Monday, September 27, 2010

Fighters, Not Bankers

As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The president is right to deride Democrats who are disenchanted with his job performance nearly two years after inauguration day. Maybe the problem is, enchantment is optional with the vehicle.

Those whose vision of Obama was as a shaman, messiah, savior, or all of the above, were bound to be disappointed when the potion wore off. It's so much easier to invest all our energy into hoping someone will do our work for us, but it doesn't work that way, and never has.

Really, doesn't this president have enough to worry about without having to concern himself with being an entertainer, too?

Frankly, I don't know which is worse being called an Obama apologist, or an America apologist. Granted, all too often, they intersect, but for a moment, yes, and not that long ago, the whole world celebrated the ushering in of an era.

The $60 million question is, what happened to that era?

Like many, I'm disgusted that, while this White House touts civilian control, the military has all but run away with the war in Afghanistan. Like many, too, I'm concerned that CEO's are feeding off the working poor, a category under which too many of us now fall. I, too, long to see a rebirth of a middle class that has been laid to rest by a generation of trickle-down deregulated delusion. But, unlike many, I'm unwilling to throw in the towel on a president who has accomplished more in two short years than a generation of other presidents before him.

We must join him, and prepare to fight--fight those forces who want to turn back the clocks, and enable private institutions to bar people from their lunch counters like they did a half century ago. We must fight to ensure that women continue to have the right to determine not merely their reproductive destiny, but an equal wage in the workplace. We must fight to ensure that the upper one percent doesn't abscond with our pension plans, and our grandchildren's future.

This country was founded by fighters not bankers. The authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights raised their fists to oppression, tyranny, and religious intolerance. They didn't just roll back and say "here it is, dude, come and get it."

The attitude of the pioneers who laid the groundwork for a representative government was not just can-do, but will do, but what of the heirs to their republic? Well, look at us. We're a lazy lot. We think all we have to do is go to the polls on election day, pull a lever, or tear a chad, et voila---instant government.

If there isn't enough food in the refrigerator, blame leadership. If we can't make the car payment, blame leadership. If our children come home from fighting illegal wars, blame leadership when it was us who sent them there to fight in the first place.

The men and women who came to this continent to make a plan for a better future didn't intend for us to govern by remote control, but to arm ourselves with ideas not guns. Look where we are now. We have all these guns, but not many ideas. We're so into recycling, we even recycle our thoughts.

We recycle our revolutions, too. Couldn't Rand Paul be Newt Gingrich's son? '

Thomas Jefferson warned about the bankers. He predicted that it was the bankers who would pose the gravest threat to a burgeoning democracy, and he was right.

Those who raise their voices the loudest about reclaiming what they mistakenly claim to be their heritage are the ones who have, for generations, worked to put the Bill of Rights on life supports. The tea partiers have been around, in one form or another, almost as long as the American flag, and have worked in tandem with this corporate interest or that.

Nothing has changed except this: we have turned into a nation of bankers, and banker wanna-be's. We have lost the appetite for risk, except when it goes to venture capital, and look where that has gotten us.

We no longer value hard work, and are unwilling to put our shoulder to the wheel. We know only one word: "me," and the word "we" has taken on an increassingly narrow meaning.

We are as devout in our disbelief as we are in our religion. What we can't put on a credit card, we don't want. We have paced ourselves right out of the global marketplace.

So, what do we do when we're told we must roll up our sleeves, and get to work? Head for the door. Well, guess what. The door is closed, and only you can open it. The president, and Congress, they're elected to represent and represent only as, in the end, it is only the people who can act in the people's interest.

Be the change you can believe in, and for any concerned about this president's faith, worry about your own.

To those who still believe there are rights worth fighting for, get to work, prepare to get your hands dirty, walk away from euphemisms, and the illusion that you can elect anyone to do your work for you. Prepare to get thick with the struggle. For, as a wise man once said, "you're either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem."