America at the Crossroads
I am sorry to burst your bubble, but Barack Obama is no messiah. He cannot single handedly cure the nation's ills. Some people are looking to him to save America. They want him to do what they themselves cannot, or will not. And, that is to steer the great ship of state from its course of business as usual. And, John McCain is the same old Republican Party brand. Paradoxically, he claims to have the answers to many of the problems that his party under President Bush caused in the first place.
Now I've make some pretty harsh accusations. To test there validity of my assertions, we will have probe little deeper. Let's start with what our country needs RIGHT NOW. For one, we need a government that is free of lies, open to change and compassionate.
What do we have now? To start with, look at the way that the America people were deceived about Iraq possessing nuclear weapons, WMD's. Do you remember all the propaganda the poured from the White House, with Condoleezza Rice, Gen. Collin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld leading the crusade? After 911, with some much blame going around, few in Congress would dare challenge the President's call to arms.
The American people went to bed after watching the late night news convinced that Osama was under their bed waiting to cut their throats and Saddam was in the closet with a dirty bomb. Is it any wonder that the campaign to "shock and awe" the Iraqi people faced so little opposition in congress. When the TRUTH finally surfaced, we were knee dig in it. What did the war cost us?
Well, let's see. We had gone from having the sympathy of the world to being the scourge of the civilized world. As a result, we've become estranged from our allies and provided valuable propaganda for Al Qaeda recruitment machine. In addition, the billion dollars a day cost of the war has had a devastating affect on the American economy. Important social programs are being cut, and the American infrastructure continues to crumble, including: education, roads and bridges, water, energy, and transportation. So much for trusting the American government.
Democracy, if not for not of the consent of the people, is tyranny. Presidents have claimed to have the welfare of the American people at heart? However, paying off their debt to special interest supersedes all other priorities. Cast in point. Each presidents since the oil embargo of 1973 has placed the interest of the seven sisters, seven largest American oil companies over the needs of the American people. While oil profits reach record level, the working class takes a beating at the gas pump.
Even a blind man can see that our crude oil dependency results in: the death of thousands of America's son and daughters who are deployed to oil regions, the transfer of trillions of dollars to the Middle East, and the inflation of goods and services across the board. All of which undermine national security while financing the very same terrorists that the government claims to be seeking to destroy.
The third requirement of good government is compassion for its people. In response to that, I have one word for you. Katrina. I will never forget the faces of the tens of thousands abandoned by their government for 5 days to survive the best way they knew how. The president claimed that he was unaware of the crisis. He blamed the head of FEMA for the blunder, who when pressed for an answer by an enraged newswomen said that he had no idea of the horrendous conditions in New Orleans. These were Americans. Where was the same compassion shown to third world nations faced with natural disasters?
Can either candidate change the way Washington does business and provide the American people with what the Constitution says they are entitled to? I think not. In my humble opinion, the American people are going to have to get involved, and fast.
Apathy and rampant disconnect is the real enemy. How long can we use NASCAR, Monday Night Football, and American Idol to escape our responsibilities as citizens?
There dire consequences for our indifference. For example, if we want to lessen our dependency on foreign oil, we have to change our lifestyle. Drilling for more crude is not the answer. America must become energy conscious in a way we never have. In the same way we must become dedicated to transforming our faltering educational institutions, our corrupted financial institutions and outmoded factories.
With China and Japan on the rise and even Russia looking to return to world prominence, the future is now. We as a nation must face the reality that we are at a crossroads. The entire community must get involved in schools on all levels; businesses must provide internships to promising youth, those who are able must donate to charities, those without the finances must donate their time and those with skills must train others.
Make no mistake; our vast wealth will not save us, considering that we are currently thirteen trillion in the red and nearly haft our annual budget is going to service the interest alone. If the future of this nation is to rescued from the shifting sands of economic and technological change, it must begin at the bottom and work it way up, and not the other way around. In the words of John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
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