Tattoos, and Statues have always been permanent reminders of temporary feelings. A statue however is slightly easier to remove. As a symbol, statues have themselves become a much larger issue. What do we do about our troubling history? How do we judge yesterday’s conduct by today’s standards? What is the purpose and effect of what we include or exclude in the telling of the story of humanity?
A professor of mine, the great historian Gabriel Kolko, taught me that history was perception. Winston Churchill famously said that he was sure that history would treat him kindly because he planned to write it himself. As a general rule, history is written by the winners.
In the United States the issue of statues and symbols, especially relating to the American Civil War, have become a divisive issue. It took until the 21st century for the Confederate flag to be removed from state capitals. Disputes have erupted over the removal of statues of southern Civil War leaders and Generals. These statues and symbols represent the defense of slavery. This was an evil so great that it is understandable that it would be offensive.
There are those who argue that to remove these statues is to deny history. There is no shortage of written materials, records and other reminders of history. There are museums where these statues can join the other mementos of the best and worst humankind.
Statues of the losers and tyrants are symbolically torn down to mark their fall. There are no public statues of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Saddam, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, and a legion of other tyrants and losers in the progress of humanity.
Truth like water find its own level. Statues rise and fall with the march of history and the values and sensitivities of the people who raise and live with them.
Pelosi and Schumer, and yes both of the Clintons have served the American people for several decades. America needs a change.
On November 9, 2016, the American people experienced one of the greatest failures in the history of democracy. GOP and Democratic voters alike turned their backs on the elite political ruling class of both parties. This was born of the frustration of watching their political system descend into a paralyzed and uncivil sideshow. It was that anger and that rejection that brought Donald Trump to power.
The danger in Donald Trump, is that he cares only about Donald Trump. The Russians were ahead long before they appeared to have a President of the United States that they could blackmail. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the West threw up their hands in victory and fell asleep. Putin divided Russia up amongst his friends. He then used Russian money to buy his way in to the upper echelons of the political and economic elite around the world. The Citizens United decision by the Republican Supreme Court, was the first nail in the coffin of American democracy. It has provided an unlimited source of untraceable money to buy American politicians.
Trump was just a continuation of the deterioration of America is a world leader. One of the worst things he has done is to appoint Cabinet Secretaries who all hold views in direct contradiction to the purpose and missions of their departments. They’re spending their time dismantling the strength and functionality of these departments. They are attacking and destroying the social and political gains that made America a beacon of freedom and liberty and hope and the leader of the free world.
The last chance for American democracy is for the Democrats to retake both houses of Congress. That will not happen with the already rejected, Pelosi and Schumer. They must step aside for the good of the party and the good of America. There are plenty of fresh young voices and leadership in the Democratic Party. They must come up with bold, practical and meaningful proposals and turn them into action.
If Pelosi and Schumer lead the Democrats into the midterms I fear they will again be rejected for the same reasons they failed before. This time the stakes are high. The survival of American democracy.
There appears to be a consensus that 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. That is the problem at the root of conflict in the world.
Out of all the problems humankind faces, this is the most inane situation certainly on this planet and probably the rest of the universe.
How can people suffer every day from the fear that financial survival in this world demands? While the resources exist to alleviate 99% of it.
It’s not just the poor and disadvantaged, whose mere existence is an insult and stain on humanity. Most people, even the moderate to reasonably well-to-do, have to struggle with financial survival every day.
We live in a world that appears to be deteriorating around us, as infrastructure is a politicians low priority until it breaks. Federal and local governments around the world have lacked the resources to maintain or replace them. We lack the resources to provide the basic services that we need in this modern society. Governments, like most people, must deal with the pain of choosing priorities in accordance with their financial abilities.
Why? Why? Why?
The resources exist to deal with these issues in a way that eases life and makes it more fair for everyone.
The weight of history, has over the centuries distributed some of the great wealth held by the few amongst the rest of the population. The 1% has counted on control of the military and political scenery to maintain this balance. In this modern world it is unlikely that this is the case. Instant mass communication depending on how it is used may be the saviour or the downfall of humankind.
But the scale is starting to tip the other way. The pressure on society to find another way to keep score and fairly manage resources will meet head-on with a deteriorating society. It is hard to imagine that the flow of history will be stopped.
But for the moment we live in a bizarre world. All but the privileged few, under financial pressure from governments to the people. Meanwhile 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth.