I am just shy of three weeks on the road, about halfway through the trip. It has been great fun. I think everyone should leave the safety of their home cocoon and get out in the world. Despite the rather spooky presence of nearly identical shopping malls in every fair–sized hamlet, you can still catch the regional flavors that make this land a wonderful smorgasbord of ideas, ambitions, and realities. How have we ever managed to hold it together for all these years? Will we manage to keep it together in this current time?
Here in California you frequently hear a joking reference to seceding from the Union. With the seventh largest economy in the world, it could certainly survive on its own. No doubt the comments are similar to those uttered in the South 150 years ago, remarks that ultimately led to the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi where Tango and I stopped just a few weeks ago.
And in Oklahoma City, Timothy McVeigh so hated the federation of the United States that he was willing to destroy hundreds of innocent lives in the name of some warped concept of a “white only” world that would rise up in answer to his atrocious act.
Make no mistake, there are problems in the U.S. of A. Big ones. Poverty, both economic and spiritual, tops the list. You can see the poverty, especially in the South. And even though our poorest souls have much more than many in the world at large they are still suffering. Telling them to give up their cell phones to buy health insurance really isn’t the answer. And to be told that “no one dies from not having health insurance” is insulting. People will tolerate such treatment for only so long.
We have entered one of those phases in history where the people must guide the democracy because, obviously, there is no leadership at the top. The corruption is mammoth in scale and must be removed. It is our job, as citizens, to set the ship of state right again. And from what I have seen on this trip and in the news, the people are ready. ❧