My habit is to read while I have my lunch, in the comforting cocoon of my big chair, comfy blankie over my legs and feet up on the footrest. Sometimes what I read leaves me discomfited, despite the reality of my surroundings.
Today I was reading The Week magazine. First I read an editorial about “undecided” voters, and how they are usually uneducated, disinterested, uninformed. Well, I am not truly undecided in that I’m pretty sure how I’ll vote – but I could be swayed. If someone said something that I could believe they really meant and it was something that seemed a really viable solution to many of our problems. I am not disinterested nor am I uneducated or uninformed. I am not conservative, nor am I liberal.
I am somewhere in between – middle of the road, on the fence, all of those things that seem to have negative connotations these days. I am distrusting – watching the vice presidential candidates debate last week, I kept wondering what I could believe of what they were saying. Sad. Sad. I think sometimes perhaps I make too much of an effort to be informed – it seems the more I read, the more confused I become. “A” says this, “B” says that, “C” says something quite different. What is true, what is real? I don’t know anymore.
Then I read this in The Week, quoted from The Washington Post:
During the recession years of 2007 to 2010, Americans’ median household net worth dropped 39 percent. But the median estimated net worth of members of Congress rose 5 percent during those years, according to an analysis of congressional finances. The wealthiest one third in Congress saw their net worth go up 14 percent.
Now I know the truth. I am right to be distrusting. All this talk about eliminating or reducing “entitlements” – those monies all of us working folk have contributed to all those years, that the government has “borrowed” and not paid back. How about we reduce the congressional payroll? How about we stop trying to force our philosophies on the rest of the world, stop trying to right what we see as wrongs and expect other countries to take responsibility for themselves? How about we stop participating in wars that are, for the most part, not appreciated by the citizens of those warring countries, how about we stop pouring billions of dollars into those wars? How about we focus on our country, on improving education, health services, how about we make me believe I can afford to continue to get older?
How about we honor things like honesty, concern for one another, respect, responsibility for ourselves. How about we get over the greed, the need to be higher up, in front, better than. . . . How about we become the kind of country that can be respected by other countries, with more real humanity. How about we decide it’s okay for you to believe what you believe and it’s okay for me to believe what I believe, and neither of us need to force our beliefs on others?
How about someone explain to me just what the heck is going on anyway? Maybe I should join the partisans and develop a hard and fast, no-thought-required, attitude. Maybe I would be happier if I didn’t ask questions. Sad.