I had a long conversation with my mother this week, and in an eliptical way, we arrived at What She Wanted from Life. Note that my mother is soon to be 88 (a very special age in Japan, but I suppose, pretty much everywhere). My mother is a force of nature, and largely responsible for all of the virtues I possess, and rather few of the debilities I suffer.
Her answer, rather simply, was to see her children happy, or something close there to.
I happened, tonight, on a documentary (Beyond Belief) about two September 11 widows, who channeled their grief into raising money to help widows in Afghanistan establish a stronger foundation for supporting their families. It is rather an extrordinary documentary, inspiring, but also simple and basic, speaking to that same question. The testimony of their Afghan cohort:
My only wish is for my children to be healthy
and to be happy, and to finish their school,
so they can make something of themselves in the future.
My 88 year old mother, and these widows of 9/11, and their Afghan cohort share what every woman and mother recognizes as the touchstone of existence: the success and wellbeing of their offspring. An unsettling contrast with the ideological foolishness of the American polity, ready to sacrifice the United States to their tax-free vision of their own welbeing. The simple truth is that the selfish ideology of the republican party, and the ignorant shortsightedness of the voting public who let these bastards take office, have sealed the future of the country, and set up the condition of our own just demise.
Bring on the default. Some of us deserve it more than others, but our collective guilt is clear enough.
It matters who you vote for.