Monday, July 31, 2017

Where Has Our Vision Gone?

As Independence Day came around, it was depressing to think how far America has fallen.  Instead of a Great Society or Camelot or New Deal what we have now is a "vision" of building a wall to keep people out and to scrap all environmental laws to let polluters run amok on the off-chance they might create a few dirty, dangerous mining jobs.  And where our ruling class threatens to take healthcare from the old, disabled, and even children to give themselves and their rich friends a tax cut.

What's been lacking really since the early 60s, is a real progressive vision.  A vision of a future where all people benefit, not just the lucky few.  We let assassinations, Watergate, Reagan, the Bushes, 9/11, the Tea Party, and now Trump drag us down into the muck.  Instead of envisioning a better tomorrow, we're all too busy scrambling for crumbs like a bunch of rats in a sewer.  It's probably why so many of our entertainments these days are dystopian in nature:  The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and so on.

As we've seen with their disastrous "health care bill," our ruling class is focused only on gutting social programs so they can have more crumbs than anyone else.  And those in their defense say, "What's mine is mine.  Why should I help anyone else?"  (And then go to church on Sunday to do their lip service to Jesus.)  Poor people are constantly demonized as lazy, stupid, criminals, and worse.  It's justified by saying these people are moochers dragging everyone else down.

This meme someone on Facebook posted epitomizes this:

#5 is why all of Europe is Communist now...
It's sad if anyone actually believes this silly canonizing of the 1%.  Like all rich people earned their money with hard work and honesty, like the "old money" types like Paris Hilton, or the con men like Bernie Madoff, or even someone brilliant like Mark Zuckerberg by all accounts screwed over a lot of people to build Facebook.  To some extent I'm responsible for my financial situation, but I didn't ask to be laid off from my job, just like hundreds of thousands of other people in the last decade.  I mean let's face it, people who post shit like this are just one pink slip or one stock market crash away from being with us poors.  But since that day hasn't come yet they can look down their noses at us to protect the sainted rich.

This is exactly the crux of the problem.  We're so busy turning on each other, giving lip service to Christianity instead of actually practicing it.  We don't need walls and tax cuts for the rich; we need to make our country truly great by ensuring that everyone has a roof overhead, clothes on their back, food in their belly, clean water to drink, and the freedom to live up to their potential.  Maybe at one point we believed in that, though I don't think really in my lifetime.

I'm not a believer in religion but one thing I do believe in since I heard about it in whatever science class is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  It's a pretty simple theory that says you can't have real spiritual fulfillment until your basic needs are met.  It's pretty common sense when you think about it.  In the simplest terms, imagine how hard it is to concentrate at work if you don't eat breakfast, because your tummy is rumbling, making it hard to focus on other stuff.  So if people don't have a home, clothes, food, clean water, or the other essentials, we can't really expect them to find real happiness.  This is also what drives people to take drugs, commit crimes, and engage in other poor behavior.  Thus it behooves all of us to create the sort of country that provides for the well-being of its citizens.  If for our own survival if nothing else.

Whoever wants my vote in 2018 and 2020 needs to articulate that vision and not just the same old bullshit about "jobs" that never really seem to materialize. 

4 comments:

  1. I think spirituality is important, the need to feel connected to something greater than one's self, but too much damage and destruction has been done in the name of religion for be to join any religious organization.

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  2. I also think the rise of individualism and narcissism has contributed to a lack of empathy. It may seem small, but when you've got a society of people incapable of empathizing with one another...you basically end up with people not caring one whit what happens to someone else.

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    Replies
    1. That's why I keep saying that Twitter was the worst thing mankind has ever come up with... :(

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  3. I think most people do care about the poor, regardless of politics. It's just that haters on social media tend to stand out. Before social media came along we had forums that were moderated. Now it's a free for all. As for jobs, I'd like to see us invest more in training people and helping people get good jobs. The whole job hunting process needs improvement.

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