Sat last night with four guys sipping whiskey late into the night talking politics. We're mystified how anyone could vote for the awful orange liar, but mostly discussed how Democrats should support a simple proposition: It should be just a little easier for all Americans to realize economic security. We weren't talking about wealth. Every one of us has kids who are about to go to college. We just want to be able to make that happen without burdening them with crushing debt. None of us feel like we can make that happen. This is a huge part of what's wrong with our country.
One guy referred to an Aaron Sorkin West Wing episode in which a character suggests things should be a little easier:
I never imagined at $55,000 a year, I'd have trouble making ends meet. And my wife brings in another 25. My son's in public school. It's no good. I mean, there's 37 kids in the class, uh, no art and music, no advanced placement classes. Other kids, their mother has to make them practice the piano. You can't pull my son away from the piano. He needs teachers. I spend half the day thinking about what happens if I slip and fall down on my own front porch, you know? It should be hard. I like that it's hard. Putting your daughter through college, that's-that's a man's job. A man's accomplishment. But it should be a little easier. Just a little easier. 'Cause in that difference is... everything. I'm sorry. I'm, uh, I-I'm Matt Kelley.
Matt apologizes because it's unseemly to complain in America. If you're not succeeding, you haven't worked hard enough. That's the National Anthem of our economic country.
The Democrats' message must be relentlessly positive and absolve Matt Kelley, my friends, and me of guilt. The message must be that if we work hard and save honestly, the game will be made more fair for us and, more importantly, for our children. Every human being in this country deserves a fair chance of reaching for the American dream, no apologies necessary.
Democrats don't need to oppose the tribe of liars across the aisle. They need only work toward restoring fairness, demanding equity, and helping us provide for our own. The United States has sheltered the wealthy for so many years, it is time to take care of those on whom the wealth has been built.
I'll keep thinking about this.