We the people are no more. We have failed ourselves and our country. It is your fault and mine. What happens henceforth remains to be seen.
We are desperate to be faster and smarter, skinnier and prettier, funnier and more successful than everyone else. We are desperately trying to find any job or find a better job. We are desperately trying to avoid collectors' phone calls and to fix our over-priced cars and our sub-par credit. We desperately refinance or foreclose on homes we can't afford. We desperately struggle with outrageous medical bills and overseas customer service reps. We desperately escape into other people's lives on TV while we desperately divest ourselves of any responsibility for our well being, or others'. We desperately descend into depression and divorce, drugs and debauchery. We desperately cheat, lie and steal on our taxes and our lovers. We are Americans and we are desperate.
Section I: Don't Shoot the Messenger
I discovered long ago that if the person across from you isn't credible, interesting and approachable, there's no way in hell you will: A) Want to have a conversation with them; B) Listen to a word they say; or C) Seriously even consider their opinion. And we all know what they say about opinions, so why should you listen to mine?
I'm a twice-married white woman raised in a mid-western Catholic household. My Irish-American father is a life-long member of the NRA and a proud Vietnam Veteran. He was also a unionized railroad worker for two and a half decades. My mother is a Hungarian immigrant that came to America (legally) in 1956 at age ten. She learned English quickly and believed that America was the land of opportunity and that voting was a solemn duty. She worked two jobs and put herself through nursing school while my dad was laid off. They both voted for Reagan. They both voted for Obama. My late uncle was a homosexual doctor that died of AIDS and my only brother-in-law is serving life in prison.
I dropped out of college, waited a lot of tables, then drove a truck for about thirteen years. Let me tell you, when you spend that long crisscrossing every corner of the country, you see it all. I have seen astonishing acts of both bravery and cowardice. I've felt shock and awe while viewing mother nature's fury, man's violence and random acts of kindness. Over two million miles of road have exposed me to the best and worst of our citizenry and I've pretty much seen it all and done half of what I've seen.
I have visited jail and been visited in jail; I've bounced checks, over-borrowed and been fired; been in a few fistfights and more than a few catfights. I know what it's like to realize I've screwed up and I know what it's like to try and fix the things I broke (including my heart and my credit score). I traveled alone to China to bring home my only daughter, then quit a great job for the love of a great man who happens to be Hispanic. I plunged back into debt to get more educated to supposedly get a higher paying job. I have student loans but no steady employment. The point is, I'm just like you. We have a lot of things in common and there are probably a lot of things we disagree on; that's ok. Just keep in mind as you read along that I'm not some "Right-wing nut job" or some "Liberal weenie." I respect others' differing points of view and try to see both sides of every debate. I am not trying to change your mind, your politics, your sexual orientation or your religious beliefs (or lack thereof). If that's what you think this manifesto is about then I recommend you tune in to MSNBC or Fox or go buy a book from Bachmann or Barak.
Section II: How did we get to this point?