de Vos: You’re hired
July 28, 2016
Both readers have complained about how boring I've become and week-by-week my editor inches me towards the classifieds. Nonetheless, I have come to admit that I'm powerless over my obsession with Donald Trump and my life has become unmanageable. Finally I believe that only a Power as great as ourselves can restore us to sanity.
Someday things may get funny again but I'm still reeling from the barely imaginable fact that half of America is eager to drink Trump's snake oil based upon nothing more than a nasty Twitter account.
According to Him, He, and only He, can make America great – again. Whoa! If you really think America needs to be great – again, you must believe that it's not great now, a pretty mean insult to a lot of folks in Arlington.
By buying into Trump, you're stepping on the graves of every patriot who died for their belief that America embodies the greatest ideals mankind has yet conceived. But if that's not how you roll, then by all means, your vote for America's Greatest Liar could boost him over the top. Then, like Brexit, you'll get what you deserve.
Our politicians won't save us. Thanks to Citizen's United, corporations now are living, breathing entities who can afford to buy politicians like people buy pistachios. America's moral compass now drifts toward the stock market and executive bonuses.
There's a growing sense of dread in America as we see the world passing by. We used to lead the world in infrastructure. Today we're a dismal 12th. We place in the 30's in education results and health care outcomes. We've treated our veterans poorly. We jail the mentally ill. Homeless? Student debt? Income disparity? Where does the American Dream fit into all this?
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Militarily, we outspend the rest of the world combined. That alone could explain the turmoil coming from the Middle East. When all you have is a hammer . . .
But snake oil will not calm these waters and Donald Trump is not the Second Coming. No matter how smooth you gloss over his bankruptcies, serial marriages, misogyny and racism, the man remains a cheap huckster in a fancy hairdo.
A look at America's history shows a possible way to regain our national standing and renew pride in ourselves and our country. We have allowed the nation's infrastructure to decay to the point where, by most estimates we're 3.6 trillion dollars in arrears. Spelled out, that looks like $3,600,000,000,000.00.
In 1935 as the nation was seemingly trapped in despair, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act that created the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was a national work relief program that spent eight years with full employment, building not only roads, bridges and sidewalks, but also schools, post-offices, museums, city halls, community centers, parks, zoos and many, many more amenities that the nation still uses and enjoy today.
The WPA not only put America back to work but it had another benefit, summed up by Hallie Flanagan, one of the project's directors "for the first time in the relief experiments of this country the preservation of the skill of the worker, and hence the preservation of their self-respect, became important."
The next administration needs to deal with reality, not a reality show.
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