To some people, ideas and observations come in the shower; to me, they come as I am in the pasture with the cows, or some other place remote from the mish-mash of people.
And there's one thing that study after study points out; yet we haven't done much about in Texas or throughout the country.
It's the wrong political presuppositions of our youth.
A few years back, my second son observed that the problem with America was that his generation (he's now 31) had been brainwashed in school and throughout life about Reagan and Reaganomics. As he put it, the young parents today still don't understand that social security is a nationwide compulsory "savings plan" that has been robbed since Reagan; Medicare is a nationwide compulsory senior health insurance program that whose trust fund has been chased by one lobby after another; and Social Security disability is a compulsory nationwide disability insurance program whose purposes are misunderstood.
He said then that young people only think of three words when looking at all three programs. First, they recognize the word "compulsory" and to them that's money directly out of their check. Second, they view those on the programs as not working as hard as they believe they are working and therefore, those are "deadbeats" and these young folks are carrying those as their burden. Finally, they view all three programs as "WELFARE", because that's the word of the Reagan revolution, the Gingrich contract on America and now the Bush "Screw America" propaganda apply to these programs.
Democrats have always counted on the young folks, those interested in change, as their constituents.
But the Republicans were able to cast themselves as the party of change, and though they have done nothing to make things better for America, they still hold that mantle in the collective minds of young folks.
Young people feel like they are the underdogs.
We have to answer their appeal and bring them into the Texas and national Democratic efforts.
Well, this afternoon, while watching our cattle and doing chores, it hit me.
How can Rick Perry, or David Dewhurst, or any of them say they have done anything FOR people. Are they the party of change??
No. This administration has been the one who has dug in their heels to take care of their own wealthy power brokers. If we want solutions to educational, tax or quality of life issues in Texas, we're going to have to be the ones who provide them.
Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, Texas Air National Guard, retired