Article 25

Archive for June, 2016|Monthly archive page

Streetwise

In Uncategorized on 06/27/2016 at 2:21 pm

Let’s Give This a Try

By Gregory Flannery

 

Let’s build a wall to keep out immigrants.

 

Let’s ban all Muslims from our country.

 

Let’s tell people which bathrooms they must use, while claiming to oppose excessive government regulation.

 

Let’s make people who are dependent on public assistance take drug tests.

 

Let’s bomb the shit out of countries where terrorists live and see if that creates peace.

 

Let’s invade Afghanistan and see if we can conquer it within 15 years.

 

Let’s ban cruel and unusual punishment and then slowly poison convicts.

 

Let’s invade Iraq and see if we can conquer it within 13 years.

 

Let’s drop two atomic bombs on civilians and then see if we can convince other countries not to obtain atomic bombs.

 

Let’s see if we can lower taxes on rich people and thereby increase public resources for the commonweal.

 

Let’s hire a private company to manage water in Flint, Mich., the better to save money.

 

Let’s torture people and see if that persuades other counties to respect human rights.

 

Let’s convince Russia’s neighbors to join NATO and see if that country cares.

 

Let’s see how long it takes before the Brent Spence Bridge collapses into the Ohio River.

 

Let’s spend $100 million on streetcars in Cincinnati and see if that 60-year-old technology works better this time.

 

Let’s kick the poor and the homeless out of Over-the-Rhine.

 

Let’s claim that church and state are separate but not make church groups provide contraceptive coverage for employees that we make other employers provide.

 

Let’s claim we have the greatest health-care system in the world but not make it accessible to everyone, especially poor people.

 

Let’s all get guns, in order to make ourselves safer.

 

Let’s make marijuana illegal, so people can’t get it.

 

Let’s look for other life forms in the universe and see what happens when we succeed.

 

Let’s arrest people who expose our government’s crimes against humanity. We’re coming for you, Edward Snowden!

 

Let’s make trade deals that lower consumer protection and workers’ rights in our country and others. Let’s call it “free trade.”

 

People marvel that Donald Trump is the likely Republican nominee for president of the United States.

Trump’s greatest asset is that he appeals to people’s basest instincts – greed, the love of power, fear of the other. This is, of course, the great risk of democracy. Do we expect the most popular music to be the best music? Do we expect the most popular food to be the best food? Do we expect the most popular candidate to be the best candidate?

Democracy is the only fair way to govern, but it is a wretched way, and exhortations for everyone to vote are not without peril. Do you believe the majority of your neighbors to be good judges of character and fitness for office? How many of your neighbors would you want on a jury if you were on trial?

 

I have watched a lot of documentaries about the Nazi era, because it is such an important part of human history. I agree with those who say any comparison of contemporary politicians with Adolf Hitler is irresponsible: He was unique. I am therefore not comparing Trump to Hitler, except in this regard. I recently watched Trump give a speech on TV, but with the sound off, not wanting to wake family members. His wild gesticulations instantly brought to mind Hitler’s speeches on those black and white newsreels. Also, Hitler, like Trump, had weird hair.

 

Let’s elect a horse’s ass for president of the most heavily armed country in the world and see how that goes.

 

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