Racism, class distinction, social divisiveness, opportunity, and new voices making law, are key points in how America is both disintegrating, and improving simultaneously.
Racism — In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a white male. But that does not mean I lack empathy.
By 2030, people of color will be the majority of the American demographic. Those who are white and fear change are working hard to stack the deck in favor of policy-making going forward. But that will change.
Trump was elected to implement the policies of the alt-right constituency, the group whose agenda is anti everything of color. The alt-right was so desperate to have a charismatic person at their helm, they overlooked the many evil sides of the beast. But he will fall…and soon.
Once that happens, those who can effect democratic change will come to power as the majority of voting America will not stay home this next election cycle. And, if things get so bad, that majority will strike and shut down the economy. So, either things will change (the pendulum swings back) slowly, or they will change in a short time. But if the latter becomes reality, there will be violence. Prepare yourself.
Class Distinction — In the interest of full disclosure, I used to be middle-class. However, I’m not sure anymore where I fall on the socioeconomic graph.
The only two things that will change the “GREAT DIVIDE” is a restructuring of our tax code, and a commitment to legislative bodies providing a social safety net for individuals and not just for multi-nationals.
Our tax code needs to encourage conservation and not consumption. Our social agenda needs to protect American Citizens (all persons), cradle to grave. Anything less than that will ensure the social chasm stays wide.
Social Divisiveness — In the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself to be a conservative socialist. What I mean is, I believe in governmental frugality and accountability, but I also believe we become a stronger nation and a more productive member of a global society if we keep in mind that our children need to be cared for, educated, and provided a safe environment within which to grow.
Habitat For Humanity is a good role model for those interested in effecting social tolerance to follow. Here’s an example of what I mean.
Suppose, after a devastating tornado, a community in Kansas, or Oklahoma, is visited by hundreds of celebrities who happen to be people of color. Athletes, rappers, singers, dancers, comedians, news-readers, and members of legislative bodies, all come and stay until the town or city is rebuilt enough to begin functioning again.
If you think that scenario won’t get positive press, and if you think it won’t effect the minds of the children going forward,(I know dad, but those people helped us when we needed it), you’re mistaken.
One side has to make the first effort, the one that says, not only do we forgive you for your hatred of us, we’ll be there to help when you need it most.
Opportunity — In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve had both successes and failures in my career and I’ve learned from both. Here’s an historical timeline of the pathway to success.
A half century ago, getting a job at a union shop, being accepted into a union apprenticeship program, landing a desk at one of the big manufacturing concerns, all meant one was set for the duration of their career. Then Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers, and things began to slip away for the pursuers of the American Dream. Or did they?
Elon Musk came to America. Mark Zuckerburg was born. The two Steves began their ascent to the Everest of corporate Valhalla, and ten thousand new startups were begun by people who assumed the cloak of entrepreneurship. Opportunity is still alive, but it is not for the feint of heart.
New Voices — In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a dreamer.
The Ralph Naders, George Wills, Elizabeth Warrens, and Bernie Sanders of our elder states-person community will all soon be gone. However, their voices, both conservative and liberal, will live on. But, and here’s the key. To be effective in shoring up the American Spirit, the people who step up to fill in their shoes need to work together and not fight for supremacy.
Take one challenge at a time; say education.
I’d like to see Gates, Buffet, Bezos, Zuckerburg, Musk and others fund an educational experiment in the poorest state in America. The experiment would provide funds for successful teachers from around the globe to come, on sabbatical, and work with impoverished classes without a preordained agenda. But to be effective, the benefactors would also have to include funds for proper nutrition, healthcare, and shelter, for the bottom quintile of students for the duration of the experiment. The playing field must be leveled for results to mean something.
As certain teaching approaches show improved results, those will be kept. As others don’t enjoy success, they’ll be discarded. That’s how our educational system can evolve, just as organisms evolve. The strongest (ideas) survive and the weakest wither and die.
I know all writing that involves creating scenarios for positive change can seem naive. But remember, the same could have been (and maybe was) said about the efforts of Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and Hamilton. But they, and others, laid the ground work for what became known as the greatest social experiment in the history of the world. It was flawed. But it offered enough hope that people from all cultures around the world, braved brutal circumstances and in many cases death, to get here.
To me, though the dream may have changed, there’s still hope…