There’s an alarming, growing wave of Americans who distrust and/or dislike government, both national and state.
Politicians and pundits keep repeating that “We are all Americans. We will come together.” No we won’t. There are too many powerful divisive matters to be so simply overcome by nationalism. California is too big for its government britches and needs to be split north and south. Missouri, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan and Texas are in turmoil over gun rights. Many cities find themselves hosting angry Blacks who are rising up over discrimination and lack of equal opportunity. Others have serious police problems. You saw Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston and Chicago. Riots hit 74 of our largest 100 cities, plus smaller ones such as Rochester, N.Y. and Kenosha, Wisconsin. We are mad about the slow-poke roll-out of the Covid vaccine here and what seem to be at-odds-leaders ways of combatting the virus.
I’m retired and not poor, so my interaction with government is minimal. Pay taxes. Collect Social Security, Use Medicare, report large potholes when out on my moped. Getting vaccinated this morning.
So many are not doing so well. They see big corporations skip taxes while theirs are taken out of salaries from too-low minimum wage jobs. They can’t find affordable housing. They send children to under-performing schools. They fear college costs and whether their small savings will be exhausted by the time they are old. They see the 1% with dozens of billions in net worths paving the road to government influence with campaign donations. They’d get more help in Germany, Singapore or Scandinavia.
We all bear some of the blame in that we tend to keep electing the same old. If a community-minded Natalie Iwasa or Choon James offer themselves for government service, we turn them down. We keep the Calvin Says going, along with most of the 76 lawmakers in our Legislature. And wonder why it’s the same-old.
Frankly, governments need serious makeovers. In an ideal world, we’d rewrite the U.S. Constitution to reflect modern times and issues. It’s not a realistic goal. No one would agree or compromise.
The politicians say “there will be reconciliation and healing.” No there won’t. Our differences were ridden into the White House by Donald Trump and nourished. Some 80 million voters want him kept there — indefinitely. Polls say about 88% of those who support Republicans still want him. That D.C. insurrection needs to be taken seriously. It wasn’t an aberration. It’s not even new. In 1713, more than 400 people rioted and fought police and soldiers in Boston over the high price of bread.
Hawaii people, especially, know that you ignore a huge, building wave at your peril.