American Flag Crumbling

The American Dream by David the Painter

American Flag CrumblingWe are having some inside touchup work done before selling the house to return to Atlanta for a few years. (Do you like how I snuck that in there?) Through the years, our painter of choice has been David, an amiable fellow with a delightful British accent. He’s from the UK, London, I think. I suspect he’s about my age. He has a solid, thought out perspective about things.

He reminds me in some ways of the painter, Eldin Bernecky (played by Robert Pastorelli), in the sitcom Murphy Brown (1988 – 1998). He is pensive and meticulous with a keen eye for detail.

We haven’t really chatted much about politics over the years, and yesterday we didn’t have the chance to chat at all. But, as David was leaving, and we were saying our goodbyes, probably for the last time, with no prompting of any kind he said the most curious thing. Not only was what he said interesting to me, but I was struck by the sincerity and slow, somber reflection in how he said it.

America is crumbling, you know. Rapidly, I’m afraid.

We can’t really change it, but we can still run away from it—it’s drones and militarized police.

Retire in Europe.

Move to Europe.

It’s a little bit less insane.

When my wife retires, we are.

Sadly, I agree with David. This is not at all the same nation it was when I was born—a nation that struggled for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of its citizens. The optimism of the struggle is also gone, and people are getting angry. The middle class is all but dead, and the American Dream has been taken off of life support—killed by those with extreme wealth and power.