I don’t think it’s any secret that race relations in the United States are at a pretty low point right now. A Twitter post from a college professor who happens to be black hit home with me. So I’m going to relate his story to my own experience, in hopes this helps other white males like me gain a sense of understanding.
John Dominik has been on a tear lately. Yesterday he wrote twice; the latter piece, The Stupid Juice–it Burns, shows an attitude that’s far too rare these days and frankly is one of the best pieces I’ve read in a very long time, anywhere. He laments people’s tendency to act as if those who disagree with them are subhuman and have no right to exist.
If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest you do.
I’ve quit several online forums in recent months, and lately I’ve been noticing a lot of Facebook wars–discussions that just got out of hand too fast. All of this makes me extremely nostalgic for the days of Commodore 64s and 128s, dialup modems, and hobbyist-run BBSs. It was hopelessly primitive compared to what we have today, but for the most part it was polite, and it certainly felt more like community.
Last week at church, our newly-installed vicar preached about greed vs. generosity, and he ripped a little on the American Dream, which he defined as each generation having better stuff and living more comfortably than their parents did.
I think he’s right, letting that consume you definitely leads to problems. But I was taught that the American Dream was more about opportunity than it was about materialism. And maybe that’s where we’ve gone wrong.
I read a disheartening story today. It’s the story of an entrepreneur, making models out of his garage and selling them. A competitor took a liking to his models and started selling crude copies of them, made in China. The competitor is so much larger than him, he can’t afford to sue.
There’s something even more sad than this story, however. It was some people’s reaction to it.
I went to several estate sales today (it’s what I do on Saturdays, after all), but one was memorable. Some sales just jump out at you, and this one had evil genius/mad scientist written all over it.
Nearly 20 years ago, as I sat in a high school English class, the teacher told us all about the American Dream. And then she said there was one generation that wasn’t going to experience that dream, and she pointed at us.
As grim as things look right now, I can look around myself and see people proving Mrs. Susan Collins wrong, and that makes me happy.
A couple of coworkers were talking about taxes, deficits and the national debt this week. One of them looked my direction and said, “I’ll bet Dave can figure out how to pay off the national debt.”
It’s actually not as hard as it sounds.
The biggest problem is that we’ve convinced ourselves that the national debt is impossible to pay. I believed this back in the mid-1990s, when it was around $4 trillion. Today, it’s right around $10 trillion. (Note: That was in 2008. In 2016 it’s about $19 trillion. So double any of the dollar figures you see from here on out.)
This morning on one of the Sunday morning political shows (probably "Meet the Press"), I heard a statement that troubled me. I may be misquoting, but I heard the moderator ask how we can afford to have a vice president who believes in Creation in a time when the United States is lagging so far behind in fields like science and engineering.
I call irrelevance.
I’ve done some reading in recent days. First I read that GenXers aren’t happy with Corporate America and the feeling is largely mutual. It appears I’m not the only one.
But I see an opportunity in this. We have a window to take this country back. And I have a plan.