From the hallowed halls in congress
They tell us to trust the past
They tell us not to worry
As the water’s risin fast
Some refuse to leave:
They say they’d rather die;
Some accept that fate..
Me, I’m moving by.
Our leaders shoutin poison
Don’t listen to the sound
Stand with me up on the hilltop
We gotta search for higher ground
One thing we’re really bad at in this country is recognizing when the flood waters are coming. Now, they’re here, and it still seems like our politicians are ignoring it, telling us we all will be ok. I heard on NPR today a clip of a senator from Texas addressing journalists on the issue of the debt ceiling, saying “The money won’t run out. We know there’s more money” (paraphrased). What happens when the money does run out? Technically, we have no money at all right now because we owe it all to foreign countries, primarily China. I won’t pretend to understand contemporary economics, because for some reason that doesn’t matter. So maybe said Senator is right..
But then again, maybe not. Mike Likosky wrote a great piece in today’s NY Times called “Banking on the Future,” in which he lamented the lack of infrastructure in America upon which to build. We are scorning rail systems, hospitals and schools in favor of war and foreign aid. In terms I’ve been imagining it in since MUUSA (where Kiya Heartwood got this song “Higher Ground” stuck in my head) they are ignoring the rising waters, so we have to take it on ourselves to get to higher ground.
What’s happening is that our leadership is not investing in any sort of a long term strategy. Time and time again we see that they have two year contingency plans, and the “undecided” public buys into this: we only care about what change they can make in their term, and if it doesn’t create immediate prosperity, we boot them out and elect the other guy (or gal). Even Obama, who started out with so much promise, gave in to the demands of the electorate, compromising away any good plans he had (which, it turns out, he didn’t have all that many of to begin with). The only reason I favor the Democrats more is because they have plans to move us forward, whereas the Republicans seem determined to grind their heels in and consign us to a failing economy and a ruined infrastructure. More so, I support the Democrats for the simple reason that they support education and health care, which, as public domain, should be publicly supported. I’d much rather my tax dollars go there than into war.
But I can’t think the Dems are too much better. After all, they support dumping money into pork projects that mean nothing and don’t work to make anyone’s lives better, in many cases. Our way forward starts with breaking the silence, spreading knowledge about what is going wrong – a job that lands on our generation, and our ability to use social media to communicate. The next step is to demand an end to the restrictive two party system by proposing a viable third party. I’m writing in the most general terms here, partly because I’m tired and partly to make this easy to understand. We are sounding the alarms, and we have to move to higher ground – not the so-called “moral higher ground” that so many politicians claim to speak from. Our generation needs to redefine higher ground – redefine the system, redefine ourselves, and redefine our country.