and set up some fundamentalist constitutional theocracy. I really don’t know what to call what they want to do, and I’m not sure they know themselves. I think the success of Donald Trump is emblematic of their desire to have someone chase these spooks1 away and excuse them from entering the brave new world.
All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
— Walt Disney
Sorry birthers. For good or ill, there is no exit at the left side of the auditorium if you want to leave before the show is over.
1 “Chase these spooks away” is a quote from the Firesign Theater comedy recording, “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers” (1970). In the 1970’s the word “spook” was a derogatory term for an African American.