My wife and I went to a small meeting of people to pursue the American Dream. This is an off-shoot of Moveon.org and I don’t always go along with their statements. However, this turned out very well. There were about 15 people, two very young and the rest older, mostly retired.
I was struck by the number of people who had worked in various industries who had insider knowledge of the dirty tricks industries use. My own field was mental health; I worked in a psychiatric clinic as a therapist for 10 years. Others worked in banking, insurance, medical offices, and church offices. Very interesting. I’d like to see more people offer their experiences of what actually goes on regarding medications and health care, education, banking and mortgages, insurance, politics and legislation, and so on. The sudden prominence of Sully Sullenberger shined a light on the airline industry. It is that sort of thing.
Interestingly, all the older people in the group responded enthusiastically to a question about when this insane move to the right occurred, allowing the financial, profit-driven motives to overcome morals and laws, by yelling PATCO, the Reagan move against the air traffic controllers’ union. Reagan was our on-doing b/c we did nto stand up to him and the Republicans.
I say ’we’ but some of the people in the group were not committed Democrats. Two were immigrants living here over 30 years, one from Britain and one from Roumania. They had a lot to offer from the perspective of the systems they came out of. Others had personal challenges in their lives: family losing jobs, health, etc. One woman saw her 91 year old mother almost lose her medical care. One young woman in school did not see a future for herself in the way the country is running.
While everyone blamed Republicans, the Democrats and Obama came in for blame and criticism, too. What seemed to sum it up was the need for people who do not bring their personal religious beliefs into politics, and some there were quite religious, and who keep all Americans in mind rather than just those of a certain group or class. The older ones among us talked about how we cannot glorify the past but we do remember a time when Republicans were people we could talk to. Some members of the group had all Republican friends and family members and recounted the way they were completely taken in by the false accounts blasted out by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and all the nasties of the Right.
So we all determined to keep our group organized – we even gave ourselves a name – beyond this start-up meeting and to take specific action starting with a reach out to legislators tomorrow sponsored by The American Dream.