America is known as "the land of the free and the home of the brave." We earned this distinction because ordinary citizens put their lives on the line and fought, side by side with complete strangers, to form a completely new and liberated country. They cast aside their vast differences, their daily struggles to make a living, and their overall fears to band together, and through their courage and passion, not only started this great country of ours, but set a precedent for the rest of us to follow to keep this country great.
In tough times, throughout history, whether in a depression, war, or excessive weather conditions like a drought, we have persevered by joining together. We also had the help and support of positive, ingenious leaders to turn to. Yet, while we have mostly followed along the path courageously set by our founding fathers and the early settlers, it appears that, in these recent tough economic times, we have strayed off course. Instead of coming together with our fellow neighbors and strangers to help lead ourselves out of these economic doldrums, it seems we have decided to turn our backs on each other, point fingers at one another, and spew a general negative foulness the likes I have not seen or heard before. Although we can look back at a few mentors who stepped up to guide us to better times, it seems the only leaders stepping up to the plate these days are whiners and pessimists who are doing nothing but striking out with their constant complaints. Besides the President and his aides, who are pretty much forced to remain optimistic, nobody else has anything nice to say. In bad times, it's vital and important to remain positive and have uplifting leaders to motivate us. Yet, all we hear and see on TV, radio, and Internet are put-downs and bad-mouthing.
Mired in all the complaining, there are things to be excited about. The fact that we are trying to push for health care reform is one of those things, to me. Nobody doubts that we need it. As somebody who had cancer 19 years ago and can't get any company to cover me for the insidious disease, despite being free and clear for almost all that time, I know I need it.
Instead of joining together to change what we can for the better, our fearless leaders continue to focus on pointing out the lousy economic factors we have an extremely hard time controlling. It makes me really wonder about the competence of many of these people who aspire to be our next commander in chief. It also makes me wonder if John F. Kennedy's view of America is really accurate or if he just made it up to garner more votes. "The American, by nature, is optimistic," he said. "He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly." I would of course have to agree with him despite the current trends. After all, the country up to this point has really proved it to be so. Thus, I will remain, as JFK stated, one of those optimistic Americans. I will ignore all the antagonistic immature crying from Fox News and from folks like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who spew nothing but negativity.
It is ironic that many of these people are so adamant about the wayward path of our current government as they bandy about words like "wrong" and "out of touch," and worse yet, "complete failure," despite that even the economic experts are unsure as to what the best policies and actions our federal government should take (if any).
I think the most refreshing statements I have read of late are the ones Franklin Delano Roosevelt said at different intervals during his presidency, back in the Great Depression:
In our seeking of economic and political progress, we all go up or we all go down. Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men. One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment..If it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.
Not only are those comments refreshingly honest, they are accurate! We have no clue what the best economic policies and actions are to take, except of course for some conservatives who seem to think they have all the answers. They fire off catch phrases and criticism without offering any solutions.
The leaders we should all be looking to for guidance and support are not those who are constantly pessimistic and pointing out potential failures after the fact, but those who stand up to fight side by side with liberals and conservatives in a positive manner. If we elect leaders who continue to placate and pander to their own left or right base, we will continue to be a divided nation. And that simply means we will continue to remain in an economic stagnant state of flux, since, as has been stated, we all rise together or fall together.
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