~intermission from my countdown posts~
I think today, while a giant swath of our country copes with the storm aftermath, is a good day to announce loudly that:
I LIKE GOVERNMENT
I don't get the whole "shrink the government till it's small enough to drown it in a bath tub" sentiment. Really? Drown our cities, more like, on a day like today.
I EVEN LIKE TAXES.
Where would we be without taxes?
Some of my favorite governmenty/taxy things:
- clean water out of the tap (yum!)
- 911 response (thank god)
- libraries (yes please)
- low-interest federal student loans (still paying them off)
- postal delivery (reliable! affordable!)
- roads and bridges (duh)
- federal disaster relief (TODAY)
- sewage treatment (sexy!)
- National Parks! (visionary)
Yay for all of those amazing things and so many more! Yay for civilization and people caring for each other! Yay for legislated compassion to balance out greed! Yay for leaders who aren't just trying to enrich their cronies, but to make life better for everyone!
I've never been very political. The first election I was of age to vote was Clinton's first presidency, and though I had grown up in a Republican household and even worked for the Republican party in high school, I am very proud that I voted for Clinton. And by the way, both of my parents, including my father, a longtime Republican and retired career Naval officer, are now extremely liberal, extremely well-informed, and extremely pro-Obama. The Bush years changed them, and they changed me and Jim too--not from Republicans to Democrats--we had voted for Gore--but from mildly disinterested to engaged citizens. I will never forget the stun of that election and its aftermath. It was an awakening. From the first grueling months of thinking, foolishly, that it couldn't stand, through to mobilizing for the next election, to the much greater demoralization when it happened again, we paid attention.
And one of the things I do not understand is the vision of these people who want to Cut Everything. Who want to "drown the government in a bathtub," and end taxes.
WHAT DOES THEIR DREAM WORLD
LOOK LIKE TO THEM?
*baffle baffle baffle*
Because when I picture it -- a United States without government programs or tax spending -- I see disease and despair and poverty and collapse. I see hopelessness and joblessness and crime, the rich having to wall their compounds while everyone else scrambles to get by, no emergency rooms or ambulances, no public schools or parks, no police? Kind of post-Apocalyptic. And I know we like post-Apocalyptic books, guys, but we don't really want to live it.
On a day like today, when so many of our friends and family members and fellow citizens are helpless in the aftermath of a disaster, with an election scheduled for next week (what will we do??? Can it go on?) and one candidate who has long said he would do away with FEMA and make states cope on their own ...
Who should be president? I think it's pretty clear.
Watch this, it's great:
what's your favorite thing that government does for us?