You know, I think it just couldn’t take it any longer, the feelings of isolation, under appreciation, uselessness and the sadness of simply being cast aside. I’m going to really miss it…just having it around, you know?
I think the last straw may have been the vote taken by the House of Representatives, a decisive 318 to 97 result against raising the nation’s debt ceiling. It’s understandable, the feeling of dread, looking ahead with the knowledge that the future promises little but an ultimately losing battle against the forces of irrationality, ideology and deep, deep, profoundly deep ignorance.
It is true that the word debt suggests owing money, and it is true that America has a budget deficit; and it is true many Americans are concerned about this budget deficit; and it is true that the Republican Party has incessantly mentioned the word spending. Unfortunately, for rationality, sensitive to such things, raising the debt ceiling has no effect whatsoever on, and no relationship with budgetary spending nor to the nation’s deficit. Oh, the pain our friend American rationality must have been feeling in those final hours.
Yes, there will be more votes, more discussion, more negotiations, but the prospects for rationality simply were not very bright. My guess is that rationality made the observation that one political party, currently in the majority in one of America’s legislative branches, does not accept the Theory of Evolution, rejects as a hoax the consensus of climate scientists that the Earth is warming at an alarming rate due to carbon emissions, refuses to accept basic economic principles, statistics and economic history, and dwells within an 18th fantastical world of magic beans and super potions, and threw up its hands and headed for the stove.
Near uniform agreement exists among membership of the majority party in the House of Representatives, and many rank and file members of the Republican Party, in particular in its Lipton Wing, who have convinced themselves, as they have convinced themselves of many another preposterous nostrum or assumption that economic tumult will not follow swiftly and surely as the result of America’s welching on its owed debts, or even edging precipitously near the point of doing so. Failing to consider, or to acknowledge or to seek to avoid the myriad ways such a default would ripple through the American and world economies laying waste, is manifestly and magnificently self-defeating. But such a failure appears a likely possibility. Hanging around to watch the gloating triumph of self-defeating irrationality was, alas, just too much to expect of our dearly departed friend.
Rationality may have looked around and drawn the conclusion that with the nation suffering an unemployment rate of 9%, (the official number, though unofficially it could be several percentage points higher) deficits and debt weren’t the urgent concern, though, strikingly, and again seemingly doing the bidding of irrationality, they had become the primary focus of both the executive branch and congress too, of much of the population in fact. This occurred much to the exclusion of discussion about, or any actual concerted effort to create jobs. Such would require stimulation of the economy, action, to rationality’s great despair, that long ago was deemed politically radioactive and altogether forgotten.
It did come to rationality’s attention that roads and bridges have been conspicuously disintegrating, and that a large government program along the lines of the New Deal WPA could be constituted to begin rebuilding them, or bringing them up to snuff. It did not escape rationality’s notice that rehiring many of the teachers, and police and first-responders laid off around the country as the result of the recession would put a sizeable number of Americans back to work , and give the economy a very positive jolt. In fact, rationality concluded, until more Americans are back at work there will not be adequate money in Americans’ pockets to buy what rich people who own the country happen to be selling. This means a vicious circle of stagnation. Realizing the unlikelihood of the embrace of this product of rational thinking, rationality threw up its hands in pure frustration. One can only imagine the desperation with which our friend must have been consumed before at last succumbing to the urge to take the final step: the big sleep.
Of course, while many Americans do not know what the debt ceiling actually is, thanks to a vigorous American media, few Americans remain in the dark on the question of whether Donald Trump and Sarah Palin shared pizza.