Politics used to be called the art of the possible, but these days our politics is all about the impossible isn't it?
It's impossible to get or keep your health care, it's impossible to build or buy a house, it's impossible to enact some sensible gun legislation, it's impossible to stop the endless mass shootings (there were more mass killings in 2019 than at any time in decades).
Sixty percent of the American population may support background checks on all gun sales but it never happens because the political will to do so simply does not exist in the Republican party.
The pressure over political survival and incumbency has pushed Congress and the Senate into a state of near gridlock that is threatening democracy itself.
Clearly this isn't an age of miracles. I don't suppose that I can magically change your mind about the direction this country is now going in if your mind is already made up. But I can ask you this, do you feel like the American Dream is still a thing?
Look around. Millennials can't afford to buy houses. They don't have job security. They don't have savings. They don't have unions. They don't have pensions. Homeownership is a complete nonstarter for a whole generation of them in the endless gig economy in which they work and live.
Some people will point to the current stock market and the low unemployment rate as if they were proof of our enviable economic progress. They are no such thing. Most young people work in jobs that fall far outside of the two fabulous tech bubbles on either coast, far away from employment opportunities that have only siloed the nation and created parallel economies that never overlap.
For the few it's the best of times, for the many it's the worst.
Something feels increasingly broken in America. The economy can clearly no longer provide for the dreams and aspirations of most young people, who will be forced to grow into old age now (the average lifespan here is falling now, not rising) in a nation where they will never know the kind of economic security that their predecessors took for granted.
Something was truly broke when in the days of the George W. Bush administration we were misled into war based on false claims and then later saw the market collapse.
Working Americans saw their 401(k)s vanish in a puff of smoke, then saw their home values free fall. Finally, they saw what was left of their job security disappear. Millions faced foreclosure on their homes and immediate financial ruin, with no federal bailouts in sight.
But Wall Street walked through all those raindrops being too big to fail, they emerged unscathed from the disaster they had themselves unleashed, and then the Fed underwrote their expansion.
Seeing all that has led to a level of cynicism and quiet anger that has profoundly changed our understanding of where we live and who we really are.
These days if your kids don't have jobs in the (increasingly) private sector you probably fear for their future. These days student loans lead to student debt that can follow them around like a waking nightmare for the rest of their days, far outstripping any initial investment they once made.
Meanwhile, minorities in this country are telling us a sobering story about the growing threats of violence they are facing. There has been a record rise in antisemitism, homophobia, violence against women and racism in the past few years.
It's what happens when the holder of the highest office in the land starts to call migrants rapists, or cages innocent children, or openly discriminates in law against whole communities of vulnerable Americans, and allows verified white nationalists to draft our government policies.
Maybe you think this nation can stand four more years of this kind of violent rupture. Maybe you think the historic tax cuts given to billionaires, and that will be paid for by your kids, is a trade-off that you can afford.
But can you remember a time when our president sent out daily tweets calling his opponents “human scum” or led entire football stadiums in ugly chants against his enemies, like a latter-day Roman Emperor in a Colosseum?
How long do you think all that ugliness can go on before we end up another brutal and divided place like the original Roman Empire? Remember where that Empire ultimately led, to a new Dark Age.
It's your choice.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section, below.