photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Which Way Will the Wind Blow?

In 2016, the young, new voters who'd only remembered Obama as POTUS were shell-shocked at what we got in spite of voting and in spite of Hillary winning the popular vote by over 3 million. They couldn't believe that such an unjust result could come out of what they'd been taught is "the best system on Earth!" Some vowed to never vote again. Then they watched as things got worse. In all ways and all arenas of their lives. And they got angry.
The young people I know are absolutely voting today or have already done so- young people who are pissed off by this shitshow in DC that is ruining their future every day in every way. They are a force motivated by a terrific sense of justice and desire to make this nation work for everyone in it, not just those who can afford to start at a level most of us never reach.
They rightfully believe that this nation can afford to give everyone healthcare, a good education, a *living* wage, and a strong social safety net, because only those things will result in healthy economic growth. Only true equality for all will benefit everyone from the top to the bottom. Only a tightly-regulated capitalism can be acceptable. To open the "free market to do its magic" as this administration is doing is only magic if you are already at the very top. The top 1% do great. The very bottom 10% die. They die. That's not a euphemism. They die of sickness and hunger and exposure. They. Die. Those in between are kept in a state of indentured servitude...till they die, never grasping the gold ring that they are told is "just around the corner- if you only want it badly enough and work hard enough". Unbridled capitalism is not compatible with a compassionate society. Period.
Will these young people outnumber the old farts who have swallowed Trump's litany of fear and hatred? Old white people who believe that "if Democrats win we will lose this great economy (that doesn't exist), have open borders (that no one wants), and have rampant crime (as opposed to Nazis in the street?)"
Because Trump's "miracles" are all smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors. A shell game for the simple-minded. The business I manage is *not* doing better- it's doing worse under Trump's economy than it did under Obama...even right after he took office and we were in the middle of a damn recession.
My employees are *not* "keeping more of their paychecks", from the highest salaried doctor to the lowest kennel help. Not one penny more.
The "manufacturer spending through the roof!" that he crows about is manufacturers stockpiling raw materials before the tariffs kick in. It's not sustainable or healthy.
Old white people who believe with all their hearts that we can't afford healthcare, even though opening up Social Security to everyone who is paying into it would be far cheaper than any private plan. They believe that a "caravan" of refugees *on foot*, 1,000 miles from the US border is a threat and want a wall built along a border *that is impossible because of a river and mountains and property rights*. They think things that are ridiculous but scary are good expenses, but programs that mean they, their family, their neighbors don't *die* of preventable things are not "sensible". The old white people are motivated by fear and a misguided hatred of anything that smacks to them of "socialism". They are voting in force to "save America". Which will win the soul of America?
Determination to become a more progressive, compassionate, and ultimately richer society?
Or fear, hatred, and a staunch determination to haul this nation backwards to a utopia for white people that never really existed outside TV shows and Norman Rockwell paintings?
That, my friends, is the nail-biter for tonight.
I believe in the passion of young people, but know the bullheadedness of old people. We shall see.