The gentleman here herded into a church by three ladies, all of whom were former girlfriends apparently determined to save his soul, was my best friend on the faculty of Fairfax High School in my tenure from 1961 to 1967, Jack Arnot. We kept in touch and made two trips together: One across the west and another through western Europe. Traveling with Jack is like being in a graduate seminar.
He studies the route in advance and gives a definitive lecture along the way. In America he showed me the hill on which Custer made his last stand. The lecture was so compelling my German Shepherd, Boris, said “Arf!” when Jack concluded. In Germany he showed me the outhouse where Martin Luther resolved a bout of constipation with “The fart heard round the world!” in a vision of the entire reformation in flaming flatulance and defecation!” Jack brought history to life!
Jack’s life story would make an entertaining film; document his great sense of humor, saying had he not become a teacher he would have been a preacher, equaling some of the great pulpit performers with whom he would well rank had that been his destiny. I call him “Smilin’ Jack” after a comic strip character of our youth who long lived up to the nickname, regardless events, as would this Jack.
“Mr. Arnot” was the most effective teacher in the school and that is saying something as Fairfax was the top high school in the LA Unified School District, in the Jewish neighborhood with serious parents. Teachers fought to get into it and I was lucky to be there. Our teachers were the best. The kids loved Jack and learned a lot from him, even when taking tests. He refined the process to the point of making tests a learning experience. That is superb strategy and great tactics if you can make it work. He did.
Jack had one great flaw: He was a dedicated Democrat, but at that time I was too, but not “dedicated.” My one issue was civil rights: I swallowed the Democrat claim they were more concerned and capable than Republicans. Southern Governors and the welfare ruin of black families escaped me until 1986. Hitting 40 and paying outrageous taxes on my then high film and publishing income, awakened me. Jack took another 40 years, but that he made it confirms the span and full function of his intellect.
Jack called recently saying he had re-registered for the Republican Party! He was voting for Donald Trump! I was shocked! Jack was the most rigorous Democrat I have ever known. He had working-class roots, was a huge Kennedy fan and totally sold on the party.
This is happening all across America and isn’t it just the way things happen here? We invented the “silent majority.” We need a lot to get in motion, but when it happens the snowball grows fast!
As Admiral Yamamoto said on steaming away from Pearl Harbor, “I fear we have awakened a giant.” America is awake today. I doubt many are ready for what will happen in November and I base my hypothesis not only on Jack, but much other information. For me, Jack’s conversion is as significant as ten pages of polling data.
Another pillar of my thinking is that so little is really known about Mr. Obama, given his poor performance, arrogance and petulance: The “Kiss and Tell” books that will be coming in great numbers are going to shock America over what was really going on. We can expect to read of the “Rasputin” played by Vallery Jarret and a cast of characters in a dystopian drama of demonic dimensions.
While these will not break until after the term of Mr. Obama there will be hints, contract signing stories and other previews. The real effect will come in the mid-terms, usually disastrous for the party in power, but this time will affirm and tighten the grip on Congress for President Trump.
In some respects, we will have been better off not having known what was really happening as cooler heads will have a chance to sort it out than would have been the case had we known while it was happening.
The cost, unfortunately, was over eight trillion Dollars that we will not recover, but suffer as debt. The next several generations will have to pay double our tax rates to keep the ship of state afloat unless we can expand our economy more than 10% per year. There is real doubt that can be made to happen in a time when populations are shrinking, and jobs even faster, as robots rise. They may never revolt, but they will not have to as they will replace us and kill us with competence far exceeding ours. They will be the challenge of the next several generations.
Every species has a term, we begin and we end. We are already in decline as documented by data and projected by the Verhulst Logistics Equation. Where species normally end we my be able to reach an equilibrium with destiny, but it will be the first time it ever happened on Earth.
Jack and I are in the last pages of the final acts of our plays. We have noted in conversation we saw the best of America in our lives so we have no regrets. I am 80 today and Jack is a few years ahead of me. We both have much that was good to remember and I am heartened to see that he has kept in touch especially for what is happening today. He will always be Smilin’ Jack.