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Monday, July 22, 2024

Can, or should, America be saved?

Is there a Captain America among us?
Is there a Captain America among us?

A question that comes up far too often in breakfast table discussions at our favorite local restaurant these days is: “Where is America headed?”

The general consensus around the table?  “To hell.”

While I agree that America as a nation is in trouble and most likely headed for even more problems, I cannot subscribe to the theory that the end is near.

Not yet.

We’ve been down before.  We’ve faced crisis and even the threat of oblivion before but this nation is a collection of stubborn types who refuse to give up and who, somehow, find a way to survive.

At time, things look too dire, too bad and too damaged to salvage.  We have a inept leader in the White House, a bumbling collection of political dinosaurs in Congress and a passive-aggressive populace who are too wrapped up in personal problems and biases to put the needs of a nation ahead of themselves.

So it is not surprising that America finds itself at another crossroads where the obvious question of “can America be saved?” is followed by an even-more-obvious “should American be saved?”

There are many who think that America today is no longer a nation worth loving or saving.

If that is true, then who is at fault?  Barack Obama? John Boehner? Harry Reid?  The tea party? Democrats? Republicans? The right wing? The left wing? Liberals? Conservatives? Or simply us?

If the answer is “us,” then the next logical question is: “How to we fix things?”

That’s a good question and the answer is neither easy to answer or implement.

As too many out there learned too late, many so-called “grassroots” organizations are actually fronts for corporate and/or political entities with hidden agendas that have nothing to so with the freedom or the restoration of an America for the people or by the people.

The tea party was the biggest fraud of all — a phony grassroots group created by a Republican consulting firm for the Koch Brothers — two right-wing energy billionaires who want to push their own, repressive agenda onto a gullible populations.

Sadly, I was once part of that consulting firm — the senior communications associate who helped create phony grassroots operations designed to help not “the people” but the corporate and political clients.

For example, I once created a group called “Citizens for Rural Internet Broadband Access,” a so-called grassroots movement that lobbied Congress for federal money to help build a high-speed access system in rural areas.

We had a web site, which I designed, and pushed the idea through meetings and press conferences.

The entire program had little to do with “citizens” or grassroots.  It had a lot to do with Corning, which funded the program to sell fiber-optic cable used to transmit high-speed data.

The group is long-gone now and many rural areas are still struggling to obtain decent high-speed service.  But Corning sold some cable and the consulting firm I worked for at the time got paid.

Which brings us back to the original question here.  How do we — as ordinary citizens — regain control of our country?

We can’t do it if he allow ourselves to become pawns of business or political action groups.

But they have the money and in politics you can’t do anything without money.

Therein lies the problem.

The solution?

Sorry, don’t have one.

Do you?


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4 thoughts on “Can, or should, America be saved?”

  1. Term limits for those seated in the congress and the supreme court, also, restrict lobbying activities to outside the DC metro area. Truth in broadcasting laws and put teeth in them. I could go on, alas..

  2. Improvements in America must start with individuals taking full responsibility for themserlves, their family and homes. Do parents fully understand training their family members to know right from wrong in all circumstances? There are simple laws of showing respect for others that should start from the early stages of child training. Our schools are starting to look like boot camps. What kind of exposure are our young kids having to cope with. Their games, television shows and even sports groups are violent.

    Any serious changes will have to come from the family unit and then grow to include neighborhoods and up through counties and then the states. Many have seen improvements when the children were sent to smaller private schools where the parents were fully involved.

    When the parents stand up to the schools and demand strong changes in the actions of the kids, then we can develop intelligently run academic institutions.

    The best example of out of control human actions can be found in our Congressional leaders.

  3. We’d have to start buying our politicians the same way the big players do. This would cost a lot more than clicking on a website to send in $10 every four years. Unfortunately, Americans are as cheap as they are moral — they whine a lot but they always wait for somebody else to pick up the check.

  4. Perhaps rural broadband access was a reasonable thing to advocate for. Sure, Corning sold some cable, but at least it did some folks some good besides Corning. Admittedly, I live in a very rural area 10 miles from the nearest town and have an independent engineering biz for which broadband access is essential, but I think that reasonable broadband access for all is a worthy national goal, rather like functioning bridges and water systems.

    You seem to be moving past inchoate breakfast-table rage to at least ask the right question: How do we fix it? I think that is a more useful use of energy than endlessly raging against the machine.

    Fixing it by destroying 250 years of collective building of a country may seem perfect in the abstract, but will be really messy. Destroying those 250 years of negotiations on how to run a country without some sort of a plan to replace it in a responsible fashion is going to destroy lots of lives simultaneously.

    We tried civil war once and it cost 650,000 lives, many from your beloved Virgina. Do you think we should do that again? Railing against the “system” in the abstract without suggesting anything to improve it is not very productive if you really want things to get better.

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