Not many decades back, who imagined that American families would live in their cars, that for millions, home would be a nylon tent beside a freeway fence or plastic tarp on a city street? In the World’s wealthiest country, who could have believed tens-of-thousand would push their worldly belongings in shopping carts, sleep on sidewalks in a filthy blankets and stand in Depression-Era soup lines? Who would have conceived that millions of children’s sole source of food would be school, that demand would overwhelm Food Banks?
Who could have believed that men whose grandparents sacrificed, suffered, and died to save America from Hitler’s tyranny, would wave swastikas, chant “Jews will not replace us!” and salute “Heil Hitler!” In their wildest nightmares, who fantasized a President of the United States calling Racists, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Oath Keepers and Proud Boys—Not proud men!—“very fine people”? Who would believe that President would call his Minions to Washington and order them to assault our Capitol, attempting to stop Congresses Constitutionally mandated certification of the States’ Electors? And, when the insurrection failed, tell his seditionists, “We love you.”?
Who could have imagined American TV news leading with daily gunfire and a monthly massacre? That Portland, Oregon, would become a combat zone where, trapped in a culture barring them from productive education, occupation and opportunity, young black men would act out their rage by killing their cohorts? Who envisioned, in the dark of night, under cover of “Black Lives Matter,” mindless white “Anarchists” would smash windows and set fire to private and public property.
And Drugs! Seven decades back in my farm hamlet, medicine was aspirin or Anacin for headache, baking soda for heartburn and Ex-Lax for constipation. Cuts and scrapes got Mercurochrome, Merthiolate or iodine that stung like hell. Apart from a half dozen chronic cases, for the rest of us Dr. Turman wrote, and Darrell the Druggist compounded, maybe one prescription in five or ten years. Now I swallow seven prescribed potions and seven supplements daily. Decades back, drug commercials were unheard of. Today Big Pharma spend hundreds-of-millions on ads to rake in billions in profits. A half-a-century back, who would have believed multi-billion-dollar Cartels would service American’s “Drug” addiction?
After Ronald Reagan’s “Trickle Down Economics,” the crack between Millionaires, Billionaires, and the rest of us became a chasm! Despite inevitable handicaps from life’s onset, in a country founded on equality of opportunity and responsibility, who envisioned our Middle Class paying the taxes while a President and other Billionaires and Corporations pay none? Where pressured to get re-elected would compel members of Congress to accept Big Dollar payoffs for Big Dollar favors.
Referring to rotting fish, Shakespeare’s Marcellus smelled, “Something . . . rotten . . . in Denmark.” That the favored five percent control over ninety percent of America’s—the World’s?—wealth, stinks! Where did we go wrong? Can we fix it?
What happened to America?