Two headlines in our daily paper, days apart, tell the tale of what REALLY matters to our testosterone-misdirected elected officials.
Women are told to go home, empty-handed.
The boys get to play with their baseballs ... while guaranteeing taxpayer investment in a professional sport that has fallen in popularity steadily since 1972.
Today, pro football is FOUR TIMES more popular than pro baseball. In the latest Gallup polling, baseball ranked its lowest since 1937, just a teensy bit more popular than soccer to US audiences. That's against a backdrop of falling attendance generally at all kinds of sporting events.
At 6:45 AM, Arthur picked us up at the Hampton Inn on Walnut St. (highly recommended; wonderful people). Simone and I were headed for the airport after a series of secret meetings meant to change the nonprofit fundraising world (we'll see).
Arthur is outgoing, with a slight accent. Simone wanted more. No problem: he'd come to Kansas City from Albania in his early 20s; he's now 45. Communist rule was falling apart. He'd grown up in a bad period. Your neighbors would turn you in for saying, "I wish we'd had more to eat last night." Police state. Treasonous to say you didn't have enough food.
When Communism fell apart, he found his way to America. A lot of people, he said, drowned trying to escape to the West. He learned fabulous English by working lots of different jobs: dishwasher, construction, driver. He met a woman and married in the US. Has two children just entering their teens. His wife works as a waitress. Both parents take all the overtime they can.
Arthur has a deep, personal, sophisticated, attentive, and nuanced view of the US.
For him, the American Dream is not a cliché nor a rip-off. For him, it's a bargain struck: you work hard, you contribute, you get somewhere. He's happy, by the way. His kids are doing well. They will graduate high school, go on to college, get good jobs.
Here's what I learned I think from Arthur as we drove together to the Kansas City airport: the iconic American Dream is NOT 3 cars in the garage and a lake house.
The American Dream for Arthur of Kansas City is safety from a lawless dictator (Trump qualifies: my view, not Arthur's) and enough food so you don't have to complain about hunger and enough work of any kind so you can buy that food....
Every civics class in the US should ride in Arthur's limo.
or maybe online (any "content entrepreneurs" out there?): Arthur's Civics Lessons from His Kansas City Cab