What are we becoming?

So they are holding hearings in Congress on whether native born Muslims are American enough.

The congressman who is running the show once supported the Irish Republican Army, freedom fighters to some, but declared terrorists  by England and the U.S. government, the nation which the congressman has pledged to support, and pays his salary.

Perhaps he is aware that these hearings are on the eve of St. Patrick’s day, and more to the point, perhaps he is aware that the Irish were once as despised as the he feels the Muslims are, that once employers posted signs that said “No Irish need apply.”

We have seen this act before.. Once it was suspected Communists, before that it was Jews, during World War II it was Germans and Japanese.

Remember when the big question abbout JFK was whether a Catholic could  be president?
We have chased the Italians out of town, the Methodists, the Mormons; demonized the poor, blamed flood victims for living where they do and blamed people in need for having the gall to be needy in the first place.

They should be like me: I don’t need anything. I have my truck and big screen TV, my three-bedroom house in the suburbs and a lawn tractor the size of a Volkswagen to cut my lawn.

And if someone tries to take it away I have my licensed handgun and will use it to defend my castle.

We have become blinded by our own self-satisfaction. Otherwise every middle class homeowner and job holder would be in the streets with the citizens of Wisconsin as teachers, librarians, clerks, street cleaners, public engineers,  accountants, crossing guards and the holders of all those little jobs that hold our society together are attacked as greedy, tax-sucking bums.

But they are not attacking me because they’re union, and I’m not.

I’m an insurance adjustor, a car salesperson; I sell pizzas, run a local hardware store, a bodega, a carpenter, plumber. I’m an independent business owner.

And everything they do makes my life harder. Or at least I think it does.

And while the little guys fight among themselves for scraps the people who make the rules tilt them in their own favor again and again. How else is it possible that the housing crisis was blamed on homeowners who bought more house than they could afford when the Wall Streeters  who made millions from the crisis did not even know  what they were buying and selling.

The bagmen had managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the bagmen. If the  outcome had not been so bad for everyone else, the irony would be classic.

But in a world where money has been declared the same as free speech, the guys with the largest pile make the rules. It had ever been such, but I’m not sure that  so many of the have-nots have been so unclear on the concept. Otherwise  why would they be agreeing that cutting funds for schools and firing  teachers will have a positive impact on their child’s education.

There are a lot of public officials declaring that “the American people have spoken” is justification for their actions, but I really wonder if the citizens of Wisconsin had the recent union-busting laws in mind when they elected GOP majorities.

Because most of us understand that our neighbors’ economic well-being has an impact on our own,  and as much as we complain about paying taxes, what we get in return in the form of running water, schools, public safety, recreation and public calm is worth the cost.

It’s a pretty big circle we all are standing in. Do you really want to be the first one to fire?

About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
This entry was posted in Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply