Fat Men on Horseback: Win this election for Hunter Thompson

Time to take a step back. To me this sounds like exactly one full generation ago, one cycle, whatever you want to call it. Today starts another, today I think we will carry this country beyond the barrier it hit in July 1987. Win this one for Hunter. Don't let the swine get away with it.

"Fat Men on Horseback" - July 20, 1987

From the compilation Generation of Swine by Hunter S Thompson (268-271):

Last week was a slow one for news, but for big-time politicians it was like being put out naked and alone in the jungle and being forced to watch a python swallow a pig.

There was no joy in Mudville, but so what? Ronald Reagan slipped the noose, George Bush walked, and Jessica Hahn was pictured on the front page of the New York Post while on a "shopping spree" in downtown Manhattan, accompanied by "a bodyguard with a pistol tucked into his belt."

"That goes with the contract," said her lawyer. "We just sold her story to a men's magazine for $2.5 million." The details were hazy, but the lawyer said Ms. hahn was grappling with offers "in the multimillion dollar range" from Playboy, Penthouse and Esquire for her own personal version of that famous afternoon in Florida when she was flogged and sexually brutalized by Jim Bakker and at least two other born-again TV preachers. "They had no right to tell all those stories about how I 'knew all the tricks of the trade,'" she said, "So I decided to tell the real truth about that day. It was horrible. My life was ruined forever."

Sex and violence had become an everyday thing for the 1980s generation that once embraced the Reagan Revolution. we live in savage times. Oliver North is a hero, Ed Meese is rich, and a monstrous film called "Blue Velvet" is nominated for three Academy Awards.

Two months ago, Gary Hart was running 16 points ahead of George Bush in "presidential preference" polls for 1988, and syndicated columnists were saying that U.S. Marine Col. Oliver North was so crooked that he should be stripped of his uniform before he could go on national TV and give testimony in the U.S. Congress... But things have changed.

Hart was exposed by the Miami Herald for lying about his secret life as one of the dumbest townhouse johns who ever lived and was forced to quit the presidential race and slink off to the hills like a child-raper. . . . And Oliver North went on TV last week with a sloe-eyed story of lies, dumbness and treachery in the very bowels of Reagan's White House that made him a national hero like Audie Murphy and Daniel Boone, or even Willie Sutton.

In the quick crazy window of 66 days and two moons, Hart and North reversed roles in a way that only Hollywood could take seriously—and Bush came out the big winner. Six weeks ago he was looking at the very real possibility of getting jerked out of the White House by federal marshals before he even had a chance to hit the bricks in Iowa City and get his picture taken on Election Dat with his arm around the shoulders of the legendary local sportsman and political wizard, Marcos Melendez, who can deliver more votes than the stork.

When the buck stopped with John Poindexter, it was not only Reagan who beat the rap. Bush, long known around Washington as the guiltiest man in American politics, did a trick that made every camel that ever crawled through the eye of a needle seem like an amateur. If there were any real justice in the world, George would be working with Spiro Agnew on the wrong end of some driving range in Baltimore, for $2 a bucket.....

....People like to talk about the difference between the '60s and the '80s, and also about the difference between Watergate and this monstrous Iran/contra mess. . . . Well, I'll tell you the difference: The criminals in Watergate knew they were guilty and so did everyone else; and when the dust cleared the crooked president was gone and so were all the others. They were criminals and they had the same contempt for the whole concept of democracy that these cheap punks have been strutting every day for the past two months of truly disgraceful testimony.

The whole Iran/contra investigation was a farce and a scam that benefited nobody except Washington lawyers who charge $1,000 an hour for courtroom time. North's bill for legal fees will be a million dollars, which has already been covered by the private donations.

If this low-rent scandal is the best this generation can do, they deserve what they're getting and they are going to have to live by it. They deserve to be called A Generation of Swine.

Not even Tex Colson sold bombs and rockets to crazed Persian maniacs who used them to kill his own kind—and not even Kissinger would have put his arm around him and said, "Well done."

And where was the press, in this one? Where are the sons of Woodward & Bernstein, that great new wave of investigative journalists that was going to spring out of Watergate?

Kissinger was a monster, an arrogant elitist with a harsh German accent and a mean intellectual's contempt for the politicians he had worked for all his life. Kissinger was the man who hung around the White House at night, drinking Perrier water and taking notes while Richard Nixon drank gin and raved crazily at the portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

But Henry Kissinger, for all his nasty faults, was a true prince among men, compared with the half-bright rejects, Marine vets and born-again Annapolis grads that Ronald Reagan hired to work in the White House basement and run the National Security apparatus like a gang of demented Hell's Angels.

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