Friday, December 17, 2010

I Don't Have the Answers

It’s easy to criticize. If you’ve read many of these posts you know that I do my fair share. I can argue that a rant or a vent is therapeutic. At least I may feel better after getting it off my chest. (Digression: I’m fascinated by where words or phrases come from. Get it off my chest, for example. At some point, probably a long time ago, somebody said it and it stuck. And so we continue to say it. But, as I said, I digress.)

So I express myself. Trouble is, that doesn’t make any difference. It doesn’t solve the problem. And since I don’t have any responsibility for the solution I don’t need to have answer. I can bitch and moan and let it go at that, until my next excuse for bitching and moaning comes up. Here then are some of the issues about which I have an opinion and am dissatisfied with how they are being handled, but for which I don’t have an answer:

Afghanistan – given where we are today, what’s really the best path to pursue? No matter which way we turn, every initiative looks hopeless. Getting out is the best thing to do. But simply declaring victory (or failure) isn’t going to happen, so what do we do?

Failing economies in Europe – this is a return to the domino theory used to justify fighting in Vietnam. Lose to the Commies in one place and other losses will follow. So first it’s Greece (I guess you could say Iceland), then it’s Ireland. Waiting in the wings are Portugal, Spain, Italy, and probably more. What’s the best thing to do? I dunno.

A failing economy at home – beyond the partisan bullshit that gets in the way of serious discussion, how do we get out of the cesspool into which we’ve fallen? I don’t have the answer.

Saving the environment – the way forward is clearer on this one, but how to get countries around the planet to agree to put mutual interest above self interest is not so clear.

Slowing down or stopping the decline of the United States of America – that we have lost our moral authority and are in the process of losing our economic preeminence doesn’t bother me very much. Throughout history (and probably during pre-history) there has been an inevitable rise and fall of all great powers. It’s part of the human condition. Being on top breeds hubris, arrogance, what these days is called American exceptionalism. God gave us the right to rule. It is our destiny. We deserve it. What crap! There is no answer for this one. It’s in our DNA.

American leaders working together for the common good – looks hopeless. What will it take to bridge the chasm between the Maxine Water Democrats, the Pelosi Democrats, the Obama Democrats, the Mitch McConnell Republicans, the Ron and Rand Paul Republicans, the Palin Republicans, and the rest? Maybe a revolution by people in the middle who want only to live their lives in peace with a reasonable quality of life, the non-ideologues, will do it. But I don’t see that happening. Looks like we’ll see a continuation of demonization and the pursuit of selfish pursuits.

Bringing back the America I knew as a child and young man, one in which we were proud to be the children of immigrants, one in which we really were the beacon of liberty for people around the world, one in which we stood for what is best and what is possible – seems like an impossible dream. Most Americans alive today never lived in that kind of country. What a shame.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see hope in the new arrivals, with small children, and big mortgages. I see change in the those who voted with their feet. You may not have the answers, but clearly, you confront the questions. ~Ks

7:42 PM  

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