Living in the United States in these times is interesting; to borrow from Dickens “it is the best of times and the worst of times.”As a nation, we came together and elected the first African-American President, but in doing so, all the wing nuts have come out from their eight years of hiding. According to the wing nuts he is an illegal alien (the birthers), he is a Muslim (the Christers), he is going to take my guns (Gunners), and God knows what else.
As a nation, we have weathered an economic storm, whose severity has not been seen or felt since the days of the Great Depression. Yet in those seventy some years since the depression we have failed to remember the lessons of the Great Depression. We repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in the 1990’s, because the Bankers in the 1990s were not the greedy orges or as stupid as they were in the 1920s. Guess what, they were as greedy and as stupid. In order to fix our economic system, because the wall between commercial and investment banks had been taken down, it required the government to spend almost a Trillion dollars to fix our economy—and it still ain’t fixed.
As a nation, we want to fix our convoluted health care system, but between the special interest, that is; the insurance companies, the doctors, the HMO, the old people, the young people, the Euro-centric, the free marketers, the don’t change anything I like it the way it is, we can be assured of one thing we aren’t sure what we are going to get, except someone ox is going to be gored. When Upton Sinclair wrote the Jungle, he wrote about the meat packing industry and how a little of this and little of that went to make our sausage. If he were alive and writing today about making health care reform his description would be as disgusting and sickening.
It is easy for someone who believes in the ability of politicians to come together and do the right thing to be both hopeful and discouraged. When I hear the Republicans today I am reminded they are nowhere near the level of being statesman as were earlier generations. Where are the Everett McKinley Dirksen (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/everett_dirksen.html) , Arthur Vandenberg, “gone to grave yards everyone.” Instead the leadership of the Republican Party is in the hands of two intellectual pygmies Mitch McConnell and John Bonier. But let it not be said that I am not an equal opportunity critic; if one looks at the Democrats they are as bad as the republicans. Where the Democrats once has men like Sam Rayburn, John McCormick, Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey as their Congressional leaders, today we have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who are intellectual midgets, (I choose my comparisons carefully in this case midgets are better than pygmies!). What makes the Democrats worse is as leaders they are completely out of touch with the majority of Democrats unless you believe representing limousine liberals from San Francisco or representing the gambling interest of Nevada are mainstream America. As least you can say that the Republicans are in touch with their party—which is increasingly the party of wing nuts and Sarah Palin. But I digress, today I am not particularly confident that we can achieve the consensus between liberals and conservatives to govern our nation. For the first time in my life I fear for our representative democracy, as I do not believe we are mature enough to do what is right for the nation and not the special interest.