Friday, March 19, 2010

A Democratic/Socialist Manifesto

Every one's writing manifestos these days. The Tea-Party people have one. (Here's all I WILL say about the Tea Party Movement--Oh, Lordy, I have lots more to say, but will limit it to this--the Boston Tea Party was about the oppression of a foreign wasn't about "our government"....'our government' is what we've got, get used to it, I have, and work positively FOR it, not AGAINST it. It is the only government we've got.....)

So, someone said to me the other day, "Obama is a 'socialist'."

This is in the same genus and species of those who say "Obama wasn't born in the US" or "Obama is a Muslim". He was born in Hawaii--which, so far as I know, is still a state--the westernmost state until a 8.6 earthquake breaks of parts of California and they float over near Japan. And, he is a Baptist. I wish he were an Episcopalian--I think he'd be happier with us except for the singing. And he is a socialist is the same way that Bill Gates is a middle class citizen.

What I say to people who tell me "Obama is a 'socialist'" is two fold:
*he is actually a moderate Democrat, AND
*I wish he were a socialist.....

I am a Democratic Socialist. I am astounded by how many people are so upset about 'the government'--actually, they usually pronounce it 'the GUV-MENT'. All I can imagine about that is that they never studied Civics.

Civics used to be taught in junior high and high school. In college it is called "Political Science". Now, I'm told, they teach "Social Studies". Civics taught you to not only 'trust' the government, but to love it. Either people have forgotten that or they had 'social studies' instead of civics.

I love the government.

I told someone that the other day and they laughed. Then I found out he was on Social Security and Medicare and lived in a city with a government that did all sorts of things he could never do for himself. Imagine that--he'd give up all that because he hates the 'guv-ment'.

Like everyone else at this time of year, I complain about my taxes. I'd like to pay less, obviously, but in the last analysis, I'd be glad to pay 'more' for more services of things I can't do for myself.

The Government picks up my trash every Wednesday. I'd have no idea what to do with it. The Government also recycles my trash that can be recycled saving me countless hassles doing it myself.

The Government plows the street I live on. I couldn't do that for myself.

The Government educates children--God help me if I got sent a dozen kids to teach!!!

The Government protects me and my family and my country through the armed services. I don't even own a gun and have no idea what a terrorist might be. God bless the government for doing that for me. And God bless those who protect me and make me safe.

The Government runs libraries for me. I can't afford many books and don't own many, but my Government gives me a place to find them.

The Government builds roads and bridges--I'd never get across a stream, much less the East River or the Hudson or the CT river if I had to figure out how to do that on my own.

In a few months I'll begin getting checks from Social Security at 63. OK, the government did try to convince me to wait until I was 70, but I want my money back soon. Where would I get that money without the Government? I will also, in a few years, be eligible for Medicare. (I know I said I wouldn't say anything else about the Tea Party idiots, but I lied. What amazes me is that a lot of the people who hate socialism get Social Security and are on Medicare. Those are 'socialistic' programs without compare!!!)

The Government keeps me from taking untested drugs, eating tainted food, having to control the environment all by myself and having to maintain national parks on my days off.

The Guv-ment also gives me police protection and does a great job of catching bad guys as well as white-collar bad guys. I couldn't do that for myself.

State Universities, by the way, are Guv-ment programs. I went to one along with lots of other people. I'm glad I didn't have to invent, build and fund a University just for me.....

I don't know a person who would say, with a straight face, "I LOVE my health insurance company". Most people I know hate their insurance company and feel over charged and under served. And many of those people get all crazy if someone suggests the Guv-ment is going to control their health care. The government ALREADY controls health care in a myriad of ways. What makes people think the government wouldn't do at least as 'awful' job as the private insurance companies (limited by 'guv-ment' already) that they hate? And those millions of people (is it 32 million, something like that?) who have no health care in the richest country the world has ever had...I don't hear them complaining about 'guv-ment' interference in their health care. In fact, they'd appreciate that and be healthier for it.

My neighbor told me that 'development' in Cheshire is pretty well done because of wet-land laws and other regulations. Hey, the 'guv-ment' did that and it is a good, by God, thing....

Every time I take the train to NYC to see Mimi or to Baltimore to see Josh/Cathy/the 3 girls, I need to thank the 'guv-ment' for subsidizing my journey. And every time I get on an airplane, trusting I am safe, I need to thank the government for that. Just like I know that baby aspirin I take at night and the toothpaste I use and the water I drink from my tap is safe--I couldn't do that for myself...the 'guv-ment' does that for me. God bless them.

I would gladly pay more taxes to have more Government assistance in the things I need and have to have for my connivance and safety. If there were no 'guv-ment', which many people seem to be suggesting their shouldn't be, it would be chaos, a nightmare, nature writ in tooth and claw.

I AM a Democrat--a 'yellow dog' one....I'd vote for a 'yellow dog' if it was on the Democratic line rather than Mother Teresa as a Republican.

AND, I am a socialist.

I became a socialist who loves and trusts the government with parents who were committed Republicans, by studying Civics.

I'd pay more taxes gladly to get Civics back into the public school curriculum.

This is my manifesto--everyone should have one....Ponder that, and write your own....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.