Last night I watched Diane Sawyer’s report on 20/20 titled “My Reality: A Hidden America” that almost brought me to tears. It brought to light a few stories that reflect the lives of millions of Americans. So many are suffering in silence. We must stop it and we can now.
Suffering in silence
Diane Sawyer exposed America’s dirty little secret, America’s form of capitalism is extractive and uncaring. It is just a matter of time before people that are doing well are required to feed the beast.
Every two years politicians in the legislative bodies ask Americans to vote for them telling them they will make things better. It never actually happens. When substantive changes occur which requires the wealthy to pay more in taxes on their ill-gotten gains, Republicans and Corporate Democrats are ever present to sacrifice the poor and the middle-class for the underserved relief for the wealthy.
Every four years presidential candidates promise the world. Americans ping pong between parties every eight years hoping someone would come through for them. President Obama came through for them on health care but once again even that solution enriched the few and while beneficial to many, continued extracting the wealth of middle-class Americans. Blue Dog Democrats simply did not reign in drug companies, hospitals, and insurance companies from their ability to find ingenious ways to pilfer us all. And so, we get millions of Americans for which the 20/20 report represents, Americans on the brink.
One must commend 20/20 for giving these people used to suffering in silence a voice. The woman who grated soap instead of using soap powder to save a few dollars to make ends meet got a voice. The man who gave blood several times a week to survive got a voice. The man who gave blood so his kid could have a birthday got a voice. The man who drove high-tech workers in Silicon Valley who had to sleep in his car as he waited to take them back home even as their companies showered them with great pay and amenities while he suffered in silence to earn a meager wage, got a voice. The man who commuted four hours a day by bike, bus, and train for a job supporting the kids of the wealthy, got a voice. The man who worked two fast food jobs for near minimum wage without a raise for ten years got a voice. He has to work so many hours at a low wage to survive; that he has no time for an education to equip him for a better job.
These stories are real. And as more and more Americans lose high paying jobs that are replaced by low paying service jobs or coerced low paying manufacturing jobs, more and more Americans will be suffering in silence unless mobilization occurs to demand what is the birthright of every American citizen and resident.
Donald Trump used an arcane formula to win the electoral college. To be clear, I don’t think anyone in the Trump campaign believed it would work, but it is the only thing that could have worked. The billionaire pitted different demographics against each other. Doing so meant many Americans did not have their eyes on the ball, their eyes on the real cause of their failing condition. He then told many, ‘Try me. I am different than anyone else who’ve run. What the hell do you have to lose.’ Enough bought into that not realizing that Donald Trump is the embodiment of the extractive, unrepentant, and middle-class-destructive form of capitalism that is the genesis of all of their problems.
Diane Sawyer did put Donald Trump on notice. She said he promised the poor and middle-class a way out. She implied that she would be following up with another substantive report.
Drive down the streets of your neighborhood. There are thousands of stories that would emanate out of those homes and apartments. There are millions of people preoccupied about their future. Will they have health care? Will they ever be able to retire when their bodies begin to give out? Will they have the ability to help their kids through college? Will they have the capacity to pass on anything to the next generation.?
As America stands today, the answer is an absolute no for most Americans. The plutocracy continues to find ways to take away wealth building from most. Americans used to accumulate most of their wealth in their homes. As more and more struggle with low pay and lack of pensions, the plutocracy was ready to give the American home-owning-middle-class a way out at a cost, your home via the reverse mortgage.
Donald Trump may be a blessing in disguise. Americans are used to politicians telling us how they will solve our problems. The reality is they can’t because they are unable to empathize with the problems of everyday Americans. Likewise, the puppeteers, the plutocracy constrains the majority of the politicians. Americans must see that no one is going to save us but ourselves. The transformation will begin only as we start to believe in our worth and assert it by demanding what is ours, by hitting the streets, forcing the hands of our representatives, and electing progressives who have the interests of the populace at heart.