Witnessing death is a painful thing, especially when you are watching the death of a person whom you have held dear for much of your life, or all of your life. Imagine how it would feel to witness the suicide of such a person. Even more painful.
I feel, though, that in the past few years, that is exactly what I have been experiencing. Not the suicide of a person, thankfully, but the suicide of a nation, my nation of birth, the USA. It’s painful to watch, but as events have transpired over the past few months, it is what I believe I am watching. The USA appears to be killing itself, and today, it would seem that the first nail is in the coffin.
Earlier today, after months of political bickering over the debt ceiling legislation in the USA, Standard & Poors has downgraded the USA’s AAA rating to AA+. Such a move would not create such a huge panic if not for all of the other signs that have been so evident over the past 3 or 4 years.
Americans, when faced with a challenge have always risen up and taken care of business. In the debt crisis, and economic hard times of late, though, it would seem that Americans are unable to do so. They, we, are unable to gather the resolve that is needed to make things better.
In the past, when the USA went to war, everybody make sacrifices. Today, we send soldiers, but the rest of us go on about our business as if nothing is going on. Back during WWII everybody made sacrifices. People grew victory gardens. Materials were rationed if they were needed to manufacture ammunition, make planes or whatever. If something was needed for the troops that protected the country, the rest of the people made a commitment, and got it to the boys.
Today, when our nation should be at war against the debt and economic malaise that is facing the country, nobody is willing to sacrifice anything. When we can see that Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the country, we are not even willing to make a small sacrifice to help our country get back in her feet. Cuts can be made in many areas, nearly every area of the budget. Yes, there is huge waste in the Defense budget, but Republicans are not willing to cut it. The budget for entitlement programs is laden with waste, but Democrats won’t allow it to be cut. Taxes are not equitable, but the Republican side won’t even consider increases in taxes. Fifty percent of Americans don’t pay any income taxes at all, yet Democrats are not willing to consider taxing them, only the “rich” seem to be eligible for taxes under Democrat philosophy.
When the two political sides are so diabolically opposed to each other’s stands, how can we ever come together to save the country?
Yes, I say “save the country,” because I honestly believe that the USA is currently committing suicide. America is dying. I love America. Many people, even our supposed “friends” around the world hate America, though. America has treated the people of the world shabbily in many ways, and the chickens are coming home to roost. Not many people around the world will be willing to step in and save the country, especially when Americans themselves seem so unwilling to make the painful changes that are needed to save the nation.
Money is like crack cocaine. When you are addicted you will do anything except to cut it off and get back to reality. Americans are addicted to money, in many ways as if it were crack. Back in the days when house values carried Americans, they sucked the value out of their properties and wasted it.
Oh, my home is worth $100,000 more than it was last year, let me get my mortgage broker on the phone and take out that equity again….
Well, when the housing bubble crashed, many Americans found themselves owing tens of thousands of dollars more than their homes were worth, and foreclosures became very common. When Americans figured out that because they were not willing to pay a bit more for American made products, they woke up and realized that suddenly they didn’t have a job anymore, because the TV factory where they used to work had suddenly moved to China.
It is indeed a painful thing to watch as America withers away. I hate to see it. Being an American citizen who lives abroad, I feel like a person having a ringside seat for the suicide. I don’t want to watch, but there seems to be no choice.
It’s not too late to pull it together, make shared sacrifice and get the country back on track. I can’t be done in a year, though, or 5 years or even 10 years. It will be a battle of a lifetime, and if it is going to be fought, it must be fought soon, not a decade from now.
Back in the early 60’s President John F. Kennedy challenged America to make it to the moon before the end of the decade of the 60’s. They did it when Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969. Compare that to today. On September 11, 2001 the World Trade Centers were knocked down by Islamic terrorists. Here we are just a month shy of a decade later, and we have not even rebuilt the site yet. Ten years, and we have skeletons of a new building there, but it is still years from completion. In the middle east, they have build new world class buildings in a matter of only a few years.
Can America do it anymore? In recent years we have not shown that we can. Is America world class? If it is, then let’s see it.
Tackle our national problems or die, those are the choices we are facing. Stop pointing fingers, the blame is shared among every side of the political debate. We have to get ‘er done… if we still can.