Someone once said, “Where you stand on an issue depends upon where you sit.” True, none of us see the whole picture because in our humanity we can only look from certain angles. We're limited by space, time, and finiteness.
We forget the past, sometimes a blessing, sometimes a dangerous weakness. We can’t see the future, not really, not even tomorrow. But we’re still divinely given the ability to reason and learn, and we’re divinely charged with exercising stewardship, which is to say making responsible decision, during the days of our lives.
Right now, we need to make some key and good decisions about America, because this is “our day” and our country and culture, sorry to say, are in trouble. As in our individual lives, most of our trouble we made for ourselves. Sure, some of it happened to us without our volition or contribution—maybe others are responsible, maybe environmental developments. But most of it happened because we did some things and didn’t do other things. In the end, why and how things happen do matter, but it matters more how we go from here.
One brief blog couldn’t begin to summarize all we need to do to get America back on track, even if everyone stood in the same place and agreed on how to proceed. But at least we can make a few suggestions on some big issues:
--Identify leaders with ideals, moral courage, resolve, an unshakeable belief in American values, and an optimistic vision of its future—capable of restoring America’s hope. I’m not talking about platitudes but transformational conviction. I’ve yet to hear from President Barack Obama, Congressman John Boehner, or anyone on the Right, Left, or even in the Tea Party who is truly willing to speak forthrightly with passion, logic, and good ideas. We’ve lost confidence in our selves, our values, and the idea of progress toward a better tomorrow. This, for a culture and a country, is stagnating and potentially deadly.
--Bring American troops home from Afghanistan. I’ve written about this before. Political leaders in Washington, D.C., no matter the party, cannot articulate a cogent and coherent rationale, that makes sense, for this war’s continuance. It’s costing us blood and treasure for no foreseeable gain.
--Develop a national budget that actually addresses the profound national debt and budget deficits we keep building like there’s no tomorrow. Not to be melodramatic, but if we keep living beyond our means, pushing the budget-cut-pain into the future, there may not be a tomorrow for our culture, our country, or our children.
--To attain such a budget, entitlements for seniors like Medicare and Social Security, and a whole list of other sacred cows amounting to about 93% of the national budget must be discussed and curtailed. Anyone who says, which right now includes most politicians in Washington, D.C., that we can balance the budget, much less reduce the debt, without touching these programs is either a dissembler or a financial boob.
--Develop and pass a reasonable, common sense immigration reform law that honors American identity, protects our borders, preserves our laws, and allows illegals a path to citizenship while respecting their humanity. This sounds like a mouthful, but if we could get past partisan posturing and idealist notions that anyone should be permitted entry for any reason, we could reform the system. Right now, border agents are at risk, illegal drugs, guns, and people are coming across borders regularly, and illegals already here are being placed on healthcare and welfare rolls with no visible means of making their own way. Meanwhile, what it means to be an American—and I don’t mean this chauvinistically or worse, racially—is being diluted to nothing. Other countries identify their national character and boundaries; why can’t we?
As I said, we need to do more. But if we could pull off this much we’d be well down the track to getting America rolling again. I’m wondering when we can find a few honest, bold leaders with the vision and capacity to lead when others are not yet following.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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