While watching the news on TV lately, I think of Grandma. Esther Clara had definite opinions about everything and politics was no exception. Or maybe I should say ESPECIALLY politics. Grandma would be shocked to know that nothing much ever changes where politics are concerned. The government is so deep in debt that the Depression years seem like a picnic. 70-plus years ago she said, "How could the brightest, richest country in the world get itself and its people into such a pickle?" She'd be repeating that mantra today.
The Medicare D confusion is ongoing. A tiny handful of politicians say that everyone should have the same insurance our congressmen and senators have. Grandma and Grandpa would have had fiery debates about that!! Decades ago they both believed a stern lesson in setting priorities was in order for our government and the world. They'd be even more adamant about that today while hearing of cuts to Veterans, education, social programs for children, Social Security, or health care. To quote one of their favorite discussions: "Herb wasn't one to argue, but he could get riled up about what he saw as injustice. We both found it curious and disturbing that our government can't find the money to benefit veterans and education, but seems to find a few stray billion dollars to funnel overseas. And those same elected politicians who say our government is going broke funding social programs, well, Herb was of the mind that they have a nice social program of their own going. Politicians have the power to vote themselves the best health care, wages and benefits, regardless of what the voters think. And once they have it, they sure don't ever let go."
I love our country as my Grandma and Grandpa did before me, but the nice thing about living in America is that we can say what we think. I tend to agree with Esther Clara's philosophy: "We live in a wonderful country. I've seen our growing pains transform themselves over time into positive changes. But I do think our government's priorities are out of line. My thought has always been that the value of our citizens and taxpayers cannot be measured in money or words. The citizens who fought our wars, paid taxes, and raised the current generation of taxpayers were forced to set priorities, and elected officials should be measured by the same yardstick. Our personal budget was not limitless, and politicians should not be living like tax money grows on trees."
Thus sayeth Esther Clara, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, citizen, and taxpayer. She and Grandpa Herb were working class patriots. They proudly posted one star in their window during W.W. 1 and two stars during W.W. 2. They raised Victory Gardens, bought war bonds, and cooperated with rationing during two wars. But they did not always agree with the politics involved in government decision making. They were not bashful about spouting their opinions. So as I watch the news each day, I find it frightening that the scenarios they fussed about decades ago are more firmly entrenched than ever today.
All quotes taken from Grandma's memoir, My Name is Esther Clara.