WE are better than this

We’re better than this

 

As we begin 2012, a new year, usually filled with promise, most look forward to what the year might bring.  Normally, plans have been laid and we begin to work toward accomplishing those goals. This year, somehow seems different.

There is a great deal more talk of doom and gloom than normal.  Normally employed people have given up looking for work.  This paints a bleak picture for those just entering the work force, and perhaps an even gloomier picture for those that are expecting to leave it.  Young people can hang on a little longer, delaying that departure from the comfort of living with parents; older folks have no place to go.

Manufacturing in the United States is at a low, especially in the northwest.  Forests that once fueled mills to produce building materials have come to a standstill and most have even been reduced to salvage.  Oh, yes, log trucks still roll, but not like in the old days.  When the head rigs still operated, the sound might have been a high-pitched whine to the casual observer, but to counties, it sounded like money.  Money to pay for schools, money for a healthy payroll, money for the grocer selling food to mill families. And the list goes on and on . . .

And what is the fate of those old mills?  Well, you can’t expect a mill owner to hang around to wait for another generation so they can be started again.  Our last governor said that old mill sites were good places to locate new mills but venture capital is not jumping into something that won’t produce a profit for many years to come, and worse, may not turn a wheel until well in the future.

So, we have the people, we have the sites, we even have the forests, but nothing is going to happen with the kind of gridlock we have in Washington.  Congress’ rating is so low, I suspect they would finish a distant second to Somalian pirates in a popularity contest.  Last I heard, they were receiving a 9 percent approval rating.  That seems a little high, based on comments I’ve heard and–based on their output, is considerably higher than they deserve.  Even the best of them are worthy only of the scorn and contempt of the country.

A new beginning

But I’m not writing this to condemn the country, but to say that the country is still in good shape.  How?  Well, if you look at the country itself, not the leadership, you’ll see that everything is still in place.  There are lots of good folks around who produce goods and services that we vitally need.  I see pastures full of beef animals despite the hardships placed on those producers by the government.  Lamb and goats are doing fine, thank you.  And so far, everyone still eats meals with their family.  Yes, times are tough, but there is one thing to keep in mind.  We are better than this.

America has one problem only.  We lack leadership.

Ever see one of those old movies where the rudder breaks off the ship and the vessel is dead in the water?  That is what America is like now.  The rudder has fallen off or been shot off and we are drifting aimlessly about in a sea of mediocrity.  Shame on us.  We are better than this.

Students of history will recall that there have been other  civilizations throughout the world that have suffered similar fates.  The Mayans, once an advanced civilization centered in Mexico, simply walked away and left everything to the leadership, who could in no way maintain what had been built.  We are better than this.

Our congress cannot even police themselves and resist the temptation to stop insider trading.  That should be simple, but they persist and get quite wealthy for the same crime Martha Stewart spent time in the slammer for.  We are better than this.

It’s easy to point a finger at so many people as the culprits who caused the problem, but eventually that gets right back to us.  We’ve allowed those legalized criminals in Washington to get away with just about everything they want.

In 2012, it’s time to stop this madness.  Our congress is designed to be populated by representatives who serve one term bringing fresh voice to Washington and make certain that the people are heard.  Congress is serving themselves, you know that, it’s time they serve the people that have elected them.  We are better than this.

One senator admitted that he had to secure $75,000 in campaign contributions per day (Monday through Sunday) to be re-elected.  My question is: “why must he be re-elected?”  who cares?  We are better than this.

If you had trouble determining the message in this, I’ll put it in the simplest form I can: WE are better than this.

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