Fixing up the old house

It seems like America has lost its sense that problems should be fixed. It is like an old house with a leaky roof and paint peeling. Half the people say, “leave it as it is.” Another quarter or so say, “what if we make a mistake picking out the paint?” or whatever.

The reason we are like this is that our government made a wrong turn after 9/11. Instead of treating it like a law enforcement issue–as in the first WTC bombing–the response was turned into a “War on Terror.” Since there is no country called “Terror” it turned out to be a War on Something We’re Not Quite Sure of But We Have Strong Feelings Anyway. It fanned hatred of an entire religion, allowed us to accept anything from the government, and scared us into laying low.

Now some people think we can’t try the criminals involved. What’s that about? Do we stand by our system of justice or not? Do we trust that everything humanly possible will be done to keep NYC safe ? Isn’t it just the perfect statement about being a nation of laws?

The new administration is pushing through a healthcare bill. Imagine that everyone will be able to just go to the doctor when they need to–well, not exactly, that’s single payer… but something close to that. You can go to the doctor for the copay. If you can’t afford health insurance, there’s help. Medicaid will be increased by 50%. We show the kind of compassion and care that we always thought we could.

And CO2 emissions will be managed. Instead of polluting without care (to benefit the energy companies) we use a market solution to provide incentives for companies to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the dangers of climate change.

Then there were the more immediate benefits of the new administration–like ending torture and passing the fair pay act. Of course, I would have liked to see a turnaround in the use of contractors in the armed forces and a more creative approach to the Afghanistan morass but it all doesn’t have to happen at once.


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