This is my Mom with her granddaughters, my sister's children. She was born in 1932, just as the Depression really began to take hold. She remembers bread lines. Sometimes for breakfast, she and her sisters ate day-old Twinkies and drank boiled coffee because it was all the family could afford.
Mom doesn't talk politics much. So it surprised me the other day when, without prompting, she told me how saddened she was that much of the social progress made during her lifetime was being wiped away. Food stamps, Medicaid, welfare, Social Security; most reduced and all under renewed attack. Corrupt politicians, unnecessary and expensive wars, and corporate greed. The rich getting richer. Workers' rights gained since the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire eroded. The poor getting poorer. The very poor ignored even as storms bore down on them. What, she wondered, would be left for her children, her grandchildren?
But I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, then Fascism and Communism, aided, unconsciously perhaps, by old-line Tory Republicanism, will grow in strength in our land.