Thursday, January 24, 2019

We Have Got to Get it Together?: 14 years in the Making

Everything old is new again. But my opinion has changed.

I did not mention this as part of my blog post from April 29, 2005, but I remember I got into a little domestic spat with my husband, then boyfriend, and I took a walk, late at night. I don't remember what the fight was about. Probably something silly like, "You don't pay enough attention to me," or "Why won't you ever close the kitchen cabinets after you open one up?"

So there I was in the early years of blogging, running away from home with some anger, with my senses wide awake, my thoughts pounding through scenarios. I went for a brisk walk and landed at a coffee shop when a great old song, Something in the Air, came on, the main refrain being, We have got to get it together. To calm myself and to just get the hell on with life, I wrote an entry about how the Right and the Left have to get it together. Maybe the domestic squabble, needing psychological tending, was weighing on me and I had the simple need to get two opposing sides to come together. That, and also, our national schism weighed on me heavily in those days. (Still does, obviously.) But I was optimistic. I really felt like we, as a nation, with all our differences, could lean on each other, accept each other, work together, open up, get it together, and make a shiny future.
Here's the post:  April 29, 2005 Blog Post

Not much has changed in our country since 2005. Except, actually, our schism has grown worse. Meaner. Uglier. At a tipping point.

So this is what I think today: We are never going to get it together. The Right and the Left are even more divided now than we were in 2005. I think Russia got what it wanted: to split us apart permanently. I think the Right is getting what it wants: a lunatic leader frothing at the mouth. The Left? We got AOC. We'll see what she pulls off over time.

I no longer believe in our country as a viable nation. The Cold Civil War has been going on since Johnson. With each new president it has only gotten worse. So let's divide. Or at least, let's make the federal government weak and let each state government get much stronger. But with that, let's also flip the tax bill. I pay 25% to the feds for a few programs and the military and I pay 75% of my taxes to California for clean energy, education and healthcare. The inhabitants of Red places, like Alabama, can also send their 25% to the IRS, and use the other 75% to do whatever the hell they want to do. I can't care about them any longer and I know I cannot change anyone's mind about anything. I can't stand how they think and I know they can't stand how I think. So...a nice loose divorce into strong state independence with nothing but the military to hold us together seems about all we can handle. An extended family of convenience.

We will never get it together. It isn't possible. Sigh. So let's reconfigure the system. Maybe Trump's destruction is what was needed. Maybe Trump really isn't the disease, just the symptom. We got what a compromised, federal system deserves. Now let it fall apart. As painlessly as possible, please. Tax me like you mean it, Sacramento, and let's make the utopia we know we can forge with all our creativity, wealth, inclusiveness and science. And please, let's clean up the Central Valley. No one needs to look at those sad, dying cows along the I-5.

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