Here's the thinking that underlies the poem posted two days ago:
With visceral pain I watch the daily erosion of our government, the willful decimation of leadership and expertise in the Energy and State Departments, the curtailing of National monuments, violation of our natural preserves. Governed by a blustering liar who came to power thanks to fake news and the machinations of the Russians, our country has slipped from its pinnacle of world leadership and become an actively disruptive force in the world. The American Century is long past. We can only hope that our institutions are sufficiently flexible to allow us to regain our democracy in the future.
We have, of course, been slipping for decades: faith in market economy and the removal of campaign finance restrictions has resulted in increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, erosion of the Middle Class, a large disaffected sector victimized by mechanization and the moving of industries abroad. The failure of education to retrain those displaced by job loss and improve their lives lead to disaffection and created the climate for an iconoclast like Trump.
I was born when FDR was President. Under his leadership government assumed responsibility for getting us out of the Great Depression. Free marketers and anti-statists, will you please tell me what was wrong with that approach?
There are times when the public interest requires government intervention. The rich are not worthier than the rest of us and not smarter either. They simply focus on the accumulation of wealth and on making the system work for them, while others focus on other interests. And that has been at the expense of fundamental ideals of democracy.
What happened to the notion of “the Good Society” in which a “Liberal Education” --meaning an education that gave one a broad overview of science, math, history, culture, political systems-- equipped each person for responsible citizenship? When it seemed too onerous to include knowledge of Africa and Asia in addition to Western traditions, a smorgasboard approach replaced it. As a result we have have lost the common denominator essential to understanding the world and specialize only in what piques our interest-- the "silo-ization " of knowledge. We no longer communicate effectively across these divides.
So what will save us these days?