A person who frequently posts to this blog, and who has been a guest on "Civil Discourse Now," Nicolas Martin, noted yesterday something to the effect that negative responses to politicians is nothing new. Nic quoted H.L. Mencken on the point. I would add another, poet e.e. Cummings, whose poem read: "A politician/is an arse upon which/everything has sat except a man." I think I got that right. Seriously, it was off the top of my head.
The anger to which I referred yesterday is wider than anger at politicians. The anger seems to resonate beyond. The anger is aimed at a vague notion of evil's triumph over what has been perceived as the existence of the middle class. When former-Governor Romney said a little over a year ago that people should give up on the idea of home ownership, he chipped away at the foundation of the American Dream. When I was a kid, my parents imbued upon me the notion that ownership of one's home was necessary.
Maybe home ownership goes back to the days of the Constitutional Convention. In most colonies/states only free white males who owned land could vote. To own a piece of the Earth, no matter how tiny a slice that piece might be, is to claim a hold on the planet.
In 1981, it seemed that matters began to change. Unions began to go by the wayside (thanks to the people who ran Ronald Reagan's White House). The redistribution of wealth took off and fewer hands held more money, to the exclusion of the rest of the country. A Canadian asked me, in 2007 when I was in Windsor, "We have our billionaires up here, but yours seem to want to keep amassing wealth---why?" Greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sins (along with being a fan of either the New York Yankees or The New England Patriots, and refusal to recognize "Plan Nine from Outer Space" as the worst movie of all time). Enlightened self-interest is one thing. To gut the middle-class to the point that CEOs now make 140 times as much as the base worked in a company take matters to an absurd level that threatens the well-being of our society.
Of course people are pissed off. They did what the system told them to do. Some fought wars. Others finished high school and took the job they did not like in the huge box (factory) and later the big box (store) for much lower wages and no bennies.
This week on "Civil Discourse Now" we shall discuss the anger that many feel over these changes. Our guest panelists include Marilene Isaacs---a natural healer, empathy and intuitive, who also is allowing us to stream from her Isaacs' Center of Peace at 8001 Westfield Boulevard---Bryan Lilienkamp, a progressive political activist, Democratic Party precinct committeeperson for Marion County 20-10 who holds a bachelor's degree in IT from Excelsior College, and Len Farber, one of the founders of the website IndyVanguard, a man well known to many. We go "on" at 11 a.m. Also, our live studio audience will be present.
And about the "pissed off" in the header---if I had said "pissed," with my reference to a Canadian in this blog, some might have thought I referred to intoxication of some sort. Of course, that was a short vacay, I had a few beers that trip, but was sober when he asked the question about American greed.