Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yesterday, Today and the Day Before

After a short cooling trend brought down from Canada by a nice low pressure indentation, the high pressure ridge has pushed back and temps are back in the low
90's for today. No matter. It's Sunday, our day of rest and catching up on things we recorded on the DVR. It is also my chance to write this blog, which in some ways is supposed to be three days of blogging -- yesterday, today, and the day before.

I guess that means I should talk about three things.

I'm still reeling from the news that Paul Ryan has the Veep nod from Mitt Romney. I should be glad -- to my mind it makes re-electing President Obama a no-brainer. But my mind is not always in tune with the climate of the country. When I see all the symbols of military patriotism that float around the place, I remind myself that pacifism is not the norm, no matter how much I think it should be, and no matter what people like Moses and Christ and Gandhi may have said or believed. So it should come as no surprise that the same American populace that somehow believes having the biggest military in the history of Mankind is a matter of self-protection and nothing else is the same American populace that might decide to elect a ticket whose primary objective is to keep the wealth exactly where it is.

Reacquisition yes, redistribution no.

This is the world my grandson will inherit. It worries me that it will be the same place we always knew, or even lesser than the same place we always knew. My brother and I often commiserate that America's best times are behind her and that we got to live through those times. But now we are seeing the downward slide that seems inevitable for all great empires in human history. They have their day and then they slip.

People in this country refuse to see it but it is happening all around us: America has become a second rate country. Our city infrastructures are beginning to crumble. In education and in health care we rank in the middle or lower among industrialized nations. The disparity between the rich and poor has grown and continues to widen. One in four American children go to bed hungry every night. Eventually -- pretty soon, really -- the rest of the world will turn elsewhere for its leadership and inspiration, and for its financial solvency. We no longer can be trusted.

This is not the fault of our current President or any one man or woman. It is the result of a national policy and a national attitude that pervades America and has since the Vietnam War. All our greatness and all our might could not win that conflict. It could not stop 9/11. It could not find and capture bin Laden until all the efforts and expense of ten years searching finally paid a dividend, and that dividend was a corpse. It could not sustain an unsustainable economic bubble, and it cannot seem to correct the mess of problems created when that bubble burst. For the first time in my memory people of older generations fear that those who follow will have less, not more. This means that what we built, we have destroyed or at least undermined. Again, no one person can have done all this. The onus is on each and every one of us, including me. We let it happen.

We stopped being vigilant. Maybe we grew tired from the debacle of Vietnam. Maybe we became complacent because things were going so well and everyone thought it would go on forever. We were sold a bill of goods and the goods were so attractive that we readily consumed them without reading the caution label on the packaging.

Sorry, Xander.

Prosperity is a misleading word. It is measured by ever-changing yardsticks, some of which are created on the spur of the moment to justify the numbers. It is meant to describe how well things are going. In today's reckoning, prosperity is measured by the number and kind of electronic gadgets we own, designed ostensibly to make life easier. But making life easier comes at a perilous price. The less we have to do, the less we do. The less we have to communicate with each other, the less likely we are to try. The less we interact, the more isolated we become. The more isolated we become, the more socially awkward to the point of ineptitude and outright fear to engage. This leads to isolation. A nation filled with isolated people WHO THINK THEY ARE CONNECTED is easy to control.

When we are controlled, the controllers can do whatever they want. And they will. And progress grinds to a total halt.

I am not saying that Barack Obama is better in tune with the real problems facing the general American populace, although I think he is. I hope he is. I want him to be. Still, he is a creature of Washington and ultimately a political animal. What I am saying is that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want their hands on the controls to promote their own power hungry agenda. That is something we should come out in droves against come November.

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