One Day You’re Gonna Wake Up …

One day you’re gonna wake up, America.
By David Michael Green

05/04/07 “ICH” — – And, like every other one since last you can remember, it’s gonna be an ugly morning.

One day you’re gonna wake up and go to your lousy job with its lousy salary and non-existent benefits. You might even remember the good job you once had. Or that the government you once supported gave tax breaks to companies like the one that exported that good job of yours to the Third World (which is what they’re now starting to call your country). Or that that same government undermined the labor unions which fought to get you your good wages and benefits.

One day you’re gonna wake up and be furious at the monstrous tax burden you are carrying, a tab which accounts for fifty of the seventy hours you must work each week just to eke by. You might even figure out why your tax bill is so high. You might remember that the government you once supported shifted the tax burden from the rich onto people like you, and from the taxpayers of the time onto those of today. And that they borrowed money in astonishing quantities to fund their sleight-of-hand, so that you work thirty hours a week just to pay the interest on a mountain of money borrowed decades ago.

One day you’re gonna wake up in anger at the absurdly poor education your children are receiving. You’re gonna remember that it wasn’t always that way, that even after the military’s voracious appetite was temporarily sated, your country still managed to find a few bucks to at least educate a workforce. No more. And you’re gonna remember how you applauded when your educational system was twisted in to a test taking industry that is careful, above all, not to teach children how to think.

One day you’re gonna wake up literally sick and tired. You’re gonna want treatment for your maladies but you won’t be able to touch the cost. You’re gonna wonder what you were thinking when believed your country had the best healthcare system in the world, even though it was the only advanced democracy in the world that didn’t provide universal care, even though it devoted fifty percent more of its economy than those other countries to pay for a system that left fifty million people uninsured, and even though there were massive layers of unnecessary and harmful private sector bureaucracy skimming hundreds of billions of dollars of profits out of the system in the name of free enterprise.

One day you’re gonna wake up too tired to go to work anymore. You’re gonna want to retire in dignity but will be left instead to laugh bitterly at the cruelty of that joke. And you’re gonna wonder what in the world you had been thinking voting for a president who’s primary goal was to allow Wall Street to raid Social Security, destroying what had once been considered the most successful domestic program in human history.

One day you’re gonna wake up and wish that it wasn’t so bloody hot, and that there weren’t so many diseases and species eradications and violent storms lashing the planet. And maybe you’ll even remember that you once supported a government that lied about the very existence of global warming – back when it might have been curtailed – a government that scuttled the barest remedy for the problem in order to protect oil company profits.

One day you’re gonna wake up and wish you had a government that could simply and competently do the basic things it was designed for. A government that could protect you from foreign attack, that could come to your rescue after a devastating hurricane, that could properly manage a new program or other people’s security. An administration that didn’t pervert the purpose of every agency within the government to its opposite, using civil rights lawyers to fight civil rights, for example, or the EPA to protect polluters.

Read it all here.

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