Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Les Miserables 2013

 I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life, worth living.

I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

I dreamed a dream about an America that was united and prudent, responsible and pragmatic, but it was just a dream. When I awoke, it was to a country so divided and reckless, so contentious and irresponsible, that I cried out in prayer to a merciful God to save us all.  Contrary to Mayan myths and Internet warnings, the world did not end as expected, thankfully that date is a secret held only in the soul of an omnipotent God, but the world has definitely slipped to a precarious position. We are more divided as a nation than perhaps any time since the Civil War. Our leaders are incapable of leading, and instead have driven a wedge between the nation that has created a precarious chasm.  We are  dangling on the edge of a fiscal cliff, and whether or not we crash and implode at the bottom of a vast gorge is yet to be decided.  As we hang on, moaning and groaning about the imbeciles who led us to this perilous position,  we watch impassively as  those same imbeciles will comfortably ride out the next year with a pay increase, private insurance, hefty retirement pensions, and a generous salary for life. After all, we are the people who so willingly elected them to rule over us, and we are the people who continue to let them rule with unlimited authority. We are the people who voted them into office so they could impose oppressive taxes and reckless deficits on us while they exempted themselves from the same conditions. It is a situation we have so willingly created.

Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine, untasted

      Our children will pay the price of our foolishness. And their children will pay, and on and on, but not to worry, for there has never been any intention of balancing the monstrously out-of-balance budget. We have been told by our government authorities that it is acceptable, even expected, to live beyond your means with no plans to ever repay your debt. We have been told that it is acceptable for almost half of our nation to live on government subsidies, to earn profit for doing nothing, and to have no accountability for the taxpayer dollars they receive.   So eat drink and be merry, if you can afford it , or if not,  just put it on your credit card or sign up for some free government stuff, for tomorrow's problems are not our own.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

     Besides, it's only the middle class, hard-working, average Americans who will suffer. The 47% who pay nothing will continue to receive in abundance, while the elite government dictators will enjoy their posh vacation homes, lavish trips, expensive luxuries and plush bank accounts at our expense, for it would be oh-so-foolish for everyone to have to pay the price of fiscal irresponsibility. We have been conditioned to accept these terms by the same politicians who have convinced us they are working for the people. In reality, they are working for their own self-aggrandizement, and like the emporer who wore no clothes, we close our eyes to the reality of the situation and have been convinced that we are too incompetent or stupid to see the invisible.

Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men...

 But somewhere in the distance, hope flickers. A voice is sounding that has yet to be silenced, either by the liberal media or the impassive public. It is a voice crying out for change, for a better world, for accountability, for responsibility. It is a voice that is tired of passing blame, of delaying action, of ignoring the obvious. It is a voice that demands reason from our leaders, unity from our citizens, and the accountability of all men to pull their fair share.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!

We were once a nation that prided itself on opportunity, on freedom, on the ability of every man to find success through hard work and innovation.  The muscle and strength of our country was built on the sweat and toil of a people who were proud to work and would never bear the shame of taking a handout that was not needed. We were honored to help those in need, but that help was better served by giving them a job rather than a blank check. Self-worth was preserved and dignity was restored when the hand was given to pull someone up rather than to hold them down. We didn't spend what we didn't have, and we didn't take what we didn't earn. Our leaders were public servants, not public leeches bleeding a nation into apoplexy. The Constitution was a document meant to preserve the freedom of the people, not empower an elite group of rulers to dictate oppressive regulations on the masses. We have deviated so far from the dream of our founding fathers that our country is hardly recognizable as the America of their visions, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I close my eyes and dream that one day, we will become the great nation we once were.

 I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living,
So different now from what it seemed...
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed...*

Lyrics from the musical "Les Miserables"
Music: Claude Michel Schonberg
Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer
Based on Les Miserables by Victor Hugo


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