I loathe political discussions and completely avoid them. Nothing ever gets accomplished with them. But last night has moved me to make an exception and write a little something.
Maybe I’m getting old and sentimental. Or maybe I’m just ferklempt over my wedding, which is this coming Saturday. But last night made me proud. Last night restored my faith in America, and I felt more American pride last night than I ever have before. That’s no small statement from someone who lived in New York on Semtember 11th.
I’m proud to live in a country where the past eight years can be peacefully–but soundly and thorougly–rejected, like they were last night.
I’m proud to live in a country that at its core really is progressive. I’m proud to live in a country that will put a black family in the White House based on merit.
I’m proud to have experienced a general election that caused spontaneous cheering out my window, with my neighbors hugging in the street.
I’m proud of our new president and excited to see what he can accomplish.
The McCain supporters I know all voted McCain for the same reason: taxes. They are all people who earn a lot of money and they can’t stand the thought of parting with some of it. Nevermind that this election, at least to me, was about much more than finance. Having had the experience of earning quite a bit of money in two different spheres, I have strong feelings on the issue of taxation.
In my last blog entry I mentioned the sense of entitlement that young lawyers at my old firm had. That same false sense of entitlement actually permeates much of America’s monied class. I believe that the average American is honest and hard working. I believe that Americans end up in their respective professions for a variety of reasons: differences in opportunity, individual desires and aptitudes play a large role. I believe there is dignity and value in all manner of work. Having now worked in two very different occupations, and having a family tree with a background in numerous, wide-ranging professions, I can honestly say that I see ZERO correlation between salary earned and an individual’s value added to society. If you don’t agree with that, then you might be offended by this, and you’ll probably call me a socialist:
If you make more than $250,00 a year, what makes you so goddamned special? You’re smart enough and fortunate enough to have received a higher education, and you’ve parlayed that into a lot of money. Good for you. But I’ve lived amongst you, and you’re nothing special for having that money. If your goal in life in just to accumulate money, you’re sad. Become a doctor because you love medicine. Become a lawyer because you enjoy thinking analytically. Become an investment banker because you like doing whatever the hell investment bankers do. Become CEO of your company because your out-of-control ego demands it. But don’t exist only to make money, and for god’s sake, stop thinking you’ve accomplished so much because you’ve stashed all that cash. Congrats on “making it,” buddy. But really, who are you? There’s nothing about you thats more worthy than a high school math teacher or an electrician or even your secretary.
I’m sorry, but I see nothing nothing unreasonable about asking you to give some of that money back. I guess I’m a socialist.
Thanks for reading my amateur political jibber-jabber. And now Janeen and I are off to get married. I know that many of the people who read this will be with us in Chicago. We can’t wait to celebrate–both our new president and our incredible good fortune–with you! 🙂