The $700 Billion Bailout Should Be A Powerful Teaching Opportunity For Presidential Candidates

I’ve been thinking what a powerful teaching opportunity this $700 Billion bail out presents to us — it should be a big motivation to explore the truth of our whole economic system.  Exploring truth, of course is dangerous in a political setting, and this great teaching moment may be a lost opportunity.

I’ve been thinking about making a short video, based on the 80’s movie, “My dinner with André” : two people engaged in a philosophical conversation, at a fancy restaurant, where the concept of truth is explored.  In my version, my video would be set in my dahlia garden.  Truth, beauty, mortality, drama — dahlias have it all.

I would include in my dahlia script, for example, an article I found recently written by an Oxford professor, that speculates that there is a possibility that the basic Matrix movie premise is correct — we are, in fact, living in a computer simulation.

In the original Matrix movie, the main character, Nemo, is asked, “How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?” Good question.  How much truth can we handle?

We all were taken down the rabbit hole this week when, suddenly, the ground under us was magically removed as our lame duck president demanded $750 Billion — Immediately. Now. Or else.  Huh?

Secretary of the Treasury Paulson was asked what happens if this massive amount of money doesn’t work.  He said, “It has to work.” Very reassuring.

The idea that reality, as we know it, is a sham, suddenly seems debatable. It is no wonder people go crazy. Sometimes, even for those of us deemed sane, everything seems a conspiracy, a lie wrapped within an untruth, enveloped in a spin. Does anyone, for example, really believe whatever it is that George W. Bush reads off of his TelePrompTer?

The $700 Billion demand is astonishing.  What an opportunity. It is almost as if the stars are aligning.  Our nation has the potential of a powerful teaching moment, one that intersects with a presidential election.  This election should be all about telling the truth.  But it seems far from concentrating on that great task.

Dahlias make me philosophical, in part, I guess, because in Dayton, the first frost date is October 10. Dahlias are late bloomers. Here it is, almost October, and still I have some large plants that have not yet bloomed.  I’m getting worried.

This election should be a watershed moment in the vitalization of our democracy, and in the growth of a more prosperous and more just economy.  A dahlia has a short time to reveal itself, a short time to get it right.  So do we.  We should all be worried.

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