This morning, I woke up knowing what one significant word had fallen out of the public discourse.
Progress meant charging into the future, with technology and science that would benefit us all, from greatest to least, young and old, rich and poor alike. Sure, a few of us might trampled underfoot, but we would all benefit. The interstate highways. Household appliances. The space race. New materials. New ways to fight disease. New ways to spread messages and tell stories. New frontiers in education and health. Progress meant we would live longer, happier, more productive and prosperous lives. And now we have crazy coots standing up at townhall meetings across the country refusing to contribute another dime to our mutual prosperity because people who are not old, straight, white and Republican can’t be shipped back to Gay Brownislavia. No one is asking these crazy people important questions like:
1. Hey crazy, if you have a plan, what does the goal look like? Like where you live, circa 1950 or like Santiago, Chile in 1970? Because neither was good for a whooooole lot of people and both very bad for a lot of people.
2. Hey crazy, there is every possibility your plan will ruin the country, destroy your life and take the world economy with it. Did you take that into account? Because when peace, happiness and prosperity are the other option, it would be a giant sign of CRAZY not to take that second thing.
Note to users of the word ruin the way teens spit it at strict parents: ruin is a permanent state. Ruin means the Colosseum in the center of Rome won’t be hosting track races because it’s a ruin, a thing broken literally forever. Cannot be fixed or restored to hunky-doryosity. That is what the Tea Party is poised to do to our economy and as a result our country, and we wouldn’t just pop up from economic ruin in 2013 after – say – fifteen years and say, “Shit, those selfish fuckers can party. It was a joke for hundreds of years, but we actually ate some babies.”
If our public discourse is not about Progress it is necessarily about Ruin.
I want someone to stand up and talk about our better future and the Progress that will get us there.