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Rescue me 

We need to turn this ship around

Presenting for your consideration, a child of the '60s, a veteran of Woodstock, and an out-of-touch adult. I haven't grasped concepts like emojis, tropes, memes, or throwing shade. I've never tweeted, and I'm convinced I never will. Owning a smartphone was never a consideration until I found out recently that I can't buy a ticket to a Celtics game anywhere in the country without having access to a mobile app. Watching other folks staring blindly into their screens in restaurants and waiting rooms, like their lives depended on it, is just not appealing.

Back in the '60s, no one ever called me a "hippie" because that was a label that the media and politicians of those times used to denigrate anyone with an alternative lifestyle or belief system. Yet I long for those times when there was a purpose for our actions and meaning to our existence.

I wonder, what is the purpose of today's youth (and adults) when we are on the path to chaos in this country but no one is marching in the streets except for the Neo-Nazis. It seems like folks just don't want to be bothered about kids in cages, Russians attempting to take over our government, and immigrants dying when they are seeking to bring their hopes for a better life to our country. If that attitude was as prevalent back in the 1940s when my parents escaped the Holocaust, I wouldn't be around to question my fellow Americans of today.

So now that I'm "woke," the question is what's it going to take to get us back out in the streets again? We had our Vietnam then, and we have our horrific gun violence and racial bigotry trying to collapse our democracy today.

Before moving to the beautiful Central Coast, I lived in one of the poorest counties in Tennessee (Hancock County, check it out). My closest friend there, and still one of my cherished ones, is a Baptist minister named Sheldon. Recently I asked him why so many of his flock were Trump supporters. He candidly said that Trump says and does things that they feel and believe in but can't come right out and say—until now. These folks were always decent to me in the 10 years that I lived there, so I didn't know their current emotions back then. I was naive and out of my element. It seems that a lot of these folks think that I, and all Jews, need to go to Israel so that we can participate in their Armageddon. Not I folks, sorry. Been there but didn't do that.

I mention this because it adds to my confused state of what happened around me then and is happening now. It's so difficult to keep track of the players without a scorecard these days.

As to Mr. Donegan's question about: "Where are all the Hippies?" (Aug. 29), I suggest that if they joined the Republican Party because of it's "laissez-faire" policies, my translation to his platform is the "Do Nothing" party.

In closing I would like to leave the readers with these thoughts about where we go from here.

"We were addicted to the hokey-pokey until we turned ourselves around." That's what it's all about. Δ

Larry Schiffer is the secretary of the Paso Robles Democrats Club. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com or write a letter in response and send it to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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