Sunday, October 28, 2012

IT'S A (Much More) WONDERFUL LIFE (Than the Alternative)

He believes in the value of the common man and that each person is worthy of his concern and compassion. He opposes the forces of the most well to do, and will not succumb to offers to abandon his principles and pledge allegiance to those interested only in their own well being. His life has great meaning and implication. If the future were left in the grasp of the rich and selfish, the world would be a far uglier place, filled with struggles and the disappearance of the middle class.

"It's a Wonderful Life" was a 1946 Frank Capra film that taught one man, George Bailey, how critical he was in protecting the welfare of all those whom he touched. In his absence, Henry Potter, the wealthiest man in town, would create "Pottersville," a desperate and lonely universe without moral underpinning.

I understand that we don't reside in a movie and that the choices we make are not as stark and clear as those that Clarence reveals to a disconsolate George Bailey, unable to understand all the good that he has done. I don't pretend that Mitt Romney would be a perfect fit for the role of the villain. But the direction that Romney would take this country, prodded by those in his party who would certainly demand fidelity of the President, is not very far from the desolation of Pottersville. And while Barack Obama may not come to mind when one imagines the star of a 2012 remake, what he has accomplished despite the fiercest of opposition from those whose allegiance is to the Henry Potters of this world should reveal his great worth.

If Obama had not been in office, and if instead we had just come through another Republican administration and enacted their policies, Medicare and Medicaid recipients would be many fewer in number and the benefits provided much less. Millions now covered by the most important piece of legislation to address the  needs of the underclass in half a century, and many millions more who will be covered in future years, would have been left unattended and unprotected by health insurance. Roe v Wade would likely be but a memory, and women's rights to make their own choices and create their own equal path would be decimated. Guided by economic principles that have shown themselves unworkable in the past, and duplicating a theory that is laying waste to many of the countries in the European Union, we would be much nearer depression than recovery. Foreign diplomacy would be an oxymoron, and we would have stumbled our way towards further conflicts and to an ever lower standing in the world community. Millions of immigrants would have been beaten down psychologically and  told that if they remain among us, suffering and denigration is all that awaits. And the regulations meant to protect us from the worst abuses would be nowhere in evidence.

For those who can't see clearly what would have been, and what lies ahead if Mitt Romney and the Republicans write the remake of the Capra classic, Clarence is waiting for you. But hurry, after November 6, he disappears.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whether we call it Pottersville or Appalachia, we need dynamic leaders to tell us that government must not gloss over the terrible things left undone. If RFK had lived, he would have humanized the role government should have in our society. His visit to Appalachia was not as much political as it was raw emotion with indignation mixed together. The world needs more of this