Saturday, June 16, 2012

For the times they are a-changin'

“This Is America. If you don't conform, you suck.” The fellow writing those words on a website asking whether English should be the official language of the United States never won the Medal of Freedom. But the one who wrote these words did.

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown and accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin' then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin’.”

Bob Dylan knows a Ponzi scheme when he sees one. He’s been warning us about the one many Americans have long, too-long and too much invested.

You think of “Ponzi schemes” as financial investments, swindles in which early investors are paid off with money put up by later ones to encourage more and bigger risks. But, “keep your eyes wide. The chance won't come again and don't speak too soon. For the wheel's still in spin and there's no tellin' who that it's naming.” For the loser now will be later to win. For the times they are a-changin’.”

The greatest Ponzi scheme of the day is cultural.

Like the person posting the comment above, there are those who are heavily invested in a future that neither Wyoming nor the United States will ever see. Their investment in the past is being paid off today with the fears generated by the scammers. They take bigger and bigger risks by adopting decidedly un-American beliefs in an effort to realize the investment they thought they were making in America.

If you’re investing in that Ponzi scheme, you might want to consider getting out while you can. It’s on the verge of collapsing. Come mothers and fathers throughout the land. And don't criticize what you can't understand.”

That investment some made in defining marriage by their own terms is about to crash. You can’t bail it out now even if you supported a bailout. The courts interpret the Constitution, not your Bibles, in favor of same-sex marriage. Last month’s federal Court of Appeals decision is the future. “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand. For the times they are a-changin'.”

As for those who still think the world, or at least their part of it should speak English alone, that investment is fast going south. Those you see as “minorities” i.e. those of any race other than white, constitute a third of the U.S. population today.  By 2050, 54 percent of the population will be minorities, or should we say the majority. If you like “white privilege” you’d better enjoy it while you can. As the present now will later be past. The order is rapidly fadin' and the first one now will later be last. For the times they are a-changin'.”

Knowing how hard change is for many people, there are some changes on the way for which you should start preparing yourself. Lament it if you will but the future in which you’ve invested your prejudices is underwater. And it’s not why you think. It’s not illegal immigration which has, despite the talking points, stopped for the most part.

It’s the belief in America and its future giving non-whites faith enough to have children. The growth of Latino-Americans is, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, the result of a younger population and higher fertility rates. Asian populations are increasing for the same optimism. Four states -- Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas, plus the District of Columbia -- already have majority-minority populations.

Your investment in a white, English-speaking America that could have its personal moral structure defined narrowly in accord with your beliefs was always doomed. The arc of history, as Martin Luther King said, is bent inevitably toward freedom. And freedom, as it should be, is America’s future.

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