"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Looking for the 'wrong' track

Many tracks at the Oklahoma City train show a couple of years ago...turn up your sound

Express train from Canterbury to London...the right track
A majority of Americans think the country is on the "wrong" track, according to many polls over the years, especially recently. 
You can see that in the slogan and widespread angry support of one of Presidential candidates this year, even though many of those same people denounce and don't believe the same polls that show Trump losing. And they're not alone, as the disgruntled supporters of former candidate Bernie Sanders probably feel the same way, though of differing political beliefs and ages. Both of those candidates tapped into that opinion.
So, I can't help but wonder what "wrong" track they, and many others, are talking about? 
Many different tracks, National Railroad Museum, York, England
In fact, given the diversity of backgrounds and beliefs in this country, I suspect there are many "wrong" tracks, that overlap some, just like switches between tracks.
Is the country on the "wrong" track, or is it perceived that way because it is "changing" tracks, as in the little video above?
Possible "wrong" tracks:
For the religious right, perhaps social and moral issues, such as abortion, same sex marriage, and the latest minor pissing contest (pun intended) over same sex bathrooms. 
For the poorer, lower-educated working class group, perhaps joblessness, stagnant wages, and a sense of being ignored, of not being heard.
For others, largely white, and aging like me, perhaps knowing that the country has changed and old white guys are now a minority.
For others, perhaps living with  xenophobic fear of immigrants, terrorism, science, anything different that brings change.
For others, like the white supremacists, and elements waving the Confederate flag, there's outright fear and racism, seen in attacks, verbal and physical, against Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, and any other group that doesn't look Caucasian.
For others, especially the younger, perhaps the disgust with the entire political system that is run by political machines and owned by big money.
For others, speaking personally, the "wrong" track is the lack of civility, lack of political compromise, attempts to restrict voting, gun violence, and the Supreme Court Citizens United opinion that opened the floodgates to big money controlling politics.  I too, feel disenfranchised.
Only track from Skagway, Alaska, to  Whitehorse, Yukon
I suspect there are more perceived "wrong" tracks. If there are more than one "wrong track," is there only one "right" track?

 This little ditty  seems to be an underlying roadbed of all those tracks:

Right  track,
wrong track,
yakity yak.
It's my country,
I want it back.

But what the "wrong" track is, and what is the "right" track might depend  on who is asked.

Next, two "wrong" track polls, and a primer on polling.
Trains, like tracks, have changed over time. Seen from inside our bus touring the Scottish Highlands
  (These are all my photos and videos) 

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