Remember yesterday, how I mentioned that just looking at the news is difficult for me?
Well, here's a great example; from today's "Lawyers, Guns & Money" roundup of labor news. A neat little package of despair in six inches of tidy 11-point Arial type.
This is exactly the sort of thing I mean; this is what's so damn deadly depressing. A functioning republic depends on, well, small-r republicans. It depends on a citizenry that is engaged in the business of self-government, has the information to conduct that business intelligently and in their own best interests (and to know what those interests are), and has the confidence, means, and opportunity enough to speak up and act.
And that, in turn, depends on those citizens being well-enough-off and secure enough in their livelihoods to be all the above.
A servile wage-slave that may be canned for any excuse or no excuse at all, who is one paycheck away from genuine poverty, who has to cling to his or her boss' favor or face penury and disaster is not really a "citizen" in any real sense. While they may not be a literal slave they have little more power than one. While they may be "free" in technical terms that "freedom" means nothing more than the freedom to starve if they run afoul of the powerful people who really matter in an oligarchic United States.
So if I was an oligarch I would be all in favor of making American's jobs' less lucrative, more insecure, more difficult and dangerous, and more scarce.
The real question I can't answer is; why would anyone else be in favor of this?
And yet, that has been the great arc of our nation over the past forty years, nearly the whole of my life.
Why? Why the hell would anyone who genuinely believed in the Republic, who truly believed in We the People AS the sovereign of the Republic, sit idly by and let that happen? Are foolish and petty fulminations over silly bits of trivia like firearms, abortion, gays, burning flags, and pointless foreign wars, is the craving for cheap imported plastic crap, so fucking crucial to people's lives as to make these people - who are not likely to benefit from the destruction of the free citizenry - embrace this destruction?
I cannot come to any other conclusion, and yet that conclusion is profoundly grim.