I see why Will Rogers was a comic writer: it was the only way he could keep from raging at the human condition. Current political campaign in question: One male candidate with the empathetic sensitivity of a Slug; one female candidate having dispatched her innate feminine instincts in exchange for Type-A male characteristics.
Philosophical introspection not being a typical American personality trait, both candidates are loud and tough. Neither has the mental constitution to quietly and calmly say what needs to be said at this time: that almost the entire U.S. population has programmed itself to become hard, bitter, and doggedly opinionated about life, the world, our country, and ourselves.
Those not hard and bitter are simply lost in a sea of confusion about what is going on. What is going on is the psychological meltdown of what we used to think we Americans were about. Neither the Slug’s claim that we were once Great but have lost it, nor the Macho Wonder Woman’s claim that we need to work together goes to the core of America’s problem.
Rather – in a digitally-infused, dumbed-down, technologically-inept sweep of human stupidity – we have all just given up under the Techno-Nerds’ electronic dictatorship our art of rational thinking. Rational thinking is the last thing TN’s possess. Rational thinking requires the vital strength of allowing our human reasoning’s embrace of emotional common sense to enter into the dialogue of Democracy.
We are not a mob of consumer numbers to be calculatingly manipulated by the short-time profit-hypnotized Lawyers and Bankers of the Multi-National Corporate World. We are not the digits of their digital monopoly system. We are each individual important citizens of this country, empowered by our Constitution to be the original, ultimate, and final decision-making body of our government.
We have all forsaken that responsibility. And we are getting the candidates we deserve.
The single candidate who did not solicit or accept corporate funds was from the beginning of this campaign marginalized by the Corporate-owned Press. The first stories about him proclaimed that, “Bernie, of course, cannot possibly win,” and they repeated that phrase until the end of his campaign. Democrats clearly from the outset did what they could to block his message. The youth who supported him were denied the validity of their voice.
Republicans, of course, could not allow him to say what he was saying because he was criticizing the goose laying their Golden Eggs. They surely were not about to bite the hand that in recent history has fed them. The Democrats’ malfeasance in this instance was worse than the Republicans’. They disguised their corporate funding addiction behind their equally undeserved mantra of being the legitimate voice of the people.
The source of all of America’s problems is the economic inequality our two-party system has encouraged to coagulate their joint economic blood-letting of the American people. Not just the middle class that both parties brazenly cater to in their impassioned race to power, but all of us, from the still poverty-stricken of the Blue Hills of Appalachia to the Multi-City Ghettos of all of America to the Immigrant Field Hands who pick ninety percent of all the food we consume to the many Homeless Veterans returned from decades of wars, literally sleeping in the streets.
I wonder at the strength of character and the restraint of the poor of America. I ride our streetcars and busses regularly, and have for decades, in utter wonder at their ability to hold themselves together despite the innumerable obstacles thrown in their way by our economic and legal system. They all deserve Medals of Honor for their restrained level of combat against the organized warlike forces of giant corporations’ wealth that denies most of them – forever! – honorable lives.
Any honor of their lives is of their own making. It is forged in the communities and homes of each of them as they battle in the most frustrating conditions to survive in a nation whose promise of a dream has long been consciously denied by a corporatized system that does not want them to succeed, that is quite content for them to stay in their place. That has made cheap labor the foundation of its own massive wealth.
I marvel at the women and men at the bottom of America’s class system. Without education, without money, without friends in high places, so many of them hold together their families despite many others which have inevitably dissolved. It is surprising they have not all disappeared. Might it not be that inherently they are superior human beings who are steadily, gradually evolving into a new class that will overtake all of us who were born with advantages they never had.
Let us hope so. For we who should have shouldered a responsibility long ago have failed not only them, but ourselves. And if we do not eventually realize this and do something about it, it will only be socially just that we be edged aside, replaced by a force of nature with far longer-reaching ideals and profounder vision than we have ever imagined.
What laugh would Will Rogers draw from my observation? He would bypass humor but be optimistic, I hope. For he clearly identified with all members of the bottom rungs of life’s ladder even as he so deservedly earned a high place in its baffling design. What he would not be is proud of us, the American middle class, for our mediocrity: for our inability to get off our complaisant, languid backsides and, through our active participation, help our fellow countrymen.
Indeed, for our generally callous disregard for all downtrodden of mankind.