Has the Country Gone Crazy? Why we will come to ruin

I sit here in my office on a rainy Friday afternoon in what was once the golden state – California – and can’t help but feel that the shine is not only off the state, but that the future is as gray as the sky outside.

How can it be that the stock market soars 200 plus points on news that 600K people have lost their jobs?  This is hopeful news?  How is it that we are ready to mortgage our collective futures to the tune of a TRILLION dollars on a stimulus bill that is not just in need of work, but needs to be trash canned?  This is sane thinking?

How is it that our “leaders” rationalize tax evasion  – a criminal offence for the rest of us – but are somehow qualified for offices requiring the public’s trust?  Have we gone crazy?  How is it that Congress can have hearings on a Fairness Doctrine?  Has any of them ever read Orwell?  The Constitution?  The First Amendment?  Are we really going to do this?

How is it that spending stimulus money on condoms will somehow reduce the population which reduces the deficit, which…  Did I hear this correctly?  Did she even say something close to this?  How is that Cher almost died under Republican rule?  Can the Republicans be tried for attempted murder?   Frankly, I don’t understand how someone with so many fake parts can actually die at all…  but is this news worthy?  Has the entire country lost its collective senses?

So I call my mom.  We talk.  We agree that this is not the country in which I grew up in the 1950’s – 60’s.  Neither she nor I recognize it any longer.  My mom is not a radical.  She was Kennedy Democrat who became a Reagan Republican after her career in the NYS Department of Welfare.  She is a first generation Irish immigrant who taught her children to be responsible, work hard, save, and to give more than you take.  Yet we now live in Cher’s country.  A place where… well we allow people like Cher to matter.

What I want to know is why don’t we celebrate the businessman who works hard everyday to succeed and creates not just jobs but the very experiences of their employee’s lives?  How is it that they are vilified and penalized with more taxes?  Don’t they matter?

What I want to know is why we aren’t celebrating the small miracle that is happening in Iraq?  How is it that the stories of the Iraqi people and our soldiers there are less important than what Tim Robbins thinks of George Bush?  How is it that we are so ungrateful that we take for granted the freedoms they buy for us with their lives?  Don’t they matter?

What I want to know is why all of us who saved our money for our kid’s educations and our retirements only to lose it in the stock market crash do not deserve the same sympathy as those who spent and borrowed more than they had the ability to repay during those same years?  Don’t we matter?

The narrative of the American Dream was: be responsible, work hard, save, give more than you take, and you will be rewarded.  Those of who did now feel that we are not only NOT rewarded, we are somehow people to be dismissed and despised by this New “American” Deal.  In fact we do not buy this New Deal.

When responsibility, hard work, and saving are replaced by their opposites, we are in trouble in more ways than one.  Not only do we pay the cost for those who live off the government, we also pay for the lost productivity of those who have lost their faith in the government.

We old-fashioned people call us republicans, conservatives, libertarians, what have you – are dismissed at great risk to this Republic.  If it cannot find a way to include us, it risks losing us and our values – the values that have made the Republic work for over 200 years.  Keep in mind that there are more than 59MM of us who did not vote for this New Deal.  We have power and we will not go quietly into this New Deal.  That is our constitutional right and responsibility as citizens.  That thought makes me smile on days like this.  I call that hope.  I am looking out the window and the sun just popped out from behind the clouds.  It really is beautiful over the shining Pacific Ocean.