Friday, October 3, 2008

I actually cried over the bailout

Maybe I am a cry baby. That's entirely possible. When I heard the members of the House of Representatives explaining on the floor why they had voted "No" on Monday and were now voting, "Yes" today on this $700 Billion bailout, I cried. My heart broke completely.

I am a liberal, liberal Democrat, but I am also a terribly patriotic flag waver. This vote is totally distressing. I don't even propose we ought to be putting that $700 billion into the hands of the poor. Though I do believe that I am my brother's keeper, the way I do that might not agree with many so-called liberals. I know that we're just in a pickle of enormous proportions. The Pickle that ate Wall Street and Main Street.

My feelings always link back to personal experience. What I go to is the times when I forgave, hoping it would change behavior, and it didn't. That's what I feel like we're doing as a country. We're forgiving everyone for living in a fantasy world and giving them a reason to keep on living in that fantasy world.

Does a woman being beaten have any reason to believe that staying with her abuser will end the abuse? Of course not in reality, and yet thousands of women like me go back to their abusers with forgiveness and hope. Eventually, the only thing to do is give up on it, the relationship, and move on. However, it often takes being seriously hurt, and sometimes nearly dead before we learn that we've just been extending the rope by which we ourselves are hanging with our forgiveness.

So, what am I saying? How can we give up and move on from our own country? That's why I cried, I think. How can we give up? We can't apparently, and we have to keep on feeding the beast in hopes that it will feed us a little in return.

It's not to say there weren't good times. There were, and that's why it is so hard to move on from the "dream".

Yet, the very fact that we call it a "dream" ought to tell you something. Hello? Wake up! We cannot use 25% of the world's fossil fuels, producing only 3% and expect equity. We cannot blow up the prices of real estate to unbelievable amounts, beyond any one's ability to pay for them, especially when there is NO middle class left, and expect those houses and offices and retail spaces to fill up endlessly. We can't bankrupt the majority of society and keep the cash in the hands of a few people and expect that there is any FLOW of real money that has real value. Economy is based on faith, and when there is no reality to base our faith on then we are out on a very tiny branch called FANTASY. Those tiny branches can't hold up a whole society.

So, now we've just built like a skimpy scaffolding around the tiny branch of fantasy that we're all perched on. How's that going to work?

We're going to have to make do, but this is not a country prepared to make do. I have been doing it for almost a decade now, and it is really hard. I feel this weird sensation of being ahead of the curve on this experience, and I'm finding myself wondering if there is something I can share, something that might help people wake up for the work ahead. It is work coming out of a fantasy that is destructively comfortable. I predict the country will feel quite ill, almost hungover in the next few years.

The thing that saved me was ultimately accepting that I am normal, regular, not special and that I had to put one foot in front of the other. Can a whole nation that believes in destiny and specialness face the fact that we're part of the world? Do we have the right leader? I don't see that leader. I wish I did.

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