What Will His World Be Like?
I have never believed in the old fashioned Victorian idea that things will just keep on getting better. Even in their day, it is hard to see how anyone believed this. I do think things turn out better or worse depending on the choices we as a society make. Right now, when I look at those choices, I think our society deserves to be locked up in Bedlam - before it was reformed.
Not once has any of our leaders ever really faced up to the magnitude of the problems we face. They scare us into voting for them under the foolish assumption they can somehow save us, then they fob us off with fake solutions that, at best, allow us to pretend the problem has been confronted. Back in the Industrial Revolution, when such tactics were first invented, voters might have had some excuse.
What is ours? How do we explain the fact that not once in decades have we ever elected leaders who really took care of the problems that needed to be addressed. The last leader I can think of who did that was Winston Churchill. He warned everyone about the Nazis for years and they ignored him. Only when the danger was so great they had no choice did they listen. And he stood up to the Nazis, and beat them back.
The "War on Poverty" left us with as many poor people as before. It just let us pretend they were being taken care of. The "War on Drugs" was an even bigger farce. We've poured more and more money into education; the result of that is that graduates know less than they did years ago. The "War on Terror" has been remarkably effective at giving more people reason to join the terrorists.
I will admit this most recent election hasn't been the most absurd ever seen; voters did show as much sense as they ever manage to. But the Democrats aren't all that different from the Republicans. They use the same old tricks, they suggest different answers that get the same poor results. What is wrong with us? What have we done? Can it even be fixed any more? What will poor little Zach's world look like?
Postscript: I know this is a depressing post. I'm sorry about that. I really do think these questions need to be answered, and soon. I want Zach to grow up in a world that, if not better than ours, is at least not far worse. Now and then, we need to confront the hard questions, to find answers, however hard they may be, and fight off depression not by ignoring it, but by banishing the things that cause it.