Did you vote today? I hope you did. And I hope you voted unselfishly, with regard for those who may need benefits from some of the money our taxes provide, benefits like roads and schools, libraries and senior centers, veterans affairs and the troops in Afghanistan. We didn’t hear much about the war this election, did we?
We heard about “freedom.” I have to admit that I am a little confused. I try to imagine how I could be freer, but I find myself free to:lose all my money by spending it on stupid things. I am free to go wherever I want, and mingle with whomever I choose. I can start a new business, I can write this blog, and I drive coast-to-coast or get on a train from New York. I can buy a gun and learn to shoot it. Hey, I can go to the polls and vote. Sure, I pay taxes, and I grumble, because gee, it would be nice to take an expensive cruise instead of paying my taxes, but I don’t see their payment as a huge sacrifice. I can check any book out of the library or buy it from my local bookstore assuming it is still in business. Or load it onto my Kindle on Amazon. How am I not free?
There are voices screaming and hollering that I am not free, but au contraire, (sorry for the elitist expression) I am perfectly free. I can brew a cup of tea or coffee. I can buy one of those weird ying/yang drinks with booze and caffeine. Hell, I can manufacture them. How am I not free?
I don’t have to wear a veil or a dress or a hat. I am free to dress as stupidly as I please, like the people in downtown Boston when the temperature is low-forties and they wear shorts and flip-flops. We are all free.
I drove to East Germany when it was a Communist state and I could not throw a newspaper in a trashcan. That is Not Free.
We take public transportation and we notice that we are frequently the white minority when we are in the city. It doesn’t bother us. We are just happy when someone relinquishes his or her seat to the older couple en route to the symphony. Which we are free to attend or not.
Some people want to return to the 50’s, when this country had 55 million people and only white men, actually white upper and middle class men were granted the privileges that others dreamed of. Now, everyone has those privileges, and we have 155 million people and they are black and brown and yellow and red as well as white, and they all have a say in things. They, too, are free, and that apparently pisses some of us off.
Get over it. The fifties are gone and believe me, they weren’t that great anyhow. Unless, of course, you were white and upper or middle class. And a male WASP.
Most recipes called for canned mushrooms and lots of creamed soup. Yuck! That was the fifties.
And by the way, the founding fathers were radical thinkers, not conservatives. They were the kind of people who would make Tea Sips nervous if Tea Sips had a glimmer about history. How the hell did history get turned on its ear? Oh, I know. People watching TV and not reading. Read Thucydides. Read Herodotus. Read Jill Lepore. Read the Founding Fathers. They couldn't agree on anything.
Reading is so elitist, no? Could you read and understand your ballot? Thank your teachers. They are probably underpaid and over-worked.
Heed this: free enterprise brought us the housing bubble and the financial meltdown. Has everyone forgotten? Are you drinking too much of that alcohol/caffeine beverage?
Drink more tea. Real tea, made with loose tea leaves. Not tea bags. Heat up the pot. Make it right. Like they did in 1776. It’s invigorating. Of course, you are free to use instant tea and bags and all that weird flavored stuff that is today's equivalent of creamed soup mixes. You don't have to eat your vegetables, either. You are already free.