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I have been thinking for a while that America is his own worst enemy. [Yes, “his” is intentional.] We have, from the beginning been a country focused on self-centered, elitist, careless, and cruel action. We began the colonization of this land with a genocide of the Indigenous people who were here before our arrival. We continued to build negative Karma with the enslavement of Blacks who we imported to create and build our economy. Throughout our history we abused and tortured many waves of Immigrants, each group having to prove themselves worthy, typically by waiting until a next group arrived to take their place in the chain of victimization.

I imagine it could be different…

A recent article by Matt Taibbi really spoke to the nature of America as a War Nation.

“Trump’s decisions on Syria and Afghanistan will lay bare the real distinctions in American politics. Political power in this country is not divided between right and left, and not even between rich and poor.

The real line is between a war party, and everyone else.”

~ Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

And it’s true, we are the Arms Dealer to the World and we are responsible for much of the destruction and devastation on this planet. It’s how we became the big boy on the street and how we finance much of our economy. It’s also sadly how we spend most of our tax dollars.

Image result for defense as a portion of US spending

I long for the days of Dennis Kucinich and his talk of a Department of Peace. Imagine if we took all the money we spend on “defense” and war and instead spent it on infrastructure, health, education, living wages, and PEACE!

Dan and I visited the Rabideau Civilian Conservation Corps Camp this past fall. It was interesting to read the stories of how the camp began, was supported, and functioned. Housing for able-bodied men was built and training was supplied by under/unemployed locals with skills. These men would provide for themselves and do projects in the Chippewa National Forest from surveying and building roads to wildlife protection and forestry. There was also a less successful version for women. Perhaps this visit was one of the events that got me to thinking that there must be a way to make some kind of program that would accomplish these tasks in today’s world.

We have an available unemployed population and a lack of jobs for these individuals. And we have an abundance of aging retirees with skills to share… and often nothing very productive to do with their time. We have a tremendous need for infrastructure development. We have a need for caregivers for every age group from children to elderly, with much of them in need of housing and food. We have a need for equipping people with skills that can be useful to them in creating value for themselves, their families, and their communities.

If we created an opportunity, we would find many willing, or simply desperate enough, to come work for room and board and a small stipend. God knows there are migrants at the border seeking asylum and we could provide for them as well as our own citizens.

What if we built a system of renewable energy that allowed us to completely divest from the dirty fossil fuel industry? What if we helped do this in other countries too? Would they not hate us then? It certainly would do much for our mitigation of the climate change that appears to be making our planet less and less livable.

What if we built tiny houses for our homeless? Or better yet, assured everyone had equal access to resources so we didn’t create a situation where people become homeless? [Interesting to see how Canada differs from the US in causes of homelessness. Even the way the information is presented seem to show our cultural differences.]

What if we assured that all children had books instead of a parent who is gone from home as a soldier overseas? [Interesting, when I went to Google how many children had parents “in the service” many links pop up for children who have a parent who is incarcerated. While this is another concern we could likely fix with a focus on positive rather than negative, the information I found on military was largely out of date or vague… but this was interesting…]

Our soldiers and our unemployed, and their families, could all be made whole as we focused on positive COOPERATION and BUILDING rather than negative KILLING and DESTRUCTION. And our citizens would be happier if we were all able to make a living wage.

This could be what the Green New Deal brings us. A focus on building positive things and a moving away from negative forces. Consideration of the people who have been straddled with the waste and pollution of our energy and manufacturing and then evening the playing field for their well-being. Realizing that everything in interconnected and solving problems requires a team that considers this complexity.

And I’m sure there could be a Smart Healthy New Deal that could deal with healthcare systems and education elements.

But then, I’m a socialist. While I think most of us are if we really think about it – I mean, who doesn’t like public roads, schools, libraries, fire stations, and Americans’ favorite… Social Security – capitalism has taken over by and large and perhaps it’s not possible in today’s America.

I’m not sure we have the ability to get there at present. Americans are too busy just trying to make ends meet to even consider WHY they can’t make ends meet and what could be different to make that not so. Americans are too forgetful, just hearing the atrocities of the day and then going on with making dinner and watching television. And Americans are too arrogant to admit that they might have done anything wrong and so see no need to apologize for their past misdeeds, often blaming a previous generation while not realizing our current generation is creating its own misdeeds, even if only due to ignorance and leaving the current system of power in place.