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[personal profile] karlht

America is a country that needs war to sustain its economy and hate to nourish its pride.

-- Ed Turner, the only black faculty member at UC Davis, April 5, 1968.

Less than three months after George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001, I lost my job and the only hope I ever had of achieving the so-called American Dream. The past three and a half years have been hard-scrabble, punctuated by periods where I couldn't afford to go to the doctor because I was uninsured, where I have abandoned physical therapy because I couldn't afford it, leading to what may well be a lifelong impairment, where savings that was intended to go for the down payment on a house was instead committed to keeping my family fed and housed, and the one windfall from the Clinton years swallowed up by the very same tax code that gave billons of dollars in tax cuts to people far wealthier than I. Not only am I not better off now than I was four years ago, I very much doubt that I will ever be able to make up the difference. I have gone from being able to support my family of four single-handedly and comfortably to watching all of the adults in my household take $10-or-less jobs in an effort to keep the house over our heads.

I fully expect another four years of this treatment to defeat me utterly -- I quite literally do not expect to survive it. This is not to say that I will not fight, with all of my heart and soul. For my family, my friends, my loved ones, I must do that much -- but I am breaking inside, and I can feel it. I can no longer afford to be ill, but I am pushing my body to the point where it is clearly communicating to me that it will not take much more.

That sound you hear is yet another formerly-middle-class American falling through the cracks. There will be more of me, as the social safety net frays and disintegrates, and sooner or later, long before you expect it, one of them will be you.

This is what happens when you elect people with no conscience, no empathy, no ability to put themselves in another's shoes. You get imperialism and hubris and policies made up of flights of fantasy with no conception of their human costs.

America will remain at war in Iraq to sustain its economy, to enrich the defence contractors and the ruling cabal's cronies. And oh, the pride. Down with the queers! Down with the Muslims! Down with those filthy peace activists! America for Americans! And we will tell you who the real Americans are. And you will hate who we tell you to hate. And you will be proud to hate them.

Ed Turner died in the early 1970's, after a long and tortured struggle with the culture of which he never quite managed to be a part. I do not intend to follow the same path. But I feel, tonight, more than I have ever felt in my life, the truth of the words he spoke on the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-03 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chipuni.livejournal.com
*hugs you*

*wishes he could do something for you*

(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-03 09:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djinneth.livejournal.com
What a well written, concise plea for understanding.

Hold on, Mr. Karl. We surely don't want to lose you and things WILL get better. You'll see 10 more presidents in your time, and one of them will do the trick.


(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-03 09:40 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-03 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marcyss.livejournal.com
I miss you Karl. I've been worried about you, now I'm worried even more. I've been wanting to see you for a long time now. You're a good friend, dammit. I wish I could help, I know I cannot. I'm not even sure where to e-mail you just to stay in contact.

A friend should always try to be there for their friends.
I feel bad- I don't think I've tried to find out how you are in a long time. Karl- hang in there. I didn't (never did) vote for the kook in office right now- and i'm sad to see it didn't look like it mattered.

I hope that someday soon I'll be able to visit you and give you a big hug. Miss you.

(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-03 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lothie.livejournal.com
*squeeze* Thinking of you.

Honor and friendship...

Date: 2004-11-03 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guardian-tiger.livejournal.com
I knew back when this war thing started it would be bad for us all. As a country, and as people. Now my friends lie scattered, the future looks dark and grim, and I can but only look on.

It is in these times that those who truly care are ground asunder as they strive to do whatever is necessary for those they love. And the tears them asunder as they do all that they can, forever losing a part of themselves to do the right thing.

Yet if we strive, if we care enough, do enough, we will all make it through. Perhaps not the same, not as whole, be we WILL make it! You just have to believe that there is a future, and do all that you can to make it there.

For one of my greatest friends who gives the most of himself, I wish you well.


(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-04 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frampton.livejournal.com
I'm so sorry things have been going like this for you -- we haven't been in good touch, and I didn't realize how it was. I hope there are friends out there to help you as they can.

I wish I could say I find anything bright in Tuesday's election, but I can't. America seems to just hate everything I practice in my life, and at work I'm quite the token Democrat. I even had a coworker, who I'd never 'come out' politically to, say, "You're a nice guy, even if you are a Democrat." He was joking, but it just shows me what an alien I am in a county that voted 75 percent for Bush.

Take care of yourself, and let others take care of you as they can, Karl. I can't say more but I'll offer you and everyone there what good thoughts Tami and I have.

(no subject)

Date: 2004-11-04 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elenabtvs.livejournal.com
I don't understand - I literally have no idea - how the average American manages to, well, live.

But, then again, I think that it's disgusting to have to pay money to see a doctor.