As follow up to the last post, my husband’s idea of the “Four Evils” I just wanted to point out that in the election cycle of 2016 there are other ideas in the marketplace of ideas to choose from besides those of bombastic and indignant Donald Trump that is foisted upon us by the MSM.
I understand as much as anyone else that economic life has been especially difficult for approximately the last decade. It hit my family hard in late 2007 when I found myself unemployed after having brought home 2/3 of the income. And I learned plenty of lessons about survival along the way because there was nobody else to lean on, no other “home” to go to. It was just my son, my husband and me learning how to stretch the final third we had left into obligations left over from the old life.
There are plenty of reason to feel angry, cynical, and pessimistic. The Great Recession seemed as if it would last forever. The national phenomenon of financial difficulties left no one untouched. It damaged families beyond repair. It left many wondering where the opportunities in life are for them and for their children. There are plenty of folks who say it is now over. But for still many more people it hasn’t ended.
There was an incident at work a few months ago where a coworker whom I did not previously know was caught stealing food out of the refrigerator were we store our lunches. As it turned out, that colleague’s spouse had been out of work for quite some time and the family was in dire straits. There were some people who were very irritated over the incident and wanted the colleague to be punished. But I found the victim and bought him lunch, and then I gave my coworker $70 to go to the grocery store. And I did it because I know exactly how being in that situation feels and I didn’t want this person to feel alone in it. It isn’t easy to tell anyone that you have no control over your life anymore or that the destiny you imagined working toward is no longer within reach.
But one thing that I have learned through the entirety of trials and tribulation is that while bad government can make life pretty miserable by taking material things, no matter how much it tries, it can only take away who you are if you give in into the anger and let it eat away at you until it turns to seething, cynical hatred, and you behave as there is no such word as civility anymore, doing and saying things as adults that my kids would have been sent to timeout for (and yes, parents, you know exactly what those things are).
There are always exceptions to nearly every rule. But the country Donald Trump describes as the USA and particularly the people in it, including ones who are not here legally, isn’t the country I have lived in my entire life. His supporters do not describe anyone I know, and they probably don’t describe any people they know either. It’s all phony strawmen built up to punch in a very public extension of the Donald Trump Show. Taking anything he has to say seriously is to be misled down the entirely wrong road to an economic dead end.
Being politically correct as to obfuscate important facts that many politicians are extremely guilty of is an entirely different thing than being civil. But because someone is politically incorrect while also being uncivil doesn’t mean they are telling the truth or that they know anything at all about what they are talking about. And so while I am sure that Trump’s disposal of the PC is somewhat appreciated, I just have to ask when is it that we get to the part of turning the page? When do we get to stop being angry, stop talking about Obama, remember who we are, heal our lives and go on with new dreams to replace the old ones in an America that welcomes the tired, huddled masses, allows them to pick themselves up and start anew? Is it after mass deportation that I believe would violate the spirit of the poem imprinted on the Statue of Liberty?
The New Colossus, By Emma Lazarus, 1883
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
There is a much better and faster way to a genuine new beginning that doesn’t reflect that we have given in to fear, anger, and cynicism that will cause us to lose who we are. I am not part of the America that Donald Trump describes, nor do I want any part in his vision. Do you, really?
PS: My father’s family escaped and established themselves here as loyalist refugees from Cromwell (they were, however, on the winning side in the Revolution). My mother’s family arrived here somewhat later from Scotland, though I do not know the circumstances of their migration.