Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When Your House Is Falling Apart

Our government has been following some very bizarre rules for tending to things.  It's so bizarre that I have found myself thinking of it in terms of psychiatric illness.

We could probably start with the shock of 9/11.  There we were, thinking we were the greatest nation in the world, infallible, struck in our hearts (in America heart=wallet) in the full light of day by renegades armed with weapons we left lying around unguarded.

Post traumatic stress disorder?  Not only were we looking over our shoulder and under our bed for the next attack, our corporate funded president couldn't figure out how to fast enough get those dollars to flow.  No conversation about the death and destruction of the Twin Towers could happen without focusing on the economic devastation.

Now, I'm not talking so much about people who lost their jobs because their livelihood was so totally disrupted.  Nor am I talking about those who lost the family members who provided them financial stability.  (And as I write these two sentences it chills me that we are talking about dollars and not lives, but I am trying to reconstruct as honestly as I can.)

The trauma that shook the country may not have been financial, but to our corporate-owned government that terrorist attack was all about money.  As Al Qaeda intended.

That's when the bucks started flowing.  Tax cuts and subsidies flowing to Wall Street and airlines.  We couldn't do enough to get those businesses going again, while the financial aid to families, including those first responders we heralded, was quite a bit slower to come around.

And there is where our obsession has been since then.

A convenient excuse by the Bush administration to feed its constituency, in W.'s own terms, "the haves and have-mores."

It only naturally followed that corporate America took what it felt it had always had coming, Congress shocked into being afraid to say no, believing every lie and passing it on.  The American people were easy.  We believed every scary story we were told.

And here we are in 2013.  Our bridges are falling down.  Our children are going hungry.  And those who are responsible for guarding the country's purse strings run up the debt to feed the corporate beast, and continue to tell us to tighten our belts and stop whining.

Pass the farm subsidy and the oil subsidy and the subsidies to the pharmaceutical industry.  But cut back on food stamps and the arts.  Feed the dinosaur, starve the hummingbird.

The uproar from the voters can barely be heard.  Those who question this bizarre philosophy of taking good care of the wealthy so they don't punish us by taking away our jobs are too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too confused to yell.  And the most fearful, the most psychologically vulnerable, are fed fears about the debt, the poor, Obamacare, and urged to stand up and shout.  And they do.

What will it take for the sane but tired of us to stand up and yell louder?  When our house is falling apart and whatever we do to keep it together no longer works, is this when we will rise up in anger?  When we have nothing left to lose, is that when we will no longer be afraid to risk being struck down?

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