"For years politicians have promised the Moon. I'm the first one to be able to deliver it."
Wow... isn't it the truth? President Richard M. Nixon did indeed put a man on the moon, a dream that was bipartisan as it had also been President Kennedy's goal as well! Something went really right when it came to this kind of working together. It was a good example for children of the 60's myself being one of them. It was impressive to me that America could work together on a program that not only gave us a step up scientifically, but also politically and socially. Socially in that Americans could put at least some of their differences aside, to pursue something that brought us all together on common ground and gave us all common pride.
Pride, is now simply the "P" word. It holds no particular meaning for America any longer.
I am feeling a bit reflective because we in the Bay Area learned this week that pretty much the highlight of our usual Fleet Week festivities, the Blue Angels, will not be attending here, or any other Fleet Week celebrations throughout the county. But hey, maybe all isn't lost, at least we will have the Parade of Tall Ships... um... no, maybe not... well... actually probably not! You see, as we sit waiting for the next shoe to fall in the mess called Sequestration, it is likely that shoe will be the cancellation of the Parade of Tall Ships... which means full cancellation of the event altogether!
I know, I know... it's just a big military propaganda party... right? Well, it's certainly your right to feel that way if you wish, but I would ask you to consider what it will mean above and beyond any political feelings you might have, like the much needed income an event like Fleet Week brings to a city like San Francisco... an estimated $65 million dollars.
The sequestration is affecting a lot more than the elite flying team, it is affecting the very existence of elderly people. It is affecting the future of our children by cutting the First Start program, it threatens cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which is devastating for the most needy, and the ironic part is the fact that neither of those programs has anything to do with the federal deficit. It is merely a talking point carrot that apparently both sides of the aisle like to dangle when they can't think of anything else to do. Raise your hand if, like me, you knew he sequester was a stupid idea when you heard about it the first time, and feel free to pat yourself on the back, as I am doing here, for being right!
But for all the I TOLD YOU SO'S... it's little comfort considering how much damage is being done by our current president, and the republican party. Sometimes it's difficult to remember that President Obama is a democrat. As such, cutting Social Security, hell even bringing it into the debate, is not something any democrat I know would do. Creating a special group of senators to settle the budget because the congress and senate can't work together, was an unusually strange idea. Why, if the two chambers couldn't work together in their usual capacity, would a special committee have a chance in HELL? Did President Obama really think anything would accomplished in a super duper situation? Apparently, but hell if I know what he based that idea on.
Thank goodness we only have 3 more years of this nonsense to deal with and he will be gone. Things will get back to normal and we will once again be able to tell the good guys from the bad guys, or at least the good guys from the well meaning guys, or the straight up liars... right? Sigh... if only. I think sometime during the Bush (W) administration America found it's dark side, and I seriously doubt it will once again see the light of day in my lifetime. But hey, there's HOPE. Right? You know, that old four letter word.HOPE.
Sigh. Here's the thing. When it comes to what programs will be cut, as a result of the sequester, I can understand giving up the Blue Angels, if it meant some elderly person wouldn't have to go without the basic necessities of life, or a child could get a true head start, or a the blind person be able to keep a job that was contracted through the government, or any of a 100 other directions of need that exist, but it doesn't, this mess is hitting everyone but those who need to feel the pain the rest of us go through daily. Federal workers. State workers. Unemployed who want to work, but can't find a job. Collage students who simply want a future. Teachers. Home Health Workers. The Blind. The poor. All those groups could show those in Washington quite a lesson about REAL LIFE! And I suspect that after about a month of dealing with a scary, cold, uncertain futures, the word sequester would no longer exist.
I was looking forward to seeing the Blue Angels next October when they come to San Francisco, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. It's a shame, this type of event is just the kind of thing that gives one a minute or two of diversion from the painful every day truths of life in the greatest country in the world. Isn't that a real shame?