A couple weeks ago, I blogged about the ongoing debates in Washington over the deficit and budget. I had hoped that our representatives in Washington would put politics aside and make the right decisions. Like many of you, I have been glued to these discussions and articles on the recent U.S. downgrade. And also like many of you, I have been disgusted by the process and by the hysteric media coverage which has a huge tendency to focus on the negative. With that said, here is why I think all of this is good.
First, what you saw in Washington over the last three or four weeks is democracy at work. It is a messy process and it seems to stink at times but this is what our Forefathers wanted and this is one of the cornerstones that our country was built upon. This debate was prolonged and heated because these are real issues. I have friends who lean towards the Liberal side and friends who lean towards the Tea Party side. Depending on your position and perspective, you may have a different view of what needs to happen but the truth is, these issues affect real people and they have huge repercussions for our country. They need to be hashed out.
As for the exhausting media coverage – guess what – if people weren’t watching it, they would not be covering it. The truth is the vast majority of Americans are not very informed on most of these economic issues. If nothing else, at least the media coverage brings it into more people’s lives and maybe the average person will start to think a little more about these issues. It has always amazed me how so many people know endless sports statistics but have no idea about how money or economics work.
As for the debt downgrade, I hated to see it. It is almost like an embarrassment to me, as an American, who has grown up in the strongest economic country in the history of the world. We grew up knowing that you could not spend more money than you had in your pocket. Maybe this will make people realize how far we have strayed from some of those basic principles our parents and grandparents taught us. Maybe this will be the stimulus that starts us back on the right path.
Finally, the only thing I hate worse than politics is the constant blame we put on our elected officials. This is a democratic country FOR the people, run BY the people. WE elect the people who serve. WE decide who goes and stays. WE decide whether or not there should be term limits. If there is one thing that eats at me about this country, it is the lack of self-reliance and the continual attitude that someone else is to blame. Whatever happened to the spirit of self-reliance that our fathers and grandfathers had? If we want to make a difference, let’s first look in the mirror and ask what we are doing to help to make this country better. Let’s work on ourselves and ask what we can do to make a difference to help our country. Let’s stop asking what the country can do for us. In the words of John Kennedy,”… ask what you can do for your country. “
We have been a great nation for a long time and one that we are very proud of, but greatness is not a God-given right. This country will only be great if we as individuals are great and only if we do the right thing in the future. I hope that we still have the will to be strong.