Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

The Tea Party movement really has me baffled. Especially when taxes have gone down for the vast majority of those who identify with the cause. It's just one perspective but I'm of a mind that there's more going on here than simple righteous indignation over Wall Street excesses and horror over the health care legislation.

It's funny that the same folks bemoaning government involvement in health care are also up in arms over the decision to have less government involvement in space exploration. It's like a bunch of 7 year old boys who can't get enough of bombs and astronauts but have no use for playing nurse (that's for "girl" countries). Christ. No wonder we've had so many presidents who either resembled, played or actually were soldiers and cowboys. We haven't elected an astronaut president yet (but we have put a few into congress). Something so basic and necessary as health care already has government involvement that we pay too much for in taxes, footing the tab for what becomes of that portion of our society that didn't and don't have health and have become a chronic long term drain on the system. Or for the people who use the emergency room as their primary care facility. We end up having to subsidize all this indirectly but no less costly. It's cheaper by far in the long run to ensure folks have preventative care in the first place. Health care is even more essential than education, to my mind (it's tough to educate someone who's sick and even tougher when they're dead). Space exploration is important, sure (and I'm as big a space nut as anyone). But in comparison our more basic needs, there's no contest. Just one bum's opinion.

"We want our country back" seems to be the battle cry. Where did it go? There isn't any more government involvement or control now than there had been over the previous eight years of the Bush administration. In fact, it can be argued that there is less involvement (at least of the more insidious variety). I always had the feeling with Bush/Cheney that if they could, they'd round up all of us who didn't share their vision of a blue-eyed gun-toting America-first Jesus due back to earth any time to strike down all those who didn't fit the mold and send us all to re-education camp until we saw the light. It seemed that so many of their decisions were made with this joyous end-game dancing in their heads.

Obama's making his share of missteps for sure, mainly I think in terms of communication and often in trying to bite off more than he can chew. But, man, I've never heard so much outrage about so little. I can see and appreciate and share in the colossal uproar about our financial institutions excesses that resulted in its collapse, a global depression, real estate crisis, and the government bailout that followed. But that happened before Obama came into office. The decision to bail them out was made by the Bush administration (though Obama agreed with and ultimately instituted it). I'd have personally let the institutions die and the chips fall where they may. Likely it would have been disastrous and probably it's good I'm not in charge. More than a few have postulated that there's a bit of "give me back my (white) country" going on here. Maybe not on a conscious level. But it's definitely there.

But enough about the sorry state of our political discord and other such mindless drivel. I wanted to talk about important things. Like television commercials.

I find commercials provide a good framework for articulating the ups and downs of life. They can also inspire hatred and love in my heart. Truly. Charles Schwab and the Chase Sapphire Visa couple bring out the vitriol in me like nothing else on this planet. I want to kill them and their families. Same with the Progressive Insurance gal. Conversely, I love the Old Spice ads and feel the same regarding the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Stay thirsty, my friends.