Putting Politics Ahead Of Country
Wednesday - August 03, 2011
If, by the time you read this, Congress has failed to reach a deal on the nation’s debt ceiling, then we are in big trouble.
Trouble so big and so deep it’s likely to take decades to dig out of the mess.
Trouble so far reaching it will spell upheaval and disaster for the entire world economy.
It’s actually hard to even imagine that kind of trouble, because we’ve always had faith that our country could solve any problem, survive any disaster.
Were we wrong? Have we really become so polarized that we will go down not with a bang but in an echo chamber of complaints and recriminations?
Whatever happened to politicians who, while worthy adversaries, could put aside their differences for the good of the country?
And when did compromise become a dirty word?
I can see it now a world where the very word sends shudders up and down the spines of responsible ideologues everywhere.
Teachers telling children it’s never OK to bend or give, even a little. Parents lecturing their kids on the evils of the “c” word. Mental institutions set up for the sole purpose of curing sick, pro-compromising souls. What a horrible affliction, like empathy. Or (gasp) common sense.
It’s now very clear that purists have taken over Congress, and they are unwilling to sully themselves for anything as trivial as the national good. Because, of course, they are convinced they are right. No matter the cost, they are right.
I don’t believe in happily ever after, not when it comes to the current state of our government.
These last few weeks have made it abundantly clear that, to paraphrase political pundit David Gergen, the problems in our country have never been so huge, and the ability of our leaders to solve them has never been so small.
On a less gloomy note, sometimes I get an email that makes my day. This one from reader Peggy Grant made me smile.
“I can relate to your reference to the old electric typewriters, such as the IBM Selectric. It seems ancient today, however, I can recall when I thought I had died and gone to heaven when IBM came out with its correcting Selectric. How genius! Here at the office, we unfortunately have to hold on to that little bit of antiquity we have a Selectric at my desk due to those few annoying forms that still require a manual typewriter. To show just how ancient this (once beloved) piece of equipment truly is, I’ll share a humorous story: A colleague recently brought her 8-year-old daughter into the office. As they walked over to my area to put a file on my desk, her daughter, Jackie, suddenly shrieked to her mother, while pointing to an unfamiliar piece of machinery, “Mom,” she said, “What’s THAT!!!!?” Anna responded to her daughter, ‘Jackie, that’s a typewriter!’”
I would laugh even harder were it not for the fact that I’m also feeling slightly well old.
But enough of that.
Excuse me while I finish organizing my VHS tapes. I have them right next to my 8-Tracks.
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