Monday, March 21, 2016

Resurrect Again?

American lives post-WWII seemed a lot simpler because gainful ways were limited. Dads abided some necessary but ordinary job, got paid, and, in turn, paid bills. Moms stayed home and sustained families. They shopped in neighborhood markets and toiled in villages isolated from wide world. Otherwise, they did without and occupied themselves simply. Centuries ago when kings ruled, subjects amassed little; instead they died, fought and worked for food and shelter. Today they say 1% of population holds 50% of world’s wealth and prescribes all policies. That might be tolerable if richest were society's fairest and smartest, too, but that’s not at all true, never has been.

This new global oligarchy with an army of bureaucrats and military grunts would again have everyone groveling subserviently at minimum or no wage. Don’t let them do it to you. You don’t have to, even if it means assessing massive taxes on luxuries, breaking treaties, recalling elected officials, starting own political party that demands a real election instead of a lip service farce, or writing new statutes that outlaw greed. When did this snafu begin? When Nixon and Reagan diverted treasury into pockets of a few pals. Every other crime they did was comparatively innocuous, because rigging the game made millions just drop out rather than waste time competing for what would never be theirs.

Too old to care and unafraid to comment on political campaigns, usually can’t be bothered. However, this time presidential choices seem particularly poor. Clinton attracts middle-aged women, Sanders altruistic communists, Trump belligerent reactionaries, exclusive segments, not mainstream constituents. Rest revealed themselves to be jealous lunatics and likely nazis. None promised to increase chances to earn a living, which will always be an overriding concern for voters. All are beholden to billionaires or billionaires themselves, bound to disappoint, elements of nation’s problem, not serious solutions. Congress is so corrupt almost all members need to be replaced. Campaign financing ought to be controlled by a public task force; Supreme Court justices are already squawking about striking down laws that permit PACs to back their own picks.

Progressives blew their chance to seize power during ongoing election freak show. Any party with a platform of improvement and inclusion could have won support of America’s beset and disenfranchised majority of lower classes. Expectations are so low that just about anything that simplifies governance and strengthens representation would be wildly popular. Forced to file 15 pages of complex forms after not working a single day in 2015, can see tax reform is painfully overdue. But repeated gripes and sweeping generalities don't delve deep enough into life's endless details to do individuals any good.

Skewed to an aged, drug addled, risk averse demographic, you’re never again going to see an all-white electorate, inviolable borders, mid 20th Century postwar boom, or whatever else you wish they’d resurrect. Nostalgia whelms from blood and tears. Billions are struggling to provide innocents with their next meal. Legalized marijuana turns prisons inside out to make streets upon which society’s contributors live their own jail. There’s no promise of a chicken in every pot, just corporate agribusiness that thrives on subsidies taxpayers have to pay whether or not they can. Why can't residents expect government to deport, detain, and try foreign nationals caught carrying or importing weapons? The right to bear arms belongs to citizens only, not diplomatic entourages or illegal aliens. Drug gangs with entire arsenals do daily battle against federal officers because someone was too squeamish about profiling and stopping to check credentials and vehicles. Unfortunately, to do better risks upheaval.

What kind of Congress allows these ongoing threats? Only one bought and sold by formidable factions and rapacious smugglers. Who vets their inane policies before they’re allowed to destroy your livelihood? Clearly, nobody weighs the downsides of bills easily repealed or vetoed if only a few benefit and most lose. Last time anyone questioned giving tax breaks for the wealthy, the myth of trickle down economics was concocted, the most recent in a long string of failed devotions. Democracy is better served when businesses and cabals are not allowed to become too big to let fail.

As it’s always been for millennia, any messenger of truth must expect either to accept exile or be crucified. If you have anything to say about anything, people avoid you anyway. If, nevertheless, you counterintuitively gain popularity, you become a threat to self appointed bosses. Peabody Award winning investigative reporter Mary Mapes was fired from CBS for telling the truth about a seated but spurned president, who was the poster boy for privileged self interest. Conservative media to this day characterize her as a abused daughter with an axe to grind. Likewise, they drove Gary Web, who exposed CIA malfeasance in Central America, to commit suicide by destroying his reputation. Displaced, killed, or silenced, authors run scared, write novels instead of nonfiction, especially since politically motivated denial and spin consolidated incontestable control. They've removed all incentive for good intentions for which anyone of intelligence should be incensed. Despite trillions in global aid and historic projects to open new frontiers, America has become no gentler or kinder, especially if press can’t freely question means, methods, and motivations.

The future lies ahead, not behind. Booms, busts and change are inevitable. Recessions regularly occur. Answers forever recycle. A bicycle may be a conveyance from a bygone age, but, before long, when automotive empire loses its death grip on economy, it’ll regain popularity along with feet, horses, and trains. Bet on another spin by bike to pick up your daily baguette. As crocuses bloom come spring, good to recall sustainable alternatives to pick. Some begrudging choices you decide to make might even stick.

"You can talk about walking the walk... Drive to the store for a loaf of bread; maybe I could have biked instead... Hey, Hey, BP, you’ve got nothing on me... Jumping on my bike, now I’m finally free.” Nate Aronow Nextet, Bikin’ the Bike, Xpression, CD Baby, 2010

2 comments:

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    1. Thanks for the appreciation. Blog is about culture, not just bicycling. Just commenting on history and news, forever intertwined, though people tend to forget.

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