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So here we are
We are coming (hopefully—but you never know) to the end of this fraught election season that even after the votes are counted will still leave us deeply divided.
Half of us want a popular rebellion because we think the other half is stepping on our necks. And with good reason: people are losing their jobs in Middle America—jobs that have sometimes sustained whole families for generations while those jobs go overseas. Our Main Street is crumbling, our old car is rusting, our old roof is leaking, we can’t afford health insurance to live or die, we can’t send our kids to college to get them out of our own circumstances, unless they mortgage their future with student loans. Meanwhile, it’s our kids who man the fire engines and patrol the streets and have to make split-second decisions and go to fight in the wars that you start but can’t finish for the people who don’t mind seeing them die but resent us, anyway.
The other half of us is wondering what this country is coming to. You want to stymie or abolish government, but you want to keep getting your Social Security and Medicare and unemployment benefits; you want to get the old bridge replaced; you want the old highway paved (creating jobs); you want the state university funded so your kids can actually afford to go to school; you want your food and medicine and cars made safe and gas kept cheap so you can drive your gas guzzler; and you particularly want your constitutional right to the separation of church and state, except when you want your religion to comment on every election and your collection money to be used to fight the rights of your fellow citizens which are the law of the land.
Every society has its contradictions and every country goes through its cycles of uncertainty and fear. Greece remains agelessly beautiful but endlessly mired in trouble. England has cut itself off from Europe (it seems inadvertently) and doesn’t know its own future. Germany assuaged its ancestral guilt by accepting a wave of refugees and doesn’t know its future. France is no longer frothy but an armed state and its Jewish citizens are afraid to walk the streets. And the Middle East remains the proverbial powder keg.
America is a great country because it never stopped evolving in its whole history. It never stopped being an America for all the people, and not just for some. We owe it to those who fled on ships and founded this country and we owe it to our immigrant ancestors who got off the ship at Ellis Island and worked in the steel mills and shoe shine parlors and coffee shops to make sure America remains the beacon of hope around the world and we vote to keep it that way.