American Dream Rulebook Revised…

An older white man, who attends my church, left multiple copies of a document on the table where the adult Sunday School meets that outlines how an older white man may feel in America today.  Because of his beliefs, the author of this outline of statements believes that others see him as a racist, fascist, homophobe, traitor to the working class, infidel, member of the gun lobby, useless old man, reactionary, xenophobe, right-wing extremist, anti-socialist,  and militant.  In it, he pleads for others to help him come to terms with the new him, because he is just not sure who he is anymore because of all the abrupt and new-found changes in his life and thinking.  He doesn’t know what happened.

What happened is that the rules have changed!  The American Dream use to mean that a white male would easily get a job and follow the rules and be either equally or more than well-off then his parents in supporting his family.  But then, accelerated technological change, globalism, gender and minority equality and immigration changed the playing field.  Good paying entry-level jobs are either few and far between or no longer available.   White men feel betrayed by the failure of the promise of the American Dream that they grew up believing in.  And they are angry!

Some angry white men tend to blame feminists, gender equality, minorities, immigrants and LGBT people for their current situation (which partly explains their allegiance to Trumpism’s racism and misogyny), rather than the plutocracy that has overtaken our democracy.  The plutocracy is now enjoying massive tax cuts, while labor unions have been dismantled eliminating the power of collective bargaining.

A similar situation happened after the stock market crash in 1929.  Unemployed men became angry and Franklin Delano Roosevelt responded with the New Deal in 1932.  This legislation worked from the bottom up by implementing substantial government spending to put people back to work.  Conversely, Donald Trump is responding with a trickle down method that has proven not work over the last 30 years.  Trickle down only enriches the few while impoverishing everyone else.

We need legislators who support repairing infrastructure, public education, job training, and affordable healthcare for all, not those who support massive tax cuts that result in stock buybacks that only enrich CEOs and stockholders.  We need a fair and honest government for all.  Focus your righteous anger in the right direction rather than at the people who are in the same boat with you.