Every time my sweetheart drives over yet another rusty bridge in and around Boston, she echoes Keenan Thompson's wonderful economist character from Saturday Night Live, "Fix it!" They both make me laugh, but today I want to cry instead.
The oil spill in the Gulf terrifies me. People are shouting their versions of "fix it." BP is doing whatever it's doing -- good, bad, effective, not. The spill isn't fixed. New Orleans -- thanks, Treme -- isn't fixed. Wall Street isn't fixed. Main Street isn't even on the fix-it list.
In a New York Times article by Peter Baker last Thursday, President Obama announced a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling in reaction to the spill. What bugs my sweetie, and me too, is that we're all shouting "fix it" -- and how, exactly, does postponing drilling fix anything? No one seems to be connecting the dots.
This is the paragraph from the Times that sent me spinning:
"A poll released by CBS News this week underscored the growing public impatience with the administration's handling of the crisis. Forty-five percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way the administration has responded to the oil spill, compared with 35 percent who approved. Fully 70 percent disapproved of BP's handling of the situation. At the same time, support for offshore drilling has cratered. While 64 percent favored increased drilling in 2008, just 45 percent do now, according to CBS, while those who say the risks are too great increased from 28 percent two years ago to 46 percent."
Connect the dots, America. We want everyone, except ourselves, to fix it, and we don't want to pay for it. Why?
What are we? Adolescents who are so focused on instant gratification that we pretend to see no consequences to our actions? Please! We have an older, more vital population that is larger than ever. We ought to be adults, we ought to see the consequences of both our choices and our actions. We need to connect the dots.
If we remain dependent upon oil, then we're going to have to pay the actual cost for it.
At the gas pump.
In heating and cooling our homes.
In washing and drying our clothes.
We're not babies. We're not comedians (most of us.) We are the people. As in: We the People. As in: Of the People. As in: By the People. As well as: For the People.
People, yes, we need to Fix It. Fix all of it. The economy. Wall Street. Main Street, and every street, avenue, road, turnpike, highway and bridge in between. The Gulf. The oil spill. Oil usage at all. New forms of sustainable energy. The Environment. Climate change. How we use our resources. How we don't. Politics. Art. Music. Theatre. Dance.
I suggest we stop letting silly pollsters bifurcate our reality. Those numbers mean nothing except that a bunch of teenagers don't get it that if they drink and drive, they risk death. It's that simple.
It's also this simple. Yes, let's fix it all.
Did you know that there is a website where we can all participate in paying down the National Debt? "Welcome to the United States Treasury's site for making donations to help reduce the public debt," the form says. "If you would like to make a donation, please fill in the required fields and click the Submit Data button when completed."
So yes, let's fix it all. Connect the dots, We the People. We have to step up or shut up, and let those who are stepping up get on with it.