Wednesday, December 21, 2011


     San Antonio, Texas -- In the holiday lead-up that is again dressing the nation, in a time of poor economy and worries about not only the American future but the world's, yet another perspective emerges. I am here for a moment with grandchildren -- actually it is always just a "moment" since kids change minute by minute -- and concerned for them, for anyone's young, as you must be, too.

My own Christmases were modest, but there were enough simple presents from two hardworking parents to leave my brother and I awestruck. Never was there a failure to communicate with Santa Claus, and these days when expenses for an elderly dad hit, we who can pay are grateful to help balance the sacrifices made. That we are able to
do so reflects a general American tradition that each succeeding generation will do a bit better. Ever since the Great Depression, that forward movement has built a middle class.

Now in San Antonio, I wonder if my grandchildren will be able to assist their parents if ever in need, or if the parents will have to provide for their young even when they are old, if the money does not run out as the middle class runs for its life.

This Texas city is more a mix than most in the state -- many residents include military and business professionals from other areas -- and so the political persuasion is less Texas conservative and more combined conservative/liberal, a fine point and counterpoint that can bring real and efficient compromise. My guess is that growing children in San Antonio are immersed in political dialogue that includes varied points of view. At  least I hope so.

Such mix is elsewhere in America as well, save the nation's much-ruling capital, where the Capitol and the White House seem to act as hardheads unwilling to stop shouting political rhetoric so they can hear the people instead of special interests. Meanwhile, my grandkids in San Antonio or the two in New York or your offspring or your friends' or neighbors'  very young, or teens or young adults - all hoping for a Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever joy the holidays bring - are left as unwilling bystanders in the grossly irresponsible political deadlock over basic human needs, over disappearing jobs, over an unfocused, obscenely costly war, over what the future should be for America, and surely the world.

The holidays will come to San Antonio, to the many in America one way or another this year, but what will they be like in 2025 or so? Holidays, yes, but. ...?

Ah, what a present it would be if common sense for the common purpose were to appear under the national tree. 

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