I always liked the idea of Robin Hood. He was an outlaw, but in a good way. A “rebel with a cause” type of guy, a bad boy that a lady can feel good about liking because he gave his pilfered treasure to those in need. He stole from corrupt wealthy noblemen and clergy and gave it to those who needed it most. He gave it back to the people it was stolen from in the first place, and made things right again. He was the great equalizer.
Makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. Justice. Righteousness. Bullying the bully. Righting wrongs. Karma.
And then Donald Trump released his budget last week and I looked around and wondered, when will the arrows start to fly? When will some modern-day Robin Hood stand up against this tragedy? Stealing from the sick, young, poor so that the rich can continue to fatten their bottom line? That’s got to bring Robin Hood out of the Sherwood Forest for a good, old-fashioned archery showdown. Right?
Maybe Trump is anticipating a fight since his budget proposed to cut $54 billion, only to funnel much of it back into military spending. Scared of a few arrows, big boy?
He plans to significantly cut spending to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development just to name a few.
He plans to completely eliminate any spending for the African Development Agency, the Chemical Safety Board, Global Climate Change Initiative and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. And that’s just the short list.
Basically, he hates old people, sick people, black people, science types, artsy types, children, the environment and puppets . . . you know, like on Sesame Street.
His budget allows for spending increases for Homeland Security, Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He likes security. Probably because he’s so deeply insecure.
This budget is an insult to the decency of the American experience. It is an assault on American culture. It attacks the parts of American sensibilities that say we are decent, good humans who want to see others be the best they can be. That part of being American that roots for the underdog, that loves a story about redemption, that loves to see the American dream come true. That part of us that wants to be a part of the American dream for others. We aren’t every man for himself. When you are an American, you are every man. Every man that comes to a country to make a better life. Every man that dreams bigger than his circumstances. And every woman, for that matter.
I’ve been looking for a Robin Hood, but we are all Robin Hood. Our arrows are our votes and our phone calls to our representatives. Our arrows are every time we speak out and say, America is not about guns and war, it’s not about hate and division. America is about Meals on Wheels and Big Bird, after-school programs and free lunch. America is making a way for ourselves and others. Together.