Imagine a ship filled with passengers and crew, an adequate vessel owned by a wealthy, respected maritime corporation.
The ship fairly capably sails for a long time, and passengers and crew are mostly satisfied. But, unbeknownst to the passengers and the lower-ranking, least respected crew members—those who do the grungy grunt work—things are drastically changing.
Instead of plotting the course, the officers, including previous Captains, have spent a lot of time plotting how to have better accommodations and more control, at the expense of both passengers and the “non-essential” crew. This top-down systemic mutiny doesn’t happen with one swing of the sword, but as a gradual, noticeable change in the way things happen and how the ship's supplies are divvied up.
Soon it becomes apparent that because of the redistribution of space and materials, something has to give. With little fanfare, lowest ranking crew gets tossed overboard; then passengers, the least-affluent, up through the ranks. Finally, only the elite members of the crew remain and a handful of very lucky, and very wealthy, passengers who were able to buy their safety.
To say operations became dysfunctional is an understatement. Despite the need for crew and passengers for balance, the ship kept churning, although in erratic circles. Without adequate sailors and crew, the ship hits a hidden shoal, seriously damaging its hull. Abandon ship! Anarchy reigns....
The good ship USA is off course. Alienation is the norm. Thrashing, desperate former ship occupants and crew scramble to get on the lifeboats as the USS USA starts to list further to the right. The elite passengers and crew struggle to repel the invaders. With incredible help from the waterlogged masses, a new Captain, determined to rescue the ousted passengers and crew, fights his way on board and makes his way to the top deck.
Take the above analogy and apply it to the current health care debate, or affordable housing/homelessness issues, racism, sexism, fair wages, environment, or any conundrum between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”
We're at a time in our country's history when more people are disenfranchised than ever. Homelessness among families, teens and single adults has blown off the charts. Poverty is spreading like wildfire thanks to those who schemed to gain control of even more money and power by sabotaging national and global economic engines.
Don't tell me that we CAN'T improve things. We can't afford to fail. Remember, we've managed to make progress on many essential issues, but every time we crawl onto the lifeboat we let some big brute stomp on our fingers and kick us off.
Seems to me that the only hope is for a strong voice of reason to be heard above the cacophonous cries of the self-interested mutineers. They need to walk the plank. Captain Obama and the masses need to get our mass-asses together and kick some ass. We may have to out-mutiny the mutineers....
NOTE: The New York Times ran a powerful op-ed column about poverty by Barbara Eherenreich, one of my s-heroes. It's worth reading, pondering and sharing! DDN