Friday, September 02, 2005


Home Again

I am back home and have quickly fallen into my everyday routine. Except that I feel differently about everything. It's as if someone gave me new eyes.

I feel both more content with America and more revolutionary at the same time. This is what we need, a revolution in our thinking. It is not just Bush that has done wrong by us. The entire Republican re-visioning of the last thirty years has sold this great county down the river for a handful of beans. Those beans let them climb up with the giants and steal the sack of gold, the magic lyre and the golden goose itself. They are rich, they control the stories we are sung on the radio, and they own the means of future wealth as well.

Gone are the great enterprises for the sake of the common good that dominated our political landscape since the New Deal. Most Americans still live as if those ideals form the root of their government's principles, and so are lulled into debates about surface issues that correlate Democrats and Republicans. Driving to Crawford and back on the Interstates 10, 20, 35, 40 and 15, I sailed over the land on a network of roads that was one of the Democratic Congress' great public works. Dams and bridges, parks and county courthouses, these structures that hold our country together as surely as shared values were built by Democrats. There are no more great works such as these going on, because the Republican machine has labeled taxes a burden placed on the poor, helpless citizen. Hogwash.

I am a Tax & Build Liberal. I am a Tax & Grow Liberal. The whole reason the Founding Fathers broke up the primogenitor rules of Europe was to assure that dynasties did not develop, that each generation had to make its own way, that instead of passing on personal wealth to insure the security of the next generation, we would pass on a public vigor that gave each generation the means of assuring its own security.

I look at the tragedy now in New Orleans and want folks to tie it in not just with Bush, but with policies of a quarter century that preferred to allow the rich to grow richer at the expense of the common weal. Ordinary folks are no better off. For all their outrage at taxes and support of cutting off welfare and limiting social services and other liberal bleeding heart expenditures, the average person is worse off than they were in the days of the "spendthrift" liberal Congress. The wealthy have moved a whole exponent away from the income of the regular worker, and still they resist raising minimum wage, providing basic health care for all Americans, protecting resources for the future, or even caring for the disaster-stricken with anything more than words.

The moralistic talk of this bunch is not borne out in actions. Rushing back to "save" Terri Schiavo but dawdling before saving the stranded in New Orleans reveals the true nature of their morality. It is morality for applause, as fake as the jewels and castles in a stage play. Perhaps for them the deaths of soldiers in Iraq or poor black folk in New Orleans is just as unreal.

So here we are, back to the place where Iraq and America meet. I am glad I drove out to support Cindy Sheehan. The war in Iraq and the mess in New Orleans are shaping up to be twin cities. And the National Guard is in the wrong one.

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