The anger is palpable. The simmering pot of discontent has been incessant for decades. The political pitch is now boiling over. Dismay has wrought anger. Is anger the elixir for the issues confronting our society?
It took us long enough to move beyond dismay. The political strategists’ maneuvers coaxed, cajoled , and threatened to keep their masters and us in line by the gift of eloquent, and might I add even loquacious abandon. The game was afoot. Few got it. Even today, many are in disbelief. With each revelation we have become angrier. Our disgust ratcheted higher elevating our diminishing capacity to lucidly reach resolution to the ills that plague us. There are many concerns. Few have been dealt with reasonably, fairly, equitably, or competently.
We have stopped talking to one another. Much of the political discourse has been eviscerated by the “my way or the highway” demeanor that exemplifies hubris and little else.There are rules and conduct to every confrontation though not all are known. We each do not fully appreciate the changing tactics by which our human condition fails us. When we catch on to a new “tactic,” we may be the poorer for not comprehending the game fast enough. Some will survive the assault with resilience not expected, while others will become fodder for the scrap heap of insignificance. Next.
In business, success was often determined by location, location, and location. That was the old paradigm. The Internet has eclipsed the need for a physical location and rendered us the world by drawing us to a digital location unencumbered by the physical dimensions we believed were the governing tenets of success.
The political landscape has also changed but people do not yet appreciate those changes. Issues are subsumed by personal attacks. A candidates’ personal trials and tribulations have escalated onyo a tawdry stage where crotch shots are de riguer. These titillating deflections do little for our empty coffers, our sick and poor, our faltering infrastructure, our atrophying educational system, our corporate and individual welfare systems, our inept job creation efforts and all those failures entail. Simply put, credible planning is non-existent. The “system” has failed us. We are all to blame.
The anger discerned in politics and in daily life rests on permitting wrongs to go unchallenged. We didn’t challenge those who chose to dirty our streets with refuse. We didn’t challenge those who took away our individual rights. We didn’t challenge the Bernie Madoffs of the world. Come to think of it, what did we challenge?
At every turn the Democracy we claimed was undermined by false candidates that “talked the talk” but would not “walk the walk.” Once in office, they stayed there. We voted them back in year after year. We stayed quiet as long as they delivered the “pork.” We became political sluts. We have cried about losing our virginity ever since. We have bought into the conventional wisdom that our representative is “good” while others are all “bad.” How convenient.
Commitment of purpose is the only way to change today’s reality for the better. The only way to accomplish that is to have a political debate heaped deep and deeper in the issues that concern us. We must uncover the experienced as well as the intellectual from a panoply of disciplines and subject matter to find a footing from which to move ahead. Education is the backbone of our future. Teaching must be an ongoing process for the student and teacher alike. Every child learns; at issue is whether they learn in the classroom our on our streets. At a cost of over $20,000 per annum, per student from pre-K-12 is an infusion of approximately $250,000 per child. It is time our children learned their one and only responsibility until graduation is to study. Their parents know the facts. They must demand study of their children. Japan has done. They may be homogeneous in ethnicity and culture. Remember that education is the common denominator of all.
Only an educated populace can be competitive on the world stage. We are losing our focus. Our children must be educated lest we be relegated to third world status and its ills. America is not second to China. China is growing but it needs America to thrive. Our nation must focus within to rectify our endemic concerns. Not an isolationist parochial view but a plan for success. China’s success need not relegate America to less than it aspires for itself.
As we laugh at the antics of the cancer ridden North Korean leader who has bequeathed his son to The Hermit Kingdom’s throne, we dismiss the political hierarchy designed in similar fashion in America. We are not North Korea. They have their own issues. We have ours.
Setting education standards for teachers and students is the first step toward breaking the shackles of decay and dismay from our societal norms. We must become smarter in the governance of our educational system. Would it not be better to give every child a $100 computer, as is distributed to third world countries, in our country so that they may access the Internet for their studies online? Instead of publishing printed books, reduce costs by distributing textbooks by making them accessible online and affordable to more people within our borders. Expand after school help by teleconferencing technology. Create an affordable WiFi ability in every community. The cost savings will be phenomenal, the demand for excellence will be exacted, the learning curve increased, the cost of education reduced, and corporate America will learn to wean itself off the captive market that can no longer afford their outrageously exorbitant costs of their operation.
We can no longer escape one another by leaving for tawnier locations. It may be “greener” now but for how long? Why run out of town when failed efforts can be corrected? We need the will to focus on what works. Is America up to it or are the histrionics on local, state, and national elections another circus tent that has so many of us salivating over who will smite whom?
After all is said and done will we have moved the equation closer to our vision for America?
These thoughts are not “left” or “right.”
Is it appropriate to be heard and to be recognized? Oh, yes! Are we moving toward “our” goals? Are our goals being expressed along the political byway? Where is the mechanism that will hold the “blowhards” in check? What is the plan? How will it work? How will it be paid?
If you cut taxes will more companies and the commensurate jobs become a reality? Are the banks no longer too big to fail? Where is the sheriff who will go after wrong, and right it?
What measure of ethics do we live under? The shouting matches are inconsequential because they are inconclusive and are still tuned out. Is American run by those who shout the loudest? Who are they who shout the loudest? Are they smarter than those who should less loudly? Why is that? Are some smart and others less so? Is there any veracity to any of these issues or is this another one of those mind games that repeat like an old tune we wish we could forget but consume our day and night.
Larchmont’s favorite comedienne Joan Rivers became famous saying the line, “Can we talk?” It’s time we do just that. Thank you Ms. Rivers for getting us back on track.