As yet another yuletide descends upon us, I am left with a very empty feeling. Perhaps my melancholy has been fueled by the results of the last election, whereby the hated Republicans swept back into de facto control of Washington, after I and many others had dismissed them as mere relics to be finally discarded after the elections of 2008.
I guess I was premature in my wish to see them go, for once and for all.
But as I take stock in all that I see around me now, I am smote with the realization that a huge number of people actually believe in the Republican way of life. They actually DO believe that Sarah Palin would be a good candidate for President. Or that nobody has the right to ever expect a helping hand from anyone. Or that the President is a socialist whose agenda is just a little too far out with his wish to see as many as possible be covered by health insurance.
As it stands at this writing, a good portion of our unemployed will soon be receiving no more unemployment, trapped as they are in the worst economic crisis this country has seen in more than 70 years. Yet no one seems to care. Instead, everyone has taken the "I don't care so long as it's not happening to me" line. What has happened to us as a people?
Thirty five years ago, a Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann would have been regarded as an extremist, far out of the mainstream. Today, one is contemplating a run for the Presidency while the other spouts off one crazy conspiracy theory after another, and yet both are taken seriously.
Whatever became of concern for the poor or the downtrodden? Has human kindness or sensibility been replaced by the "I've got mine, now you go get yours and don't bother me about it" mode of thinking?
Whatever became of the "Americans always fight fair" motif? How did it become replaced by "torture is ok if it's against the other guy" idea?
Have we become a nation so obsessed with winning that we will do whatever it takes just to succeed, no matter how sordid or unseemly our actions may be?
What has happened to our country? Have we abandoned ALL which once made us great, or is this just a simple anamoly that will soon pass?
We stand poised to give tax breaks to billionaires who don't need them, even as we are shutting off millions from the very sustenance they need to exist.
The America I see before me today is not the one I grew up in. This is not a place where I want to stay, where stock dividends for stockholders take precedence over the needs of the workers who produced the wealth to begin with. This is a nightmare!