Trillions for War, but Not a Dime for Recovery

America loves war far more than it loves itself.

If you count the Indian Wars (the darkest part of our history), America has been at war somewhere all but 18 years since 1776.

That’s a stunning statistic. If I had been asked (prior to looking it up), I’d have counted our founding war against England, the War of 1812 (another go at the Brits), the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Seems I was an optimist. But that’s all just prelude for the point I mean to make.

Biden’s $3.5 trillion shot at a Green New Deal is dead

We can wish and we can hope, and we can cross our fingers and toes, but the margin is too thin in the Senate without Manchin’s (Dem) vote. He objects to the load on the national debt and all Republicans join him because they only like increases when they hold the cards.

Fair enough or actually, unfair enough, if you care anything at all about the state of the union.

Let’s talk about that, because it’s as important to Republicans as it is to that party on the other side of the isle, I guess they call them Democrats. If the Congress was a horse-barn, you’d have to pick up the State of the Union with a pitchfork and add it to the manure pile. It’s that bad.

With historically large sections of the country burning down, flooded, destroyed by hurricanes, or blacked out by power failures, there’s a debate going on about whether we can afford to give each other a helping hand. We didn’t use to ask that.

We helped because that’s what neighbors do.

But the lights have all gone out in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

If the reference passes you by, it was a children’s program from 1968 and taught America’s kids, among other things, how to be kind to each other. The primary (and perhaps only) reason we now find ourselves politically so much at each other’s throats is that we lost Mr. Roger’s kindness in 1980.

Remember the circumstances of those times:

  • John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, jr. were assassinated
  • The Vietnam War had ripped the heart out of America
  • The offshoring of American manufacturing began
  • Unions in America came under attack
  • Rising oil prices brought rising unemployment
  • A new phenomenon called ‘globalization’ busted the middle class
  • Technology outran our ability to understand its impact and
  • Bank fraud brought two decades of economic bubbles and busts

We paid for it all, in money and jobs lost, as well as our confidence shaken and a wary eye on our neighbors while we bolted our doors.

Republican and Democrat voters are not to blame

You’ll no doubt be relieved to find we are not at fault. Those of liberal and conservative leanings were (and are) each equally shat upon by our leadership in a rush to butter their own toast, while we stand by with a confused look on our faces.

Change was in the air, and we sucked in the message from Reagan to Biden and there was change. Elected members of the House and Senate found that playing the blame-game allowed them to commit bi-partisan fraud and corruption without the voters catching on. Pockets were lined, contracts signed and constituents sold down the river.

The essence of a shell-game is to keep up a steady banter while the pea is under the shell. It confuses the mind with constant distraction.

The anger that Trump exposed in 2016 was no surprise

At least not to me. The whole damn country was angry. Bush lied us into another war, Obama left the wound of climate disruption un-bandaged, Hillary promised more of the same and Trump promised to drain the swamp.

It was a war of attrition by both parties, and no one should be surprised by the result. What was a surprise is how deep the hatreds cut into the fabric of American society.

Now we have an opportunity (perhaps our last) to heal ourselves and we’re falling for one more lie.

We can’t afford it,” say Republicans, who never failed to fund a war against a non-white country. With a razor-thin majority in the Senate, ‘centrist Democrats’ are sufficiently wobbly that the $3.5 trillion Biden asks for will fail to pass.

No matter the tens of trillions wasted on unwinnable wars. No matter the $13 trillion the Pentagon can’t even account for in a recent audit. No matter the 25 million Americans unemployed and the additional 10 million underemployed. No matter our ‘land of the free and the brave’ so far down the environmental toilet that fires, floods, hurricanes, and power-grid failures are bringing us to our knees…

…Republican and Democrat knees, rich and poor knees, young and old and children’s knees.

How dare anyone say we cannot afford to heal our nation? How dare we stand by while our Republican friend and neighbor down the street comes to despise our Democrat friend and neighbor two blocks over? If their child was sick, would you or I turn away?

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink,
water, water everywhere and all the boards did shrink
          — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Ancient Mariner

America is sick and we dare not turn away.

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