Where is our FDR? With exception to the 22nd Amendment, where is a president so popular he or she will be reelected to the office of the president three times for a total of four terms? 

Where is public employment for the masses? Is the contempt for the average American by our elected leaders so complete that the wealth of experience that the history of the 20th century has left us is beyond their grasp? 

Having barely survived the COVID-19 era only to be met with bank collapses so large they surpass the balance of the very insurance program designed to save depositors (FDIC), the best our leaders can do is roll back SNAP food assistance, roll back child labor laws, roll back direct assistance, slavishly expand a preposterously large defense budget, assault Social Security (a Depression-era program designed to prevent seniors from surviving on tins of Alpo), force active duty soldiers to rely on SNAP benefits, and look away while subsidizing behemoth corporations such as Walmart by setting up internal offices to assist the working poor who stock their shelves to enroll in this country’s shrinking welfare programs. 

Is this the best they can do? A huge portion of our politicians are lawyers. Are we to say they are unaware of the period in which America’s alphabet agencies were created? Many of these agencies are they ones they migrate to immediately after serving in office. The only difference between the Great Depression and now is that we have no future. It is not “morning in America,” rather, it is well past sunset. 

America has no more factories to provide the finished goods to sell around the world. Perhaps we shouldn’t. Perhaps we should walk away from all that we have known in the last 125 years and quit trying to resurrect it. Perhaps we should stop worshipping at the feet of capital and tax it instead. Perhaps we should use those proceeds to build the dwellings Americans need; perhaps we should use the proceeds to provide public dining facilities for both the rich and poor; perhaps we should use the proceeds to fund a public health care system that actually works; perhaps we should stop funding a war machine so lethal it could wipe out humanity at the touch of a button. 

I believe this is what the adherents of what was at one time a cult describe as “beating swords into plowshares.” We have to do this if we are to survive as a nation. If not, we can’t say we weren’t warned.

Shanti Harris
San Luis Obispo

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