“We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I've warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.” Jimmy Carter, 1979
Nobody wants to hear the truth, it’s uncomfortable and forces hard decisions on people incapable of making hard decisions – how do you think we got in the place where someone had to tell us the truth anyway? Even when time has magically transformed truth into history, it’s only comfortable for most if changed and revised until it no longer looks like something we could have anticipated and done anything about – as if god alone were making the choices that led us from then to now.
Thirty years ago we faced the truth and were offered a decision: To live within our means and accept individual limitations for the good of all, or, to make the little we had frothy, and live among the bubbles until they popped.
We chose Reagan, and from this first cause of a choice we are now living in the accounting time of the effect.
We saw our manufacturing leaving, and it left. We saw that Wal-Mart would eliminate high wage jobs, and now we can only afford Wal-Mart. We saw that dependence on foreign oil would lead to paying terrorists to bomb us, and they bomb us. And don’t forget the climate thing – the truth is out there and it has been for a long time.
I like Obama – when he talks of financial reform or immigration, it’s with well reasoned and articulate words – and it rings of the truth. But I also liked Carter, for pretty much the same qualities, and he is not well thought of in any historical kind of way -- at a minimum, he had a failed Presidency. He was a loser, though I’m still his biggest fan.
Carter was also the most honorable and decent man to hold the office of President in my lifetime. I don’t know what this says about us, I don’t know what it says at all.
I like to think that this time will be different, but it never is – it’s a loser bet to even hope that. And without the hope that our children will have it better than we did, there’s no energy for moving forward in any way that has real meaning, and I don’t see any hope of it. – Can anyone out there imagine that their child will have it better than they did during the Clinton years?
Oh, and I finally figured out why we keep increasing our troop levels in the mid-east – it’s a jobs program, because we couldn’t handle the 25% unemployment levels that bringing the troops home would cause. Nothing else makes sense.