This past Monday was Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor and remember those who gave their lives in our nation’s wars. They died fighting for and defending the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
If anything succeeds in destroying the United States of America, I’m convinced it will be something from within. The most likely candidate is the political bickering we see these days. It seems as if our political parties are more interested in destroying each other than anything else. In the process, they could end up destroying our nation.
There was a Warner Bros. cartoon from the 1950s that touched on something like this. It was called “Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-half Century.” This cartoon was directed by Chuck Jones, and featured Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers and Porky Pig as his sidekick, the “eager young space cadet.”
Daffy and Porky are sent to claim the mysterious Planet X for Earth. They find it (it’s between planets “W” and “Y”) and lay claim to it. Unfortunately, Marvin Martian shows up and claims the planet for Mars. As Daffy tells Marvin, “This planet ain’t big enough for the two of us!”
In the ensuing battle of nit-wits that follows, Daffy and Marvin go at each other with ever more ridiculous and destructive weapons. Finally, they blow up the planet and it’s reduced to the size of a basketball.
“Like I said, this planet ain’t big enough for the two of us, so off you go!” Daffy said as he pushed Marvin off into space.
There is often a fine line between comedy and tragedy, and nowhere is it more evident in the finale of this cartoon. These two idiots, Daffy and Marvin, become so obsessed with destroying each other, they wound up destroying the very thing they were fighting over. Whatever resources Planet X might have had, along with plant or animal life, or natural wonders, were now gone.
Daffy may have “won,” but his victory was about as hollow as one could get.
The Cold War was in full swing at the time this cartoon was made, and I suspect Jones was making a commentary on it. However, it still relevant for us today. Our political “leaders” seem obsessed with destroying each other above all else. This could destroy everything about America that we love.
After Daffy pushed Marvin off the remains of Planet X, he loudly proclaimed, “I claim this planet in the name of the Earth, and in the name of Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-half Century!”
To which Porky replied, “B-b-b-big deal.”
It will be a big deal if American democracy dies. I just hope we never have to say of our freedoms and democracy, “That’s All, Folks!”