Shutdown of government in the U.S. Banking and economic collapse in the EU. Nuclear rumblings in Korea and Iran. Uprisings in the Middle East accompanied by mass arrests of anyone on the fringes of the fringe of those upset. Ethnic prejudice in French government.
We are the greatest country in the history of humanity! But, the proof is in the pudding and we sure aren't showing much of anything towards proof. Bridge and highway infrastructure dwindling like all man made things do when not "tended to" as it was said in the olden days. Public education, which is what set this country apart, has gone the way of the hoop skirt and spats. Leaders in high political office that dance like a marionette under the control of large contributors and special interests that have no care for the common good. What is the cure?
No one will be surprised to hear that I don't think there is a single cure. No, like most day to day heroes in America it is the little things that make great strides towards a better tomorrow. The problem is we can't get people to agree on what tomorrow or better means. For instance, union workers toil daily for an hourly wage and whatever benefits their leadership can garner. They are conservative, by and large, in their views on social issues, rights to possess weapons and our obligations as good citizens and neighbors. You would never expect them to support politicians that seek to limit their rights to collective bargaining, increase their tax burdens while eliminating them for those that make more money in some weeks than they will in their lifetimes, but they do.
As a society we have bought into the marketing ploys exercised by these small well-funded groups and we have ended up with the Ted Cruz' of the world having power beyond their station in life. We have splinter groups now driving the bus of State without benefit of a driver's license or the ability to reach the brake pedal. How did this happen? Marketing, and pardon me Ms. Willson and Mr. Lacey, it begins with M and M stands for MEAN! That is what has happened. Big dollars go to people willing to use their own truth, not facts, and say mean untruthful things about anyone that opposes the owners of the big dollars and their positions.
What is the answer? Making people responsible for their misrepresentations in the media. I recently read an article about how the Feds went after Roger Clements for allegedly lying to Congress over the use of steroids or human growth hormones. Acts that, in the grand scheme of things, amount to nothing more than the fact that he may or may not be a liar, cheater and profiteer. That is between him and Baseball, the fans, advertising sponsors and the Hall of Fame. The head of the NSA however, after receiving written questions a day in advance, directly lied to Congress over the gathering of data about regular run of the mill U.S. citizens. Then to complicate the matter even more he was offered a chance to clarify within a day or two and would not retract the lie. Then, even further still, he told two different versions of how he misunderstood a yes or no question, each contradicting the other and his testimony under oath. Now, guess who was prosecuted for his misrepresentations to Congress! Yep, Roger Clemens.
How does this happen? One man lies about issues of constitutional proportions and one man may or may not have lied about use of controlled substances - by the way a jury of his peers found him not guilty - and we use the full force and power of the American Justice system to go after one and not the other. We, the people, have let this get out of control. No one else is responsible other than the face in the mirror. Well, the people doing it hold some share of responsibility but that is because they lack a moral compass and will go wherever a dollar draws them. We need to stand up, look them in the eye and tell them no more.
Ted Cruz stands in front of his "Stepford Wives" like followers and tells them we have less than ten years as a nation and blames everyone but the face in the mirror. Do things need to change in Washington? Yes! Do we need the Ted Cruz' of the world with no experience other than his Ivy League education to direct him telling us how? No! A thousand times No! A college education doesn't mean you are smart enough to lead the world. It doesn't mean you are the smartest person out there or the best at something you have never done. If that were the case I would be going through the paces at Fenway getting ready to face the Cardinals Wednesday evening. Ted Cruz may have a high IQ but with him the emphasis is on the "I" and not the intelligence it takes to do the right things.
In spite of the Citizens United ruling of a few years ago we need to wrench power from the wealthy interests and re-direct government to doing the people's work. The common good does not necessarily mean eliminating taxes on the ultra-rich and allowing the lower end of the spectrum to bear their burden. Everyone needs to take up the load in equal and proportional shares and work for the betterment of the country as a whole. Some have talents with their hands, others with their minds. Why is one entitled to use those talents to suppress the benefits of a better tomorrow by denying a fair and equal chance to the other? A level playing field is what America was all about some two centuries ago. The ability for a man or woman to go out and, with all things being equal, make it on their own. We have lost that! Look at farming for example. Even 100 years ago corporate farms were non-existent. Today, they are everywhere, including the halls of congress with their hands out while we squeeze the small family farms to death. How did it happen? People using their own facts to create a facade of truth and veracity they are not entitled to, and with the money they throw around, have gained access and control of those with power over the public trough.
Regular Americans need to fight for good education policies, strong support for educational opportunities and requirements that the public business be conducted for the public good and not the good of the few with enough money to create their own truths which are not self-evident unless they are blindly accepted and followed. America needs to stand up and be counted. It needs to ask questions of the people taking public positions and not accept them because some talking head that uses big words has said them. Good public education made this country great and it will help us eliminate the falsities that have come to misdirect our ship of state like the removal of a misplaced magnet will lead a ship back to its true course.