Since 9/11, we’ve been terrorized by fear. You see it in the monumental popularity of Fox News where almost every story is about something (flip-flops) or someone (any Muslim) that is out to harm us. During this latest debt ceiling debacle in Congress, the fear is about the budget deficit.
Poof! Get rid of tax loopholes for the richest among us and it’s done, or at least on the right path. Instead of reason, sound bytes of politicians preaching fear rule.
A cultural paranoia has taken over, much like the low level of Jewish paranoia that I’ve always had, knowing I would have been hauled off to a concentration camp during World War II in Europe. But at least I’m aware that it’s a form of paranoia, because I wasn’t there.
Many people have real fears, how to feed their families when they’re unemployed, how to get decent medical care, or how to pay for their kid’s college education. That makes it all the more important for our dysfunctional Congress to jump off the crazy train.
Poor House Speaker John Boehner crying on his couch, an icepack on his forehead after trying to placate his dogmatic freshman members. But that “fool’s errand” has only gotten worse. President Obama may call on the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling in a few days because it’s unconstitutional to not meet our debts. The Tea Partiers will go nuts but, as one senator said, they’re already nuts.
Whatever happens with the debt ceiling debacle, the goings-on in our nation’s capital have been insane (“doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity).
I hope the Tea Party movement’s mantra of cutting spending — without sufficient regard for the most vulnerable among us — will eventually be overridden. Do they really think the deficit is our worst problem? I think it’s about unnecessary super-expensive wars, lowering unemployment, and rebuilding our spirit of innovation through top-notch education.
I’m an optimist and believe that most sensible voters will not in 2012 vote for the crazies ranting about the budget deficit. But a lot of strange things have happened in the past 10 years.
And the polluted mixture of real economic fears and imagined fears doesn’t help.
Two multi-billionaires, the Koch Brothers, paid for people to ‘crash’ town hall meetings in States all over the country two years ago. They paid these people to disrupt the proceedings, ask insane questions and charge the legislator with lies and distortions. Karl Rove had a field day, I do believe he was in on this from the beginning. The media picked it up, a very few reported on these interlopers being PAID to attend and create chaos at the town hall meetings and then silence. No more reports of interlopers. And then the TEA PARTY was born and then and then and then…..they were voted IN the Nov elections. THREE individuals, two Koch brothers and Karl Rove have taken over the entire country??? because WE let them. I’ve written letters, I’ve gone by Kyl’s office and put my face in the face of his staff……”ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
Last night I sent out emails and letters to Congress people in Northern Florida. I told them directly that their words convince me THEY Are in the back pockets of big oil, Wall Street and the US Chamber of Commerce. I told them MY VOTE will show my displeasure with their governing and I ended asking them….”WHERE IS YOUR HUMANITY?” “WHERE?” IF I had time, I would put my face in their face. We did this when I lived in Sonoma, CALIF. We had a Blue-Dog Dem local Congressman who fought us tooth and nail. Eight of us would visit his office every three months. Most of the time he didn’t “make the appointment” and we met with his chief of staff, but we made ourselves known. Someone has to. Nothing else is working. Naomi
What else can caring, rational people do?
Great thoughts, Mom. Inspiringly written. I’d suggest a few minor copy edits – (2012, probably not 2112, for example), but – at the risk of sounding pedantic to my mother, who taught me so much about writing, I want to say that it’s clear you’ve put a lot of impassioned research into this one. I’ve never been so proud to be the son of an enlightened educator before. Where is the next generation of Americans ready to speak their minds after learning from and listening to our elders? How can we make the American Myth more grounded in truth? Where is our Middle Class? Was it a mistake to give corporations the same legal rights as humans, but ensure that their only morals, as such, were to maximize profit for their shareholder slaves?
Does anybody remember that the “socialist” French gave us the Statue of Liberty? And how much does the average Kansan, or Ohioan, or Mainer, or Tea Partier (Tea Bagger?!) know whether the French Revolution became before or after ours? Or that our country’s most productive era (post-WW!!) had an upper income tax bracket of 90%, if I’m not mistaken? Or that Reagan raised students’ taxes through the roof, and Obama has been proposing a “grand compromise” to the right of much of what he stood for, and declared Republicans want? And might our country’s messaging in the Middle East and other areas of post-dictatorial, post-colonial, post-tyrannical, post-authoritarian regimes about the importance of democracy and respect for human rights be more clarion if we advocated a tad more than freedom? What do liberty, justice, and freedom even mean, and do the words mean the same for people who see their leaders “eating well” selling us our oil?
Thanks Ethan! Even though you didn’t have me for a U.S. history teacher at MDI H.S. you’ve learned a lot of American history since! You’re right about the 14th Amendment being used to view corporations as people during the late 1800s, a fact that Howard Zinn rightly railed about in “People’s History of the United States,” which everyone should read. But I guess Calvin Coolidge was more prescient than anyone thought when he said “The business of America is business.”
Luckily, you’re part of the generation to speak out about the rightness of the “American Dream for All.”