For some time, I've been seeking the words to demonstrate the magnitude of the current push to redefine "entitlements" downward into the future. This afternoon, as I once again listened to the din of despair offered by those who have access to the proverbial pot of gold, it became obvious.
It's all about messaging...and the message being delivered by our elected (entitled would be more accurate) elites is this:
"The American Dream is no more...and we who have managed America's blood and treasure, and filled our coffers with its riches, no longer believe it can be made available to everyone...nor should it be. You everymen who have done everything that was asked of you - worked hard, raised families, contributed to your communities, fought our wars, paid your taxes, your unemployment insurance, your Social Security and Medicare withholdings, must accept that the American Dream is out of reach for you...even though you paid for it your entire life. Yes, you did so because your government espoused the promise of doing so...but your government has chosen to set a new course.
Unfortunately, we who have lived the dream, now choose to tell you it won't be what was promised...and you can't hold us accountable for breaking that promise. Now that we, and our benefactors, have squeezed all that could be extracted from the pot of gold, we must inform you that the pot is empty, and we won't be refilling it with the excesses we now hold.
It is time for you to accept that the expansive dream is now little more than a shrinking flower...and it is you who must sacrifice, you who must accept that your golden years will be a cliffhanger of calculations. As each year passes, and the holes in your safety net multiply and expand, you will sit at your table and wonder if the costs of survival will eclipse your means to do so. This shall be your sacrifice.
Let us be clear, this is not a moment for shared, temporary sacrifice. This is not akin to the many times in our storied history when momentary need was met by monumental sacrifice. We're not asking you to leave your homes and build bombs to defeat a defined enemy...we have either contracted that job to our corporate overlords or found fledgling fools on foreign soils to toil for less. We will, however, require you to buy our parlayed products at prices you can't afford...because you now realize that our long engagement to enterprise is a binding union of a different stripe.
You wont hear any of us promising to reverse these sacrifices if and when prosperity returns. You see, you wont be a part of prosperity...that window has been sealed off. Were the American Dream a board game, we have chosen to end that game midstream. You will take what you have...or haven't...at this moment in time...and so will we...and a new game with a new set of rules will begin. What you have contributed is irrelevant...there isn't enough left to go around. Your portion must come from a smaller pie. The fact that we baked it is also irrelevant. The fact that we have our own pies is none of your business.
Those of you who insist on noting the historical ebb and flow of prosperity...and positing that lean times will surely give way to bounty...must conquer your optimism. It is no longer an innate American trait. We will define your values and your value. Your task is to resolve yourself to the new order...and be thankful that the new less is not more less.
Don't recount America's interminable will to succeed to your children. Such folly will make future sacrifice less palatable...and we all agree that anarchy is anathema to our adjusted and austere aspirations. America must continue...albeit as a shell of its former self. So long as you do as instructed, it will.
It's a new day; it's a new dawn...awaken to the new America. The nightmare will soon be over, my fellow Americans. We assure you the American Dream will live on. Tomorrow, if you look in the windows, you too will see it."
I can't wait...can you?