And right now, that is how I feel... that grievances need aired. There are many concerns from a myriad of people from wide ranging backgrounds on the state of our nation about a variety of issues that are going on right now. While these seem to come from every angle at every single turn, they are the same in that they represent legislation by tweet and war with the media in order to demonize and conquer. While many of these are scary for a variety of reasons, I choose only to focus on the ones that affect me most (this is already a LONG blog). Thus, my three biggest concerns begin with eschewing taxes while turning the education system into a privatized cash cow, run by a woman with absolutely no idea how to do anything except say "vouchers!" The next of these is the destruction of healthcare protections for large groups of people while allowing states to have the option to dismantle or increase the costs of certain other necessary protections that would affect people with pre-existing conditions (such as Parkinson's disease, which I have and advocate for), would affect care to older Americans, and affect Medicaid.
I say this not in support of Hillary Clinton. I'm glad she lost. That said, I was a Never Trumper who got stuck with a third choice (Gary Johnson) because I wanted to show my lack of support for a 2-party system to reflect all Americans as an all-inconclusive, either or structure. Was he the right choice? No, but it sent a protest against 2 parties, who were essentially voting on party lines to get a Supreme Court nominee in. For this, people were able to ignore Trump and Clinton's flaws and go bell to bell for the championship.
With that being said, while I in no way agree with hacking to do it, the scandals of the Democrats last year and the ones that follow this year show that they disappointed America as a whole, and that they too have to wake up or the extremes of their party will also take over. Frankly, both parties will need to shape up for 2020 if they want people to trust in them again. An approval rate of less than 40% equals a one-term president, if he doesn't get himself impeached first.
Personally, I can’t think of anyone who has gone this far out of the way to commit Orwellian erasing of the past since maybe the reign of Akhenaten ended and he was removed from Egypt’s list of kings. What’s more, every day it’s something new from some different direction. Instead of focusing on one thing at a time, it feels like they are trying to give the Tea Party every dream they’ve ever had on a platter. Maybe it's payback for what they feel was done to them in the last 8 years with regard to social change (with things like gay marriage and transgender rights), but no matter why they are doing it, it just feels like a whole lot of change for a small segment of the population (instead of the greater utilitarian good). That said, I’m sure I would feel the same way if conversely, Bernie Sanders was elected and declared this country socialist tomorrow while forcing every Democrat to jump on board or be branded as not being “loyal,” so this isn't a conservative or liberal thing.
As I get older, I have come to see that people will take whatever they can from others. When people can, they can make up the standards and rules as they go along to inflate the system. This goes both ways. That said, this isn't some kind of Marxist discussion since I'm well aware that while some bosses give less pay, some people want more entitlements for less work. However, there needs to be checks and balances as well as opportunities for all people who want to work for them, both at the top and the bottom of the pyramid. This doesn’t entitle either group of people to everything, but certain protections are fair to expect. We need to know that there’s a system in place if we become destitute; some type of stable and definite money set aside for our retirement days, which we pay into; a system that helps look after people who have health issues like it does houses and cars; a system where everyone is able to get insurance, not just the people who are healthy now and don’t need it; educational opportunities for all who are willing to put effort forth for them; and environmental protection so that we can have clear air and water, as well as places where our natural areas can remain healthy.
For that matter, I am the 99% at both of my jobs because they both take government money and give it to the schools and the students who go there. If I don't acknowledge that they keep me in my home, then I'm just deluding myself. Even if I were the school president making 6 figures, I'd still be the 99% because of that. Why bite the hand that feeds us.
Simply stated, your happiness wears off on me because it's contagious. If you're relaxed and in a good mood, then you're kinder to me, and so on down the lane. If I'm relaxed and in a good mood, then I'm better to you. Whether I find my enjoyment of Nature in person or on television / photographs, the amazing sights, sounds, and feelings from it are transcendent. Knowing that these places exist and that someday I could see their flora and fauna gives me and many other people a goal to work for. Maybe this sounds selfish, but how many of us would want to see Hawaii's volcanoes, Yosemite's waterfalls, Yellowstone's geysers, Acadia's coastline, the Shenandoah's mountains, or Zion's canyons? I'm sure a lot of hands are going up. If not, google them and start checking them out. This country's geographic wonders are amazing.
But not everyone sees it that way (cue the chainsaws and digger equipment).
You know, because only Democrats use the woods.
I think of the story of Sylvester Stallone’s dog Butkus, who he sold for $40 to buy food when he was hungry (before the first Rocky). Afterward, Stallone bought the dog back for $15,000, and he remarked that, “he was worth every penny.” Stallone realized what a tragic mistake he made, and he atoned for it. Fully realized people do what they need to do to make up for what they shouldn't have done.
This is why education and healthcare are also important to me. If you value people, you will educate them to help the community, which also helps them live better since they make money to live and they fulfill their personal drive, too. If you take care of people's health, they will come to work and contribute (that's why some companies even pay part of a gym membership). If they're sick or frustrated all the time, how does this help them? So much depression that is preventable is out there, but when people aren't allowed or encouraged to grow, they wither away. This should not be.
Here, I should say that I am a part of a statewide 22-person volunteer outdoor committee that provides recommendations on trail-building projects for the state to work on (I don’t vote though). Pennsylvania wants more trails for more people. They want good trails for people (and dogs!) to enjoy on foot, bike, stroller, skateboard, horse, snowmobile, kayak, or whatever other device is out there. Some projects get really expensive. If I said numbers, they might be shocking to some of you, but bridges and safety aren’t cheap, nor are aesthetics (bureaucracy really does drive up the price and it gets me, too, and spurs some of my more right-leaning feelings). However, because my statewide leaderships knows the community values these things (safety, fresh air, exercise, family time, travel), they pony up a certain amount to give people things to enjoy while bringing in tourist dollars (ideally). Personally, I like thinking my taxes go there.
Business and the outdoors can be interchangeable, and government can get it right.
And I get asked the question, “Then why do you have a car if you want to protect everything that you can?”
"Because there's enough vacant strip malls that can be torn down or re-purposed to just put new stuff there than tearing down a forest or field."
Why must the answer be to destroy these sacred national treasures for energy and timber (or because prices would skyrocket if we paid these benefits of healthcare or because we want to send our kids to a better private school that can make them brilliant when all of our public schools can't)?
And yes, I know about how expensive higher wages are. I've eaten a $20 breakfast plate that goes for $7 tops at a local greasy spoon when my wife and I dined in New York City. Nobody wants double prices on the same thing we got yesterday.
Yet we don't hear debate. We instead hear discussion how ending terrorism is more important than social programs (an argument that I’m not getting into), and we fret over what we could do with some of that extra 25%+ in our pay if we only had to support one or the other (instead of the logical both). Trust me; I know. I’ve seen entitlement programs bilked by many people, and I know there are people in the system who help them do it. Part of my teaching job is removing never attend students from the roster because they do exist to take what they feel "entitled" to.
Your children's children will be glad you aired your grievances appropriately.