I had dinner with friends recently, and as things usually go with these kinds of situations, inevitably it turns to a few political topics.
In this episode, my friend tried to make the case that the economy would tank in the next couple years driving the dollar to be worth only $0.50. I searched my head for why he might be telling me this, flipping through the Breitbart headlines in my mind. “Is it because of the infrastructure deal?”
“No,” he said, then corrected the ship to say, “Well, yeah, that too, but because of immigration.”
“Yeah, I know. Even my black friends will tell you that immigrants are taking their jobs and driving down wages.”
I laughed out loud heartily. 1) because he dropped the “my black friends” card and 2) because he claimed to have listened to another human being.
“What? You think we should let in all the immigrants?” he asked.
Sarcastically, I said, “Yes, we should let in ALL the immigrants.” Of course I don’t think that, but it’s a complete exaggeration to think that our country could take ALL the immigrants. Immigrants, like all right-wing talking points, is dumb. Of course we need to make sure people who want to immigrate do it properly. The fact that we’re talking about that and NOT something that brings us closer is even funnier.
What good can come of dropping a politically charged talking point, of which we’re surely to disagree, into a conversation?
“Well,” he said later. “I’m glad you could have a laugh at my expense.” And he kinda moped for a few minutes before saying it again.
And that’s the line that echoed in my head all night with the sound of my laughter, like some movie montage where the editor stretches the image and adds reverb and double and triple exposures. “I’m glad you got a laugh at my expense expense expense expense expense.” Another voice of unseen person, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” “Expense expense expense expense!” “Ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
I tried, ever so poorly, to explain that this is a driving force of someone like me from accepting beliefs like his who claims to love and adore a godman who lived and acted in compassion and love for immigrants, for the sick, for the downtrodden, and nowhere did he ever say, “Blessed is the economy, for it is greater than humans in need and desperate for opportunity, safety and a goddamn meal on their plates.”
No, that message comes from a tribunal of like minded millionaires and billionaires. The guy sitting behind a desk reading teleprompters every night makes more money than I make in a year feeds brains with whitewashing fear of economic collapse in a country where the majority claim to love a God who had nothing to say about the economy except “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.”
And the guy who pays that person’s paycheck makes more in a day than I make in a year. And the CEOs of the company’s spend more on advertising for that show in one night than I make in a year. Not to mention that guys throwing a ball into a hole make more in 5 minutes than I make in a year.
The people with that level of income love to ramrod the message of, “The problem with the economy are all the poor people sucking from the tits of this fine country.”
Meanwhile their accountants are heralding another great quarterly spreadsheet with more corporate write-offs than they know what to do with. Thanks Joe Biden.
How have so many people fallen for the idea of the economy is more important than God? How gullible are we that we let the flicker box coerce so many to think that black and brown people are the problem and not the men and women swimming in more money than they know what to do with? It must feel really good to wield that kind of mental persuasion power and get by with it.
That’s what I laughed at. It’s that of all the ideas of faith, that one could so easily accept that economy is more important than say this person’s relationship with me.
One glimmer of sunshine piercing through the dark storm clouds of Covid was the very idea that more people had more family time than ever before, and a lot of people recognized that that was more important than the economy or anything else. When life is lived trudging through bolstering an economy forty hours or more a week rather than living and loving the very real people around us, and hoisting up the importance of talking points distributed by websites and TV stations selling advertising, we have lost our collective way.
We have lost our collective minds.
We have lost our collective hearts.
Blessed are the gullible, for they shall carry our message to the masses.