It may be more interesting to theorize what ails you. On the other hand, it’s far more effective to let a medical professional check you out. Of course, I (like countless others) have tried to take short cuts by internet-searches, matching my conditions by entering symptoms and then trusting Dr. Google to come up with cures – or at least relief – for those conditions – only to discover they’re about as reliable as old wives’ tales and myths we gravitated toward back in the day. There’s nothing like the truth to set you free (and expose your ignorance at the same time).
Same applies to the “illness” we find plaguing the United States, a critical condition that directly affects the future of our democracy, standard-of-living, jobs, descendants, retirement, pensions, insurances, savings, and healthcare coverage. Concerning the nation and the political crisis we face, these primary questions should be asked – “How’d we get in this mess, and [more importantly] how do we get out of it?”
The reverse is true: If an individual is unwilling to seek answers from credible evidence, he/she is living in a bubble isolated from what’s going on and is, by default, part of the problem. Additionally, if the person is unwilling to face the truth after discovering the source, chances of achieving the “American dream” are slim – dependent on others willing to take up the slack to struggle successfully until such time U.S.S. America avoids the dangerous shore and rights itself.
Reminds me of the bright college kid that lacked mechanical skills. He was doing good to have gas in the tank and air in the tires. One day his radiator overheated and steam spewed out from under the hood. Next the engine died; he barely made it over to the shoulder.
Along came a good Samaritan and stopped to see if the nerd needed help. In a panic, the poor guy was still sitting in the driver’s seat with white knuckles gripping the steering wheel. The good Samaritan asked, “Have you checked under the hood?”
The geek replied, “No. I don’t even know how. And I don’t know why my engine overheated.” (Truth is – he had never popped the hood and looked at his engine.)
The good Samaritan directed, “Well, the lever is right under the steering column. So, pop the hood and let’s take a look-see.”
The geek would have been sitting there all day if the good Samaritan hadn’t stopped by, put coolant in his radiator, and followed the helpless nerd to the next station. Because Mr. Geek was more dependent on theory, hypotheses and pure fiction than he was reality or common sense.
A lot of Americans haven’t “popped the hood” to see what the problem is. They still revert to stale, old political rhetoric dressed up as a solution (smaller government, fewer taxes, no regulations, privatization, outsourcing, “free” markets, and “Christian” values).
Check under the hood and you’ll discover our engine has been sabotaged – drained of necessary fluids to keep it going. Who would have done such a thing? Then we discover – the very ones pushing the rhetoric are the saboteurs. And why have they done such? Because they want our vehicle, but they think they almost have to wreck it to get it. Yes, damaging the U.S. and its future to gain the prize of power is far more important to them than doing what’s best for the nation. Treason it is.
Then the question remains, “Well, what’s the solution?”
The answer is a mix of solidarity with fellow progressives and a strong dose of personal outrage. If you’re not energized by now [after years of evidence of decline], you’re either dead or in denial.
Some say it’s pointless to demonstrate, go to the streets, petition Congress, and support the progressive causes after such horrific damage, most notably by the U.S. Supreme Court – as we’ve seen hallmarks of democracy decimated in recent years (Citizens United, Voting Rights Act gutted, etc.). Well, is it pointless? Should we find a more effective path?
The solution is activism, MUTUAL activism. And then we must direct that energy towards that which counts. Our fate seems to be in the hands of a Congress that can’t get a damned thing done. But why don’t we focus our letters, emails, and phone calls to a President who would not have been elected in the first place had not progressives been energized to back him?
Town hall meetings are usually scheduled in August during congressional recess. It’s time to let our issues be heard, right? But Tea Party congressmen and senators for sure turn a deaf ear to our voices, and evidently the President only hears us faintly as he is poised to appoint Larry Summers as the next Federal Reserve Chairman against our wishes and purest principles.
To rescue the Postal Service and 300,000 jobs, Obama should be the one demanding that the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act be repealed. He realizes (even more than 99% of unionized postal workers) that he never would have gotten the job had not the postal workforce stepped in. It’s past time for payback.
Concerning the USPS, I’ve studied this situation for several years. I know this view is controversial, but I also know it to be true. The President appoints the USPS Board of Governors. The President introduces bills and requests for repeals to Congress if he so chooses. If we don’t get the President focused on the Postal Service’s fate, Congress is guaranteed not to act at all. Or if it does, will act not in the best interests of the U.S., the USPS, nor the workforce employed by that agency. He owes us.
The same applies to most other critical issues facing the United States.
The problem under the hood is identified and now we know what’s needed. So, let’s do it and quit acting like the geek frozen behind the wheel. Your country depends on it.
To contact President Obama, click on: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact