I used to think my likelihood of running for federal office was pretty much gone when I realized I supported the idea of introducing the VAT.
5 years later, and it’s gone from being whispered in the back alleys of think tanks and such to being considered by the head of the Senate Budget Committee (Who remains the head, since the Dems didn’t lose the senate). For heaven’s sake, Greenspan himself believes it’s the least painful way t get us out of this spiral. But after last night’s results, the odds of the VAT making it onto the books in the next 2 years are zip. Expect it to come back as an issue next time the dems hold both houses. Maybe by then I’ll run for the house. :P
In a distant land, I find no fear, for
In this land, the angels of life fly free.
And in this land there is an open door.
So any one who wishes it can leave.
But in this land that seems so sweet, The moon
and the stars are prison guards, watching all.
Keeping our privacy, and one’s freedom
Behind close lock and key within the walls.
What is freedom with no loss of love?
And where is love but within a free dove?
The game, tis love, and the winner, tis I
There’s a line in the Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, in the first song. “You are young. You will learn.” Benjamin Barker, the wronged barber who becomes the murderous Sweeney Todd, utters these words to a young sailor enamored with Victorian London. We could all do with a little learning.
In this time of economic turmoil, when the worldly possessions and constructs of our time have faded so much in value, trillions of dollars in equity evaporating before our eyes, it’s easy to feel like getting that dollar sign back is the most important thing in the world. I think we need a reminder that what drives the world’s prosperous ages are not finances and tangible things, but the things we feel with our hearts rather than see in our bank accounts.
The capitalist society cycles; we saw a period of expansion and keeping up with the Joneses in the 50’s, then a romanticized return to intangible values in the 60’s with the notions of free love and peace. We’ve spent the past decade at war, and the American people are tired. Why do we call the Mongols, Romans, and Persians ancient savages for an lack of will to stop warring, yet turn a blind eye to today, where, for all our culture, science, and philosophy being intermingled on the web, we’re so willing to fight those who are different. “Burn the Koran. Kill the Muslims. Deport the Mexicans.”
The young citizens of today aren’t learning the lessons behind the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage, or César Chávez. The freedoms we enjoy today were won not with vitriol, hyperbole, and comparisons to Hitler, but with stoic resolve and peaceful protest in the face of violence. That is what gets the right things done. When a class of citizens comes to power and prosperity on the backs of propaganda and exploitation, they will fall to the spirited, nonviolent resistance of the masses. They are young. They will learn.