We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Do you recognize those numbers? In order, they are the current federal debt, the current total US debt, the number of Americans who aren’t gainfully employed, the sum of unfunded federal liabilities, the current fiscal years’s proposed budget and the Obama administration’s estimated federal debt on January 20, 2016.
In addition, we have the gradual erosion of Constitutional rights, the looming specter of uncontrolled inflation (which is now running 8%), a quagmire in Afghanistan, a pending war with Iran, Europe back in recession, the potential for a “Russian Spring,” and border security still hasn’t been effectively solved.
These are real crises. Real problems that we should be focused on and demanding that the politcal leadership focus on. But if you dropped in from Mars, here’s what you would think were the problems facing the country:
How promiscuous are Georgetown law students?
Is there a Massive Government Conspiracy to assassinate bloggers?
Why are NFL players paid to hurt other players?
A washed up pop-star drowns in the bathtub after overdosing on painkillers!
I could continue, but you get the point (I hope). In ancient Rome, it was said Nero fiddled as the city burned. Today, we’re the fiddlers. Blame the politicians for the mess we’re in all you want, but I’m about to hit you with some cold, hard reality. We are the reason politicians are avoiding the real problems. Every time you lose your focus and begin worrying about some silly “culture war” diversion, the media applauds and a politicians from both parties smile. Why? The vast majority of politicians are not idiots. They know the real problems we face – and they know the only solutions are neither popular nor easy. But rather than debate them honestly, it is far easier for them to divert our attention with “issues” that really have no effect on how you or I conduct our daily lives. They prefer debates over things they all know governments have virtually no control over, and should have no control over, then coming to the American people and telling us the truth about things. It is much easier to build brand loyalty for a political party over culture issues (Republicans, please step to the right; Democrats to the left). It is nigh near impossible to do when facing the real problems we face.
But we still live in a representative republic. We, the people, still have the ultimate power. But we have to exercise it. That is the ultimate solution to our nation’s ills. But doing so involves two skill sets we’ve not demonstrated in years: perseverance and determination. We – me, you, everyone – needs to demand our political leaders face the real problems and work on solutions. And we need to let them know that if they don’t, another election is right around the corner and we’ll vote for someone who will.
Don’t let them distract you with another bogus news story about a trivial issue; another “he said, she said” item or another nonsensical quote from a would-be candidate. Keep your focus on what really matters. Or, go ahead and keep thinking that cultural issues are the defining item of our time.
Just don’t come crying to me when the country turns into another Greece.