The Smoker and the Cake

How do you change someone when they have zero interest in being changed?  Take the smoker.  Back in the day smoking was good for all, for athletes, pregnant women, men in the bedroom alike.  We know this not to be true.  Smoking slows athletes down, affects the embryo and causes erectile dysfunction.  Yet, still smokers smoke and deny the science and logic behind it that’s written on the box or spoken to them by younger usually loved ones.

American politics and the system it has birthed has the same path.  It was supposed to be good for all people providing access to education, healthcare and voting as a tool to create change.  What we have learned is that the system was flawed to begin with.  The education was only good for the rich and white.  Healthcare was only available to those who could afford it and voting was controlled by those with great wealth and the system was designed to be legally biased towards the candidate teh system would benefit from.  

Just like with smoking, we are waking up how flawed and wrong the system is and in some ways blaming the smoker.  The smoker’s main problem is their resistance to change.  They got on a path, became a smoker and are reticent to change.  They have habits and rituals that they enjoy and don’t want to give up.  The cigarette manufacturer does nothing to help them, they just enjoy the fruits of the smokers addiction in the form of income.

Apply the same thought process to the American system.  Many people like it for what it is because they built their lives around it and enjoy the habits and rituals that have developed from it, things like hallmark holiday and American football and baseball.  The system itself wants more people to buy in.

Unfortunately, to buy in takes capital that many do not have and those who do have, don’t quite understand what it’s like to have the system working against you no matter which direction you go.  All of us have had a bad day here and there but imagine a bad life where the cards are stacked against you.  That’s how more and more people feel everyday.

After HRC lost and Berners were blamed, Bernie Sanders and his movement rallied to become a force to be reckoned with. They created a grassroots movement, including those the system disenfranchised and failed, that could compete with the machines of the GOP and the DNC.  Not Me US were on track for  the win.

Enter COV,the loss of logic and the blue light on the wall illustrating how the system was willingly stacked against those who were marginalized by it.  

Most people live paycheck to paycheck because most people don’t make a lot of money and America is expensive and a country designed to spend money in.  Of course people drank beer, bought cell phones and cars instead of saving every penny.  The economy wouldn’t have survived otherwise.  Obama said the only way out of the recession was to spend like we did before the recession. So in many living paycheck to paycheck is American.  It just doesn’t take into account a rainy day let alone a rainy year.

2020 sucks.  The worst president in history is president during the most difficult time in history.  It’s easy to see the math here so it is no surprise that during the first true global pandemic having Trump as president was a challenge to begin with.  He forgoes logic science and advice from other nations on how to handle a deadly airborne infectious disease.  For all extensive purposes he is shooting from this hip daily which we are reminded quite frequently by his rants and ravings in the press room and on Twitter.

But is THE problem or just A problem.  My opinion is clear in this.  He is A problem but I think where we would still  be where we are today if HRC had been elected.  COV would have still tanked the economy.  Tensions would have still risen.  Conservatives would still have fought the science and the lockdown.  The 7T bailout would still have gone to the corporations leaving the marginalized up shit’s creek.

I have no reason to believe that HRC would have passed legislation providing the citizens of our nation medical care for all or a universal basic income for the duration of the pandemic.  So in a sense no matter who was at the helm when COV hit, on May 25th, 2020 George Floyd would have still have crossed path with Derek Chauvin and Derek would still have committed murder.

I don’t condone the violence, I accept it as part of the moment but I will tell you this, violence without purpose is a waste of time, energy and life.  WIth a purpose can come from its ashes great change and great hope.  Now is the time to plan for that by making it clear that the policies of Bernie need to be the laws of the land for all.

Anyone who does not believe in this path is still a smoker and unwilling to change. The system is broken and needs fixing.  Yes, for some the change may be more difficult than for others.  So be it.  Life is not easy.  It never was.  The American middle class has had a good run and for those that the system supported, life was easy.  Those days are behind us.  Now is the time to plan and prepare for a different future that in my hope starts with UBI, M4A and free higher education for all.  Welcome to America.

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