America

Imbolc                                                                    Valentine Moon

Let’s make America great again.  Degerrymander Congress. Encourage immigration and the resettlement of refugees like we promise on the Statue of Liberty. Repeal right to work laws and Taft-Hartley. Restore Glass-Steagall. Make sure no one goes without medical care, a decent education or affordable housing. Raise the minimum wage nationally. Make it clear that public lands in the West will not only stay public, but will be subject to tighter restrictions on use for profit. Make sure emissions decline by 80% by 2050 and fall to zero by 2100. That’d be a good start.

We could even get red, white and blue ball caps. “Let’s make America great again” on the back and one of these ideas on the front. Collect all 8!

Eliminate Fox “news.” I know, this is censorship and would run afoul of the First Amendment, so it won’t happen. Still.

Another tack is to recognize what makes us great right now. Our pluralistic democracy has plenty of rents in its fabric, but we’re still the country built on a political idea, not an ethnic group. In other words, even with our flaws we’re still, as my old buddy Ronald Reagan used to say, a shining city on a hill. We invent things, come up with new ideas, push boundaries. This land that is our land has mountains, deserts, oceans, farmland, prairies, Great Lakes and mighty rivers. It is a natural wonder and we get to live here. Our economy is strong and resilient. It could be made more so by throttling back corporate power and the flood of money into our political life.

One more idea. Let’s seek the things that unite us, rather than those which divide us. Here’s a specific example. Many of the folks from my hometown of Alexandria, Indiana served in the military. Their parents, and most of them, were also members of a labor union, the UAW. Currently, support of things military is a wedge issue for many of high school classmates, one that seems to line them up on the Republican side. Even so, their awareness of economic justice issues and one of the best solutions to them, labor unions, lines up with those who want progressive change in the workplace and in work itself. Perhaps a pro-veteran, labor union positive policy position could nudge my friends from home back toward a liberal perspective.

 

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