Recapturing what is lost
From far-left field this week came a new, short-lived exercise in absurdity, the Green New Deal. But even in its laughable, ambitious goals such as the great cow reduction plan, there is a reason to contemplate the value in such propositions.
We are living in a political field of dispatched dreams, with a president who has a dark view of America and his fellow Americans, who thrives in the activities of the night more than the glory of the sun. President Donald Trump is our daily reminder that humans are deeply flawed. And occasionally, beyond redemption.
This soul staining mood generates its power within the dozens of indictments of Trump’s associates, his resigned in disgrace cabinet officers, and the policies of an administration that thinks its best work has been separating children from their parents on our southern border.
In response, our politics have degenerated into camps of the miserable, arguing over the tentacles of despair at the latest tweet, the newest criminal charge or the latest disgusting despot to earn presidential praise.
We seem to have lost the propensity for hope. We certainly have forgotten the dialogue that drives a vibrant nation to lofty goals both as a society and for American as individuals. We no longer reach for the stars, unless it is a $250,000 four-minute ride into space at the whim of Richard Branson.
But there was a time, before the Trump dysphoria, when we built things, created things, imagined what was not until it became what was. We built great highways, made commercial air flight popular, rode rockets to the moon, and reached upward for such impossible projects as curing cancer and ending poverty.
We became the cop on the world beat, not for our own gain, but to encourage the world towards better lives for its people. We demonstrated by our actions how to partner with other nations, so that working together, trading together, we became friends more than enemies.
And then we abandoned all of that for division and dismissal.
Until now. Now, come the youngsters of politics, the wide-eyed millennials, the young newly-elected Democrats in Congress. They simply do not know that we are in the Dark Ages of America. And so, they bring us the ambitious goals of a time long past, wondering aloud how we can not just survive climate change, but how we might re-capture a leading path forward, where we befriend the environment, champion the dynamic American spirit of innovation, and re-invent our sources and methods of energy for good reasons and for profit.
They reached much too high with Green New Deal, flew too close to the sun on wings of wax, and made mistakes of proportion and practicality. But they reached…they reached…and America needs those who reach for the highest bar today. We need leaders who reach finally and attain health care for all; leaders who end the terrorism of Big Pharm and the prices that kill Americans; leaders that find ways to repair our crumbling infrastructure; leaders who will finally take back a Congress dominated by special interests in place of the interests of the American people.
Let us all learn from the new faces, let us recapture the big dream that has been America, where hopes and aspirations are not just individual, but for all of us together.
Dream on, dreamers — and take us with you.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.