Saints preserve us, I’m going to talk politics, sort of. I try not to, because the way people talk politics is so limiting, exclusionary and insensitive I get upset and angry just being exposed to it. I’m married to an ex-news writer, but I generally ask her to don headphones if she intends to watch news in my presence. I do not watch news. To me the main news stories are always the same. Too many of the wrong people are getting richer off those with less power and influence. Innocent people are getting killed. Lawmakers are trying to say it’s someone else’s fault we are in this (whatever) mess, when I know it’s everyone’s fault, myself included, because we exist in a process of learning and are just animals that like to pretend our love of complexity and self-delusion makes us better than the other animals. It never changes.
Facts aren’t particularly involved in the current almost shutdown of the US Government over an inability to pass a budget that’s already half a year late. If the arguments were factual it would be about the math. My country spends 48% of what is spent in the entire world on military forces and weapons, way more than any other nation. We are the ones making war most possible in the world. There’s a deceitful pretense of an impasse over the costs of Planned Parenthood, NPR, Head Start and other social programs. The part of the military budget that’s on the books is nearly 700 BILLION, and there’s more available off the books for black ops and emergencies. War gets a 200-story skyscraper. Those other programs get a bus stop sign in front of the building. Give me a break. It’s not about the money. Those who say it’s about cutting spending are lying.
I don’t have a lot of faith in the side saying, “Those guys only want to prevent women and the poor from having health care and services” either. Both major parties get a lot more money from corporations and special-interest groups than from people like me. Why should I assume they would protect my interests ahead of the wishes of their sugar daddies? Their track record on doing so is abominable.
Military personnel serve the nation. I have great respect for their desire to be of service and make important contributions to our safety. I can’t understand why any of them should be put at risk in foreign conflicts when their missions are not clear, and they aren’t. Open-ended wars demean their sacrifices. I’m not sure it is really possible to win any war. World War II ended 65 years ago. We still have Nazis.
There’s a gender component to this impasse. Congress is mostly male, and men try to display dominance and perform more threat behaviors than women do. If our government was mostly made up of women, I can’t imagine this would be happening.
I’m going to go listen to my wife sing with a community chorus in a concert featuring songs of many kinds on the theme of HOME – what home means, what it’s like to look back when you are away, and how it feels to return. It’s more important than politics. Thank God for the arts.