When I was but a wee lad there was a huge cloud hanging over our country and it was scary. The “cloud” was this big, bad, bear on the other side of the globe called the Soviet Union.
People were freaking out. They were building fallout shelters in their backyards in preparation for the coming nuclear holocaust. In school we were doing weekly “duck and cover” air raid drills, as if crawling under a school desk with our hands covering our heads would protect us from an atomic bomb blast.
I distinctly remember two incidents that really scared me. One was when, in November 1956, the premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, uttered the words heard round the world, “We will bury you.”
When I asked my parents what that meant, they said that Russia wanted to destroy the United States and our democracy. Scary stuff, huh?
But then, in October of 1960, I saw something really frightening on the news. At a meeting of the United Nations in New York, that same Nikita Khrushchev was banging one of his shoes on the table in protest of something one of the other delegates said. Here was the same foreign leader who had threatened to bury my country acting like a mad man at a meeting of the United Nations. Yikes.
I’m not even going to talk about the Cuban Missile Crisis that had the world at the brink of war just two years later. Nope, I’m not going to mention it.
But the good news is that a few decades later the Cold War had ended, the Soviet Union no longer existed, and global peace enveloped the world. Ha! Just kidding.
But relations between the United States and the Russian Federation were, if not cordial, at least stable. No more worries about being buried or about nuclear war.
Until Donald J. Trump became President of the United States, that is. Now I feel a little like that wee lad who was worried about the future of our country and our civilization. Between Trump, Kim Jung Un, and Vladimir Putin, three contemporary mad men — and world leaders — on a scale that Khrushchev could never quite achieve, we may all soon end up being buried.
This post was written in response to today’s one-word daily prompt: bury.