Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Putting it on the line

I often tell people, "I'm so left-wing, I scare myself!"

And it's true.

Just so you'll know, I grew up in a mixed culture. My father's family were hard shell Republicans. They were middle-class before the term became popular. Hard working and committed to family, community and the Republican Party.

My mother's family was a ring below them economically--though, eventually the Jones created more college graduates than the Bradley clan. But Mom's family was FDR Democrats.

As I think of it, some of the Jones family might have been Trump supporters these days and all the Bradley family would have been moderate Republicans repulsed by him. Ironic, not?

Where did I get my Socialist leaning Democrat bent?

My cousin Mejol locked me in her room when I was 14 with Catcher in the Rye and two Bob Dylan albums when I was 14 and didn't let me out until I'd  heard all the songs and read the book. Dylan and J.D. Salinger began my move to the far left.

But, in high school I was a big Goldwater fan. Probably to please my father more than anything. I even painted "AUH2O" on a building in Anawalt with spray paint. I didn't get in trouble because I was a Bradley and most of the town, including the guy who owned the building, supported Goldwater.

Here was the second fissure leading to the far left--Goldwater, late in the race, suggested privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA was where the electricity for where I lived came from. Most of the people who lived where I lived were poor. Privatizing the TVA would punish them for being poor. I suddenly questioned everything I believed and became Holden Caufield singing Highway 61 Revisited....

In college in the late 60's, I was not immune to the politics of the Hippies and the Student Non-Violence Committee. I became convinced the needs of the world were served by moving left and then more left.

That's continued my whole life.

I have a theory that not everyone believes. I think the older you get "the more you become like you always were...." People don't get more conservative as they age unless they were conservative to begin with.

So, here I am, at 70, ripening into more of what I always was--a socialist-leaning Democrat.

I actually would prefer socialism to what we have today in this country. But if we had single payer health care, like every sensible country in the Western World, that would do me.

I firmly believe in the Welfare State. Everyone should be able to have the necessities of life: food, housing,, education, health care--and those of us more fortunate than the many should pay for it.

Higher Education--at least the first four years--should be free to all. And we should pay for it.

Housing should be affordable to even those now homeless.And we should pay for it.

What's been called "The Paradise Papers" (google it if you haven't heard of this leak) reveals that the richest corporations and individuals in the US have billions and billions of dollars socked away in overseas accounts that have never been taxed.

God help us--just the tax on that money would provide housing, health care, education for every person in this country so they would have a shot at the American Dream...and if the dream didn't come through, at least their lives wouldn't be a nightmare.

Oh, guns, I haven't mentioned that. Children in Connecticut and Country Music fans in Las Vegas and Baptists in Texas and gay folk in Florida shouldn't be mowed down by guns.

I would 'take away your guns'--all the guns that were not obviously for hunting or target practice. And all the 'conceal carry' laws would be repealed. And only people with a six month psyche and background check could buy hunting guns. And a crime committed with a gun would have an automatic life in prison sentence. Seem extreme? I hope so. Only cops and soldiers should have guns.

I believe in national defense. But I'd only pay for the armed forces once everyone had a decent life--housing, health care, education. We could do it all if we only wanted to.

Look at the Scandinavian countries: almost no poverty, universal healthcare, few to no guns, little violence and huge taxes!!!

This Republican Tax Bill would do 12 things wrong for every single thing it did right.

I believe everyone of us should be totally committed to the ultimate well being of every one of us. And only money will make that possible. "Self interest" in my opinion, means "in the interest of all".

OK, so I've scared myself a little about how left-wing I am.

But I'm not as scared as I used to get.

I'm growing older and becoming more and more who I always was.

Ponder my thoughts, please.

My thoughts are finally, "All for one and One for all".

That simple.

I don't think it's crazy in the least.

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About Me

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.