I have had my say about politics for now, at least I doubt I will be saying anything new; although, I will, of course, be fighting the good fight, since nothing is decided and the two dueling budgets will be going head to head (a metaphor for our two political parties). Sadly, the budget is not just a metaphor. It will drive our future and our American story.
Will we continue to kowtow to the wealthy and corporations. Corporations used to be our partners in the American success story, but now see most of us as burdens they carry in huge canvas sacks over their shoulders; now that they have escaped our insistence that they find ways to keep a clean environment. The American people are not burdens, however. Our spirits are strong even if our pocketbooks are temporarily empty. So perhaps, instead of passing laws that make the wealthy richer, this time we will pass laws which offer those of us who are not wealthy a hand up.
We need to feel that we can still progress as a nation, especially in updating our schools, our infrastructure, and our energy sources. We need to trust that our safety net, which we paid for, will not be yanked from under us at least until the American economy has re-invented itself, righted itself, and is ticking along to produce satisfying lives for Americans. Maybe we don’t have to live as if progress means only more, more, more and up, up, up. Maybe we can kick back in our American way and let inspiration have its way with us.
Maybe for a while we can just live and tweak the things that need tweaking. How can we hope to shut out all the noise of those who are trying to prod us back onto a production line that is going nowhere right now? How can we hope to listen to our muses and tinker with the future if there are those who wish to turn us loose to do that struggling our forefathers already did, because they think a hardscrabble life will be what transforms America as if did once before? This is not 1890. Why would we want to give up all the ground we have gained as a society and go back and wrestle in the dirt? Is there any proof that this would produce the innovations we need? We can’t recreate the conditions that pertained when Henry Ford and the Rockefellers did their thing and assume that this old cauldron would nurture a new fire.
I have been very clear about this. Don’t dump us into the dust and dirt of the last century. We are already near the bottom, despite our puny safety net; stuck in the cul de sacs and the “projects” here at the turn of the 20th century. We don’t need to move backwards. We don’t need to shred the safety net. We need a carrot, a prize to chase. We need to feel valued rather than redundant and we need training. We need jobs, or we need patrons. There are people in America today who are as creative as any people who lived here two centuries ago. Scrap that Republican budget and give the people the budget they voted for and I bet you will see plenty of growth. OK, I guess I did have something to say, but it is just beating the drum with the same message hoping someone responds to the beat. So pass that Senate version of the budget and get on with it please. We have lives to live Cha-Cha!
This is the view from the cheap seats.