I normally abhor writing or even speaking of politics, conversations with like-minded friends excepted. Our inward political beliefs have an organic, chemical quality that makes them hard to change. We tend to pick up our political orientation from whomever raised us as children. So it’s generally pointless to discuss current political “issues”. However, this frightening election is causing much worry- words keep welling up. Words I can no longer contain. And what would be the point of having this blog if not to express my opinions?
My philosophies lean toward the left. Big surprise, huh? I have plenty of right-leaning friends, and plain politeness (thanks Mom!) keeps me from even considering attempts to move them from their Disney-esque nostalgia. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to those glorious years after WWII victory, when we alone had The Bomb? When we had just vanquished real, evil enemies; when women, children, foreigners and homosexuals all knew and kept their places, and The Great Depression was ancient history?
Really? Would it be that great? Let’s go a little further back …
As a bystander in the temple when Jesus overturned the money-changers’ tables, I would have cheered him on. Financial instrumentation is lost on me, and where my right-leaning friends scream about the money wasted on those fat, lazy welfare slobs, I scream about the World Police wasting money on ever more deadly (and expensive!) weapon systems. They think of poverty and disease as choices, while I think that choosing a designer for the yacht remodel is NOT a real problem. Money wasted is money wasted I guess- the money doesn’t care whether it’s spent on an aircraft carrier or a hospital.
Are all the rich guilty? Of course not. Money has a physics all its own, and its gravitation is as unavoidable as that which keeps our feet on the ground. To acknowledge that one can work hard enough to earn a fortune is fine, but when is enough enough, and what happens to empathy, charity and morality once great wealth is achieved? Compassion is much harder to practice in the whirlwind of business. And practically impossible next to luxury. Lamentation: how have we come to this?
In my home state, where the first primary in the nation is a big big deal, Sanders and Trump won handily. These results were shocking. I knew there was a deep chasm separating right from left, but holy hell! Could these two presidential hopefuls have ideas any further apart?
Solace lay only in the fact that 50,000 more total votes were cast for Sanders. If New Hampshire were a microcosm of the USA (which it isn’t), then we can hope that the national popular vote will never favor the Blowhard Billionaire. His fans love his projection of authority, truthful or not. What I just don’t understand is how his supporters can think that he’s really any different from the run-of-the-mill “establishment” politicians.
It’s all so goddamn sad. How have we come to this? How are we so deeply divided? Of that aforementioned nostalgia, at least back then we felt that were on the same side. How will we overcome this awful rift in the collective apprehension of our core beliefs? I wish I knew. But I blame it on Wall Street, Madison Avenue and Hollywood. Roughly in that order. Next up are lawyers and the insurance industry. And we all work too hard.