Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Image

I’m not into politics.  I don’t keep up with current events very well.  I don’t watch TV, except for Yankee games, some football and ice hockey and Star Trek reruns.  It took me months to understand who Kim Kardashian was and why everyone was talking about her.  Pop culture bores me.  I much prefer history.  I don’t have gadgets or apps.  Why would I want to check my email while I’m out to dinner with my kids?  No, I have a simple cellphone.  It works as a phone and has an okay camera and I don’t need bells and whistles beyond that.

This government shutdown, though, has captured my attention.  One of the main reasons I don’t often write or comment about current events or politics is because I am afraid I’ll get my facts wrong and then be called out.  So let me just say that I have done no research, don’t claim to know much about the details but merely, as an American, have an opinion on things as they are today, based on nothing other than my gut feelings and what I sense to be true.

People who claim to  be patriotic Americans and lean to the right on most issues totally perplex me.  On immigration.  On Obamacare.  On welfare issues.  On gay marriage.  On gun control.  Okay, on just about everything.

Let’s start at the beginning, with immigration.  The beginning, for almost all of us whose ancestors came to this country, either willingly or in chains, is immigration.  That’s how we started, right?   People who weren’t happy at home, or didn’t have enough to eat at home, or were being persecuted at home, came here for a better life.  On my mother’s side of the family, if I trace that branch of the family tree, I find only two direct ancestors who were born on American soil; my mom and her father.  Both were born in Brooklyn, a great American city.  On my father’s side, there’s a Miller who came over from Scotland in 1692.  The woman he eventually married came over shortly after.  It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some of my ancestors pick-pocketed from the local indigenous people the land they claimed as their own, but that’s ancient history.  The point is that they were Europeans originally and thus, even though the United States of America did not yet exist, immigrants.  So, these right-leaning people who want to stop people from coming here for a better life, they say this, why?  Because they and their parents were born here?  Because their grandparents were born here?  And now, yes, we have everything just the way we like it so shut the door?  Because, through our ancestors’ land theft and slave ownership we did pretty well and we don’t want to share?  Hmmm….  Seems to me that it’s only because our ancestors had guns and smallpox-infested blankets that they got to stay at all.  It wasn’t even a fair fight.  And now you want to throw a wall up and keep everyone else out.  Conserve what you consider to be rightfully yours.  How nice.

Okay, Obamacare.  I am going to get me some of that.  As soon as all the nonsense dies down and the dust settles.  I haven’t had health insurance in more than a year and I live in fear every day.  Will you help me if I get sick or break my arm or fall down the stairs?  You think I want to live without health insurance or be thinking seriously about Obamacare?  What I want is a job with benefits.  But the squeeze is on.  Incredibly rich corporations run this country.  One percent of the population owns a lion’s share of the wealth.  Companies pay third-world workers, a lot of them children, pennies a day to make the sneakers and jackets and gadgets that cost you hundreds of dollars to buy.  They rake in the profits and want to share as little as possible of the gravy.  But what I want to know is this:  Who needs $40 million a year, $85 million a year, $239 million a year?  What do people do with that kind of money?  And how do you sleep at night if you’re a CEO who earns that kind of dough and you have employees who can’t afford a single thing you manufacture and sell, not to mention food and shoes for their kids?  Really?  So if you earn $100 million a year you don’t think you could get by on, say, $90 million?  Take that extra $10 million,hire a few unemployed people, give your low-earning employees a raise, guarantee health benefits for them and their family members and maybe even charge, I don’t know, 75 bucks for a nice pair of high tops instead of 150?  What would happen if you did that?  Your penis would fall off?  You’d be less of a man?  You’d have one less house or car?  No, what would happen is you would stimulate the economy and help put things back on track.  And you’d end a lot of misery and perhaps avert your future trip to hell.  But you don’t give a shit about anybody’s misery.

Let’s move on to welfare issues.  I know you have this image in your tiny little head of crack-smoking, baby-making, low-life, lazy slackers.  Well, guess what?  I have received help to feed my children.  Me, a college-educated, professional, un- or underemployed for far too long, in part because of the greedy corporate CEOs, and I’m not ashamed to mention it.  A lot of the people who are helped by “food stamps” are women and children.  Would you like to open some sweatshops here so they can all be put to work?  Have you no sense of humanity?  No, I know.  You keep voting for the conservatives at election time because you think that they will spread the poverty around among people about whom you care not one bit and then you’ll get to be rich like your idiot politicians.  News Flash.  The way you don’t care about the condition of the poor?  The rich politicians don’t care about you.

What’s next?  Gay marriage.  Plain and simple, keep your nose out of my bedroom.  You dare to call yourself an American and then say it’s okay to classify 10 to perhaps 15% of this country’s population as second-class citizens.  What’s that, it goes against God?  And God told you this when, exactly?  Are you hearing voices now?  Let’s just remind everyone about what this country stands for.  It was populated, by immigrants, remember, who were looking for religious freedom.  They wanted not only freedom of religion but freedom from religion.  The most important thing to remember about what this country stands for, after liberty and justice for all, is separation of church and state.  So, if you want to live in a land that’s run by religious fanatics, go move to Iran.

Which leaves us with gun control.  Here’s the deal.  I want to live in a world free of guns.  Free of all weapons.  The world I envision is a place with enough for everyone, with rights for everyone, education for everyone, opportunity for everyone, where we all consider how it will affect other people before doing something for ourselves.  And if it can be imagined, it can be created.  There is nothing to prove.  Humanity needs to lift itself up to a higher plane of existence, where guns aren’t necessary.  It sounds impossible, right?  To you, maybe, but not to me.  How will we ever get there if we don’t take the first step?  I chose to live the life of a pacifist.  I don’t ever want to shoot anyone.  I don’t want anyone to shoot anyone.  I want to live in a world where it would be unthinkable for people to hurt each other.  The only way to make it a reality is to live it, now.

That’s it, I’m done.  I promise not to get into politics like this here again for at least six months.  Or sooner, if the idiots in the House of Representatives don’t stop holding the country hostage.  Such babies.

Image