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

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail