FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In the Ground

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

In 2009, my son went to Washington, DC. He was among hundreds of thousands swept to excitement by an unprecedented moment. I discouraged—didn’t want him on the road. Probably, had I been his age, 22, I’d have driven all night, too. It was one hell of a party.

On election night, 2008, a weeping Jesse Jackson was captured on film, his tears reflecting history’s sadness and future’s possibilities.

Festivities were heard around the world.

The party’s long been over for all but the uber-wealthy.

I am remembering Michelle Obama on the campaign trail, her admission and the criticism she took when she said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” She prefaced this with, “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics.

So many were expecting the change of which she spoke to be an improvement for the middle class and working poor.

So many were expecting a departure from the Bush/Cheney economic tyranny, militarism, imperialism, contempt for The Other, torture, and environmental devastation.

And then the excuses:

“He inherited a mess.”

“He needs more time.”

These tired justifications must be put to sleep.

Because we have seen the circus of the absurd, the standup tragedians, much emoting about entitlement programs, a president offering more to the shredder than was asked, and little mention of the costs of war, the number of countries with which we’re at war, and the trillions in stimulus money distributed to the personhoods responsible for toxins in the bundles.

The entitlement program needing the most excision is Bailing out the Banksters, corporate welfare, not safety nets that protect the most vulnerable.

Still left to manipulate is extension of Bush-era tax cuts (set to expire at the end of 2012) that hugely benefit those who hold black American Express cards. Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are concerned that Obama may entice with hope and change, something from his pre-oath, transformational phase, to salvage his reputation, galvanize a progressive base, and use as leverage for less slicing and dicing of liberal priorities.

Don’t count on this.

The middle class is dying. Inequality is thriving. Obama is owned by Wall Street. Congress is owned by Wall Street. The system is working exactly as big capital dictates.

This is the New World Order.

The opportunists have erased all that early revelry, planned by the people, to celebrate the land of opportunity. Never again should young and old alike feel that inexorable rush of anticipation, compelling them to go, to travel to Washington, DC, in honor of someone whose pre-presidency promises seem trustworthy.

The “different kind of politics” about which Michelle Obama swooned is nada, zip. And the tear that rolled down Jesse Jackson’s face is a symbol of what could have been and isn’t. Hope has been laid to rest—the American dream lowered in the ground.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Reach her at missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
Vijay Prashad
After Aleppo: the State of Syria
John Wight
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier
Rob Urie
Meet the Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs
Eric Sommer
U.S.-China War: a Danger Hidden from the American People
Andrew Levine
Are Democrats Still the Lesser Evil?
Linda Pentz Gunter
What’s Really Behind the Indian Point Nuclear Deal?
Robert Fantina
Trucks, ‘Terror’ and Israel
Richard Moser
Universal Values are Revolutionary Values
Russell Mokhiber
Build the Bagdikian Wall: “Sponsored News” at the Washington Post
Yoav Litvin
Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats’ Game of Thrones
David Rosen
Return of the Repressed: Trump & the Revival of the Culture Wars
Robert Koehler
War Consciousness and the F-35
Rev. William Alberts
The New Smell of McCarthyism Demands Faith Leaders Speak Truth to Power
John Laforge
Federal Regulator Halts Move to Toughen Radiation Exposure Limits
Norman Pollack
Farewell Address: Nazification of Hope
David Swanson
Imagine the Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Peace
CJ Hopkins
Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Still Works
Ron Jacobs
Striking in Reagan Time
Missy Comley Beattie
The Streep
Graham Peebles
Climate Change: The Potential Impacts of Collective Inaction
Uri Avnery
Confessions of a Megalomaniac
Kenneth Worles
Black Without a Home: King’s Dream Still Deferred
Geoff Dutton
The Russian Patsy
Jill Richardson
The Coming War on Regulations
Jeremy Brecher
Resisting the Trump Agenda is Social Self-Defense
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail