Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Reading Destor23's excellent blog, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry ... or go howl at the moon.
So I guess I'll do a bit of all three.
It seems to me, these mental gymnastics that our politicians and commentators go through lately are mainly because neither side wants to look directly at the unvarnished truth; which is that the people who have no interest in a united society, have succeeded in turning us into a nation of individuals who are interested only in our own self-enrichment and away from being a united state in which we all contribute for a common good. A nation where we take care of each other and help those in need.
They have convinced a majority of people, (or lulled enough people to sleep, or disgruntled enough people so that they are fed up with government all together and stay at home on voting day because their vote "doesn't matter"...), so that a majority of voters now believe it is in their best interest to think only of themselves rather than pooling their efforts to create a just society for all, united for the common good of the country.
These 'villains' have made the fight for wealth into the definition of 'winning', and have re-defined people with less of a desire to claw their way to the top in order to achieve wealth, into losers and slackers, rather than simply acknowledge that some people have a different vision of what Life and the Pursuit of Happiness could and should be.
We have allowed the conflation of money and power to turn us into 308 million individuals, living in private bunkers, whose mantras are, "I've got mine, screw the rest of you." That is why America will no longer build great things or make great strides. We have become, as Richard Day expressed in a recent blog, petty individuals, with no desire to contribute to anyone's benefit other than our own.
And the cause of this is staring us right in the face, and yet, no-one will step up and point the finger in 'polite circles.' No-one makes the painful connection that America's traitors, the destroyers of our democracy, are the ones who have spent the past 30+ years, ensuring our eventual demise by the under-taxation of wealthy Americans and corporations, which has left our society impoverished and our nation unable to provide a real safety net for those truly in need or even provide for our own common good, like fixing our infrastructure.
Instead of pointing the fingers of accusation and making these people pariahs, we allow these bastards to continue to operate their scheme, which now manifests itself as the Paul Ryan budget, their final assault on what used to be the middle class. They set the trap and baited it with tax cuts, which seemed reasonable at the time, but which have snowballed in significance and have become the reason why we are now in such a horrible financial mess. We trusted them, and they played us, and now they want us to turn the government back to them so they can 'fix' the very thing they broke.
We continue this insane march towards their sick Ayn Rand vision of a world where if you can't compete the way they define it, you deserve to be enslaved by the "elites", and "winning" means you are great at making pots of money for yourself ... and keeping it. Pity those 'stupid artistic' people whose pursuit of happiness doesn't include the desire to make large pots of money. Sure, Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth, but that will be long after the rich have sucked the earth completely dry and sold off all the valuable parts, leaving the meek with a life-less rock of a planet on which they'll be taxed at the pre-assessed value ... suckers
The gutting of our society over such a long period of time in order to fund the further enrichment of the already over-entitled elites, is a shame so despicable and embarrassing that both sides don't have the stomach to face it head-on. So to avoid looking at it, both sides consider 'changes' in medicare and social security, because we've 'got to do something about the... (get scared) deficit! Medicare and Social Security is NOT the problem. The problem is we have not been funding the government to meet its financial obligations. If you have 5 dollars and have agreed to bring your secretary a ham sandwich for lunch that costs 3 dollars, you don't hand four dollars to a guy on the street and then fire the secretary for wanting the ham sandwich that you promised her... but I digress.
Republicans, of course, won't say anything about this, because they actually support all the money flowing to the top, so all they want to do is divert our attention from the truth. The Democrats won't do much more than make lame protestations, because if they really took on this topic fully, and called the Republicans traitors for destroying America, then people would start asking, "Where the Hell were you when all this was happening?" "How complicit were you that you allowed things to get to this point?" I'll tell you where they were, they were too cowed by Republicans to stand up and say "We're cutting taxes too much!" or bother to explain WHY the reason both local and federal governments are in trouble is not primarily because of over-spending, it's because tax cutting fever cut off the revenue stream needed to meet even our reasonable financial obligations.
Instead that money went, not to fill potholes or pay agreed-upon pensions to city workers, it went into a rich person's bank account and stayed there.
Democrats are scared to say too much that contradicts the Republican narrative nowadays, because they don't want to offend their own rich donors, besides, they know if they do say something, they'll be targeted and 'taken out' by the Right-Wing Scream Machine and end up being destroyed politically by a manipulated, gerry-mandered electorate that includes very few, if any, 'safe' Democratic' districts.
So now everyone, politicians and commentators alike, bend themselves into pretzels to find any OTHER explanation to build into a rationalization of why we are where we are ... when the real explanation is the devastation the over-tax-cutting bastards have done to us for 30+ years.
You can't ignore 30 years of under-taxation ... unless you're really trying. All the Chicken Littles that are screaming about the deficit never seem to connect the dots and assign blame where the blame should actually be laid; at the feet of bastards like Grover Norquist.
The bastards' dream of destroying FDR's legacy is nearly complete. And we let it happen because we didn't have the stomach to fight the tiny encroachments as they slowly but surely chipped away at what was so beneficial to the middle class for so long a time.
We all know who the villains actually are, and have been. They're the people who do the bidding for the people who don't want to pay their fair share and who have rigged the system to make sure they never do, even if it means destroying us in the process.
And that's my slightly revised and expanded upon rant for today.
P.S. Thanks to Ramona and Destor23 for recommending I re-publish this comment as a blog.