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Sunday, January 28, 2001

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Progressives

Weather report - It was wet this morning, but had stopped raining. I went for a walk midday and by the time I got back a couple hours later the sun was shining. How quickly our rain comes and goes. Usually goes.

I've been reading about the Great Depression. Should that always be in caps? It's always spoken like capitals. It's always interesting to see how the myths have come down. Hoover really was not a bad person. He had very progressive ideas, just not the personality to work well in politics. Roosevelt didn't really know what would work and just tried everything, none of which really worked, despite the rhetoric. It gave people hope but only the second world war brought the economy out of the depression. War is certainly great for the economy.

Many of Roosevelt's allies were Republicans, many of who were very progressive, and many of his enemies were Democrats, who were rather medieval, to put it mildly, especially the ones from the south. The only reason many Democrats wanted anything to do with Roosevelt was that he was the first Democrat elected president in a long, long time.

The conditions the vast majority of the people lived in were apalling, but they were apalling before the depression started. I don't think we can ever understand the conditions people used to live in. One of the best things Roosevelt did was give electricity to people who lived in conditions that hadn't really changed since the middle ages.

Why do people who now call themselves progressives, not want improvements in how we live, not want innovations that will give us a better life? Why do they want to us to quit improving things and crawl back to "living with nature" which everyone who used to do that was more than glad to get out of. How many people do you know who prefer to wash clothes by hand? After they've rendered fat from an animal they killed to make soap? I'm so tired of people whining about genetically altered food. We've been eating genetically altered food for millennium. It's been genetically altered by nature. Do we want to be careful? Sure, but we shouldn't quit trying to improve on nature. That's what clothes are. An improvement on nature. That's what houses are. An improvement in nature.

Conservatives, on the other hand, need to realize that just because people create jobs, a good thing, does not make them nice people and we do need to protect workers also. I know because there were lots of times when I put up with crap because I was afraid of losing my job and ending up on the street with my kids. Well, I wouldn't actually have ended up on the street because I did have family and friends who would help me, but I often felt like I would. It's scary when you are living paycheck to paycheck, and most people are.


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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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