This is not a political blog – I try to stick to the Writing Mamas tag line “When you become a mother, you’ve got a lot to write about’. That seems to provide enough fodder to keep me going until mid-century. Today I digress somewhat, finding an observation worth noting. Let me say this about my political predisposition and that will be all: I hate big government with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. I find our world completely overrun with bureaucrats that have no accountability to their constituents. There is gross malfeasance (on both sides) but particularly those who want to tax and spend their way to ascertain a political legacy, whatever the results.
I am terrified of what kind of future my children will likely face due to the lack of stewardship and reckless spending going on in Washington. I fear for my daughters, who may inherit my breast cancer genetic mutation, knowing that in countries with socialized medicine, there is absolutely no technological and medical innovation. I fear for the kind of treatment they would receive if indeed they do contract this disease under a system of rationalized care. My husband and I fear what will happen to our children upon graduation from college (for which we will have worked endless hours to be able to afford to send them) when the unemployment rate for all citizens under the age of 25 is currently 50 percent. I fear for our own retirement, having been born under the demographically bad sign of ‘Gen X’. We follow the Boomers who will have busted the ‘social insurance’ bank upon their retirement.
Hopeless, that is what I feel most days. I don’t read the newspaper anymore – too depressing. And manufactured news. Propaganda for this administration. I alternate between a rabid need to ‘do something’ to a disabling sense of dread at what is coming down the road, as my voice is only one. I am a political nobody. My vote doesn’t matter. I feel like taking the advice my husband and I often sarcastically offer to those anti-American, anti-globalization anarchists that we see so often on the news. “Don’t like it here – there are probably a billion people on this planet that would take your place in a minute. Just move!” But where would we move? Still in my heart, I know this is the best country on the planet and it breaks my heart to see it taken to its knees in a matter of 10 short months. There is no country that has the talent, ingenuity, work-ethic, values, and business and political know-how as ours. Our country’s short-lived existence is a miracle. And those Representatives (or as they see themselves – our Rulers) in Washington DC are thumbing their nose at the Constitution daily. The dual feelings of rage and dread cannot be assuaged – it’s hopeless.
Except for today. After my eight-year-old son’s Pop Warner football game, the players and spectators were filing out of the stadium as the new players and spectators were coursing in for the next match. It was a noisy interchange for the victorious team and the heartfelt disappointment of the losing one. The anticipation by the parents and friends of the new teams created a cacophony of voices and bustle. I was starting to speak to one of my son’s coaches as we heard the National Anthem start up over the loudspeaker. He stopped mid-sentence in respect and looked over my shoulder. I turned to face the flag, waving gently in the blue fall Texas sky. Immediately a hush came over the crowd and my four-year-old daughter Sabrina put her hand over her heart and turned to face the flag without my prodding.
As the strains of the Star Spangled Banner played for a silent, reverent crowd, I felt myself get a little teary, and I’m not a crier. While this country is polarized over many issues, we can still come together in respect and honor for our flag, our democracy, our country, our freedom. Texas is, of course, a conservative state but Austin is a liberal bastion in an otherwise red state. We don’t often hear conservative viewpoints represented in our local media but for a moment today, we were all in synch, standing shoulder to shoulder on a warm October morning, united in our love for our children and our football. For a moment this morning, I felt something I hadn’t felt in some time – hopeful.