For most of 30 years the U.S. has been heading in the wrong direction.
Our infrastructure is fractured; wealth has been redistributed unfairly; the economy is running on only six cylinders -- on a good day; fearful corporations are hoarding rather than hiring; Congress is incapable of accomplishing anything meaningful; our education system has left us intellectually challenged; lying has become the cultural norm; and ignorant self-obsessed people have, somehow, achieved messianic status.
That's only a few of our problems; some of our biggest challenges.
The most challenging problem for our now fragile democracy is our electorate. 'By the people' has never been as strained in our more than 200 year history. Not because of the fear of socialism, nor the threat of voter fraud. And it's not the uncertainty of taxes or healthcare or birth certificates.
The problem is an uninformed electorate. To be more blunt, American voters are terribly misinformed. But they still get to vote; even though they're insufficiently qualified.
How did this happen? How have so many people become so ignorant about important issues?
Every citizen in the United States has the right to vote, the opportunity to have a voice in the direction of their country. It was, and is still, the best form of government -- even though so few really deserve a vote.
But it's not immigrants or illegals that I'm referring to. And it's not just plumbers, or janitors, bus drivers, or maids that are electorally challenged.
Conversely, it's doctors, lawyers, real estate brokers, executives, and bankers. It's Tea Partiers, small business owners, Republicans, and Libertarians; educated people who should know better but are blinded by numerous and relentless outside influences, by greed, and selfishness. So many Americans caring about themselves -- so few about the country!
Incited by talking points and inconsequential wedge issues, most voters attention is diverted from the 'real' issues facing this nation. Yet they will enter voting booths with the potential of causing further destruction.
As a consequence, we could renew our 30 year slide into the abyss.
Restructuring begins with this election; with realigning Congress.
There are many reasons why we are unable to elect qualified politicians to Congress or the Presidency, but uninformed voters are the biggest. For starters take a good look at the candidates that have been elected in the primaries; Rand Paul, Sharon Angle, Joe Miller, and Ken Buck. All clearly unqualified to serve 'the people.' Yet, there is a frightening possibility some will be elected.
Granted, we have a lot of incapable members in our current Congressional mix, and we do need a change, but the aspiring group of candidates have never been less qualified and, quite honestly, crazier!
As we approach the elections of 2010 we run the risk of making things worse rather than better--far worse than what 12 years of a Republican Congress already did to this country! We're in the early stages of recovering from that fiasco. Republican policies have pushed us toward poverty; toward depressionesque excesses and deprivations of the 1920's.
The main reason we need to restructure -- there is so much to fix. Nearly all the problems were caused by Republicans, yet there are some who are considering putting them in charge again. It is absolutely amazing that people demand 30 years of destruction and erosion be fixed in four years. This is the convoluted thinking of an uninformed and misinformed electorate.
Despite my deep concern over the economic advice President Obama is receiving, the economic programs they have enacted have at least prevented us from falling over a cliff. They have, however, not been strong enough to improve a horrific economy or stimulate an actual recovery.
For the last two years Americans have been fighting for their survival; struggling to keep their heads above water. Many are losing the battle as the middle-class continues to decline. Thanks to the Republicans, it is more expensive to be poor in this country than ever in our history!
Restructuring is imperative and will take a long time. We have to, first and foremost, reverse the excesses of the last decade. The policies that we pursue must lift the 95% of hard-working Americans who have been ignored for the last 14 years; ignored completely by the Republicans.
We've slid so far into the darkness that it may be difficult to find the light. That light begins with humanity. Humanity is what America is all about; what it was built on. It appears, somewhere along the way, we have lost that.
America was the torch of hope, of liberty--so aptly and historically penned by Emma Lazarus; Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... Republicans no longer care about the huddled masses, they view them with disdain. They only care about the upper one percent.
And the word NO will do NOthing to help this country recover from the hole we've gotten ourselves into.
Only an informed electorate can start the process. The sooner restructuring and rebuilding start the sooner we'll be able to correct the failings of the Republican Congress and the Bush Administration. In order to do that we need to elect a smarter more caring Congress.
Continually saying NO to the needs of the many in favor of the greed of the few is UnAmerican! But 'we' must say NO to crazy candidates, and their ignorant platforms, if we're to have any chance of survival.
Our fragile economy cannot survive even one more year of destructive Republican policies.
If an uninformed electorate votes to return to the destructive policies of the past...
God Help Us All!
Over the next few weeks a series will unfold addressing the challenges mentioned in the top of the article. These challenges must be faced or our whole way of life is in jeopardy.