Halloween plays differently in our nation’s capital.
In a city where politics is the dominant industry, wearing masks and acting out in public are commonplace. But even so, the sidewalk palette shifts a bit from the usual red, white and blue to a range more orange and black. The police loom on every corner in Georgetown on the eve of the annual parade and party. It wouldn’t do for any rowdy goblins to disturb the carefree tourists jostling for camera angles in front of Georgetown Cupcakes.
Meanwhile, a few city blocks away in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, the indefatiguable participants in the Occupy DC movement continue to demand justice and jobs for all.
As much as Congress seems to care, they might as well be trick-or-treating.
But it’s too soon to count them out. Big waves grow from small drops, even teardrops if enough people are hurting.
When the ones being shut out of the political dialogue begin to make some noise, the well-fed folks in the comfy chairs by the fire may eventually feel compelled to respond. Whether they decide to work toward a more equitable society remains to be seen.
For now it seems the fat cats are content to follow in the well-worn path of earlier aristocrats and over-privileged classes. While jobs vanish and the ranks of the poor swell, the number of cupcake businesses shows no sign of decreasing.
On Halloween night, as the sidewalks filled with with carefree young people dressed as psychopaths and pixies, no one seemed concerned about politics. Many Americans worry about terrorists, rare diseases and higher taxes. This seems a bit short-sighted to me. Historically, the big issue has always been hunger. As Bob Marley and many others have pointed out, “A hungry man is an angry man.” And cupcakes just aren’t going to cut it.
Jobs matter. Even if we have to raise taxes to create them.