Thursday 17 September 2009

Fantasy of a Jimmy Carter past future

I just spotted this on a comment thread following a Michael Tomasky article about Carter's comments about the Joe Wilson fandango, and I thought there would be a few people who read this blog who would enjoy it. It comes in the context of a number of people on the thread talking about how Carter's presidency was a failure and how great Ronald Reagan was that he came in and saved the Americans from themselves and the Soviets from Sovietism. The commenter's nom de plume is 'Sheepishly':

i sometimes speculate about an alternate reality where jimmy carter won re-election and kept reagan out of the white house. imagine:
the usa still has the smallest gap between the rich and the poor, the cost of living never quadrupled relative to wages, the majority of americans do not live in debt. we have transitioned at least partly to alternative energy sources, and are not wholly committed to foreign wars for oil. we never armed or trained osama bin laden and his cronies, never gave saddam hussein weapons to gas his people, nor had to waste lives in two iraq wars--there was no 9/11. also, the arms race with the soviets never happened, and the ussr crumbled anyway--but when it did fewer people starved. we never raked up unprecedented debt on useless weapons, and loose nuclear material is not spread across eurasia waiting to be used by enemies of america. money was used to stop the spread of aids before it became an epidemic, to revitalize our cities, and build the best public transit system in the world.

if it weren't for ronald reagan, my generation would have the same opportunities our parents had under FDR. instead we are born in debt, and are coerced to go to college so we can be debt slaves for the rest of our lives, the economy is crumbling around us, we are quagmired in two wars, and our taxes are going to shore up corporate waste. we have no affordable health care, no social safety net, no job security, no vacation time, no funds for retirement, no clean air, no clean water, no decent food, no future.

thank you, thank you ronald reagan.

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