While watching C-span's Washington Journal this morning 12/26/08 I heard a caller remark that she was somewhat apprehensive with the president elect; although she voted for him and is an ardent supporter.
She explained that his rhetoric during the campaign could not naturally be expanded into his presidency because as often is the case, it was too lofty and high-minded.
This caller caused me pause as I began to once again realize my own somewhat foolish hope in regard to people understanding that poverty is a moral issue. I like to thing of myself as not wanting to deal with morality but I can not venture toward an area as close to my heart as is the issue of poverty without including morality.
If one approaches the issue of poverty as an injustice, how can it not be a matter involving morality? Many do not wish to accept that the primary reason people find themself in poverty has much to do with
things that are not in their control and this opens the door to acknowledgeing the onus is more on factors within the social and economic factors endemic within society.
This to a large degree bristles many people because it puts a degree of admonishment upon one who does not want to accept that many times their gains come from exploiting others. In fact, profit can not arise without expoliting another human being; however; this is a philosophical idea and not a concern for the present essay at hand. The idea that one wishes to be ethical or good or of good standing is a matter not too many wish to ponder unless they are involved in a scholarly field such as a college professor, priest or rabbi.
But to put the onus on the poor for being poor is not in any way shape or form accurate, most people who find themself in a position other than in poverty ,would be more intellectually honest if they just accepted that they and their cohorts simply got over or are getting over. [albeit, the working poor are hardly getting over on anyone] If this does not sit well than all one is doing is admitting there is a problem. So what is the problem, and what are some ways of moving toward solutions?
I think that there is a pervasive sense of the need to either "get-over" or at least feel/believe one "got over" in their daily pursuits. Popular culture speaks to this phenomena all the time, TV, Movies, Advertisments. An example for edification would be the man in the Cable TV commercial sitting in his drive way in his undershirt yelling to his neighbor : "Hey ,"marty" or Ed (or what ever name )" you got took" You hear his wife saying, " Honey, Leave Ed alone."
If one makes a good sell either a car sales man, a real estate agent or what ever pursuit; one knows that they have to make the deal, if you will, and feel they are doing what ever it takes. However at the same time contrary notions exists side by side in sentiments and feelings of brotherhood and some form of good will. What the heck or where do these contrary notions arise?
Why do most, [not all] but most people feel the need to believe they are "good" people of "good" character? Where does this come from? A need for some communal acceptance? From what? If a community bonds together to make sure a minority family did not move in to their neighborhood for fear that property values would plummit; the need to believe and feel good about one's participation in doing all one could to not have "these" people move in or get them out quick if they did, is realized by a communal acceptance of some kind. If one separates from this form of morality or common good by not paticipating in harrassment or harm they are ostricized and viewed as bad or as immoral.
This notion just stated is of course in many novels, movies and other forms of art and communication but this does not mean it can not or should not be re-stated. Many times these calls for justice are viewed as immature, naieve, not befitting one of a mature character. So if, as in catcher in the rye, one is to accept the truths of adult life and give up on innocent notions of truth and justice then at least please get high minded notions out of this societies ideals and make it all a co-hesive "get over" and exploit others value system as it actually is. Or does the lack of something in reality require the realization of it in the abstract?
As in "The strength of democracy is that it offers the illusion of freedom."
Since many are not willing to accept this crude and evil way of getting things done, perhaps the possibilty for another way, at least an attempt at another way may take root. But it can not take root without an enormous "letting go" of old familiar ways. Perhaps it is more comforting for many to accept the notion that there is some singular enemy out there looking to destroy our beautiful community of American life where we can exploit each other- and we can all feel good about ganging up on the enemy of the decade: lets try :"Russians' "Germans," Japaneese," "Koreans," " Chineese," "Muslims?" Maybe the need to see a common enemy will keep us steadfast in our abuse of each other as we get ahead. This disgusting use of an enemy has worked for many centuries and the common man, always, I say always, falls for it . So it does not bode well that people will finally become sick and tired of this silly little most distructive game of a "foreign" enemy.
If we as a people can give up this silly notion, then maybe we can get together and fight for each other as in being in favor of Unions for all workers; be it physical labor or intellectual labor. We must be in favor of all races, creeds and classes, other than the ultra wealthy [ find definition of ultra-wealthy below]
President elect Obama is a Liberal Democrat! This statement is derived from much of his rhetoric while campaigning. The principal reason he was elected has to do with people wanting change not just the word change but actual change. If he is to suceed,he will need to take bold measures to turn away from the failed supply side, trickle down economics of the past 30 years [ Clinton's presidency was interuppted by the silly little Gingrich movement in1994] and begin to implement a genuine demand side, bottom up economics that if it were to take hold, the poor, working poor, middle class and professional middle class could gain from a sustained economy where many could realize quality education, jobs, housing, health care and begin to respect and have dignity for all of us comman men. But we must support President Obama when he dismantles the military in order that the common man can gain. No more War profiteering for the ultra-wealthy.
Now to give a small example of ultra-wealthy, just look at some of the recent salaries professional ball players are earning. These ball players are not of the wealthy class, they make more dollars than we non- ball players, but if people can pay ball players $23 million per year, this means that the single ball player who garners this wage makes at least ten times that amount to those who pay him; in other words this $23, million is pocket change to the ultra wealthy!
If $23 million per year is pocket change, think about how much you are making per year? What do you hope to make ten years from now?
Change is coming and may I add, it has been a long time coming!