--- Between LaLa Land and extreme conservatism ---
there is reality.
Again, Aristotle had it right. Moderation is the best policy.
I believe that the powers that be here in Colorado have been concerned to create a city where people can live and thrive. There is plenty of crime and violence, yes. Perhaps that comes from the tradition of the wild west alive and well. But there are life enrichments for just about everyone.
The Bad Things are pretty much city dwellers misbehaving (as they will), but on the trail and on the trains, and in the city, I see a lot of honestly happy people sharing their lives with people they quite obviously love.
One day during my years of pharmacy training, a professor brought a huge book (had to be over three inches thick) and he slammed it on the desk. He explained, "This book contains everything known to us about marijuana. The only ill effect we know is that it's illegal."
But marijuana is legal in Denver. The medical benefits are broad - from pain control to relief from insomnia. It is not just for cancer patients. The products are fine tuned to help a great spectrum of ailments.
People who think that weed is going to destroy society is ignoring everything but their own imagination.
It sounds like a sharp jump here but, if you think about it you can see the segue.
Conservatives and liberals both irritate me - the more extreme, the more irritating they are.
Conservatives are the bullies of the system. Their position is that this is their country and people that don't think like them will be brought to heal. ("We're gonna take this country BACK!" For who? For them? For they people that share their world views? I think that pretty well encapsulates the situation.)
Liberals are the parents of the world. They know what's best and if you are going to live under their roof (in their country) you will abide by their rules.
It's well known that politicians use fear as a tool - fear of some imaginary "others". Hate crimes are now illegal, except when used by politicians.
There's a song in South Pacific in which an American soldier teaches a native girl (sarcastically?) that she has to learn to hate the "other". "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught," is the name of the song if you want to look it up.
Between LaLa Land and extreme conservatism is a utopia. People still die - people die. But they can live happy, enriched lives.
I used to be confused about the stanza of America the Beautiful that said, "Alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears."
Have we ever had gleaming cities undimmed by human tears. America was built on the fuel of human tears.
Then I found out that Katherine Lee Bates was dreaming. She had recently been to the World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago. There she saw the alabaster buildings and she dreamed of Utopian America.
The problem is that there will be no cities undimmed by human tears until people can live happy, enriched lives; and people will not live happy, enriched lives if the politicians of the moment won't let them.