Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Takin' US Back to the Way Were (Or is that the Way we Never Were)? Thinking about Mr. Preznit and the Chickenhawks has led me to a freightening Conclusion. While there has been a general shift rightward in public political beliefs for almost forty years -- or at least since Ronald Reagan. It seems to me that 1968 is the earliest point of this pronounced and direct rightward shift. But instead of simply whining about this and believe me we can do that for a long, long time if we want to but: Why and how has this shift occurred? And just what can be done to transcend it? Or what if there was simply a profound change in the social climate in the 1960s and there isn't anything we can do about it? What strikes me about the Bushites is their attempt to recreate the spirit of the 1950s, when we had just won a great war and could do no wrong in the world. If they, with all their CEOs have failed, what chance does anyone else have? More to the point, the trend since the '60s has been the abdication of national power; with more and more responsibility being shifted from the Feds to the states, and with very little financial support to local communities for the poor, homeless, mentally ill, and other deserving constituencies. Because of this state's rights trend, the Feds are essentially broke, with deficits into the trillions (after removing all the fudge factors) as far as the eye can see (assuming you want to look). Anyone think that this was deliberate? You create intense deficit spending, impose a balanced budget, give money back to the wealthiest in the country and then see what kind of money is left to spend on any social or improvement programs. States will be broke if this economic "recovery" doesn't continue (or really start, come on!). No one wants to pay their dues to keep civil society going not to mention build infrastructure (take a good hard look at that road or bridge your driving on then try some of the smaller roads), support schools (in Ohio there are still schools that operate without working indoor plumbing!!), or invest in crime prevention programs. But maybe you protest: "Hey! We love our punitive lock up the poor programs!" "At least they have three hots and a cot!" All the while Bush spends and spends us into a morass of a war that can only create greater deficits, destroy our credibility with other nations, and kills thousands of lives. Of course in the 1950s if you disagreed or dared speak up you were called unAmerican, unpatriotic, could lose your job or your freedom. Sound familiar? Now what do you do?
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