I am what you would call the elder of our firm; although I prefer to think of myself as the excitable sage. In either event, I have reached that level of “experience” at which my partners allow a certain amount of my opinion to be disseminated to pretty much anyone who will listen. I feel strongly enough about recent developments occurring around me that I thought I would once again try my hand in this forum.
This is just my opinion… but we know that many of you are thinking the same things I am going to say here.
We have the greatest country in the world, for many reasons, but the core of our country can be found in the document that is the very foundation of what most Americans hold most dear:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Our country is based on a really tough form of government—you really have to want to be a part of it or you are simply a part of the problem. I believe in the promise of free speech and the freedom of the press, but I must confess that I long for the days when there were “real” journalists; when Ed Murrow was not afraid to go after corporate America or the government; when reporters like Helen Thomas were the majority and not “unique”. So that is my way of easing into the fact that I simply can not sit idly by while Fox News, the Fox Network and many of the other corporations who are charged with the duty of bringing us real information continue on their path to spin, to skew, to create the news. These corporations have convinced people, largely on the credibility of people like Murrow, Cronkite, and others, that they provide reliable information. Certainly there was a time when the news was the news, but now it resembles more a carefully choreographed play.
These problems have been further magnified over an issue that should be uniting us, but is acting to divide us in ways possibly worse than any other issue for some time. That issue is health care. Every country and nation in the world looks at our country, with its power and prosperity, and marvels that we have citizens who go without health care and we have people who go without food. Most every industrialized country in the world provides proper medical care for its people and provides a society, which does not allow for its citizens to go hungry. In other words, most every other country in the world “insure(s) domestic tranquility,…promote(s) the general welfare”.
We have evolved into a nation in which corporations disseminate divisive information, with questionable reliability, largely in their own selfish interests, more than in the interests of their viewers. We have legislators more interested in lobbyists and getting reelected than in serving their constituents. We have “news” people more interested in their on-air persona than they are in the accuracy of information they are representing as fact.
We have become a nation in which elected officials are able to somehow justify telling our elderly that the President’s health care plan is a plan to exterminate them. A nation in which common courtesy and respect for the position of the President, if not the person, has been disposed of without consequence. A nation in which the value of our elected officials seems to be set by lobbyists, without accountability for their effectiveness on behalf of the people who elected them. A nation where the color of a person’s skin has become a way for some to celebrate our efforts to overcome racism and for others to judge the worth of a person.
We citizens must take stock. We must really begin to examine our priorities and force our employees, politicians, our public servants, to listen to us. We citizens must begin asking questions and demanding answers. We must begin to question the information conveyed to us based upon the character and motivation of those delivering that information. We Americans must begin to examine our place in the world and our responsibility to preserve this nation. We Americans must once again begin to read, to investigate and to analyze the information available to us. We citizens must once again find our voices, find our pens, and reignite that revolutionary fire to speak out and make our legislators listen.
This is time for serious people; for serious solutions. This is not a time for leaders more interested in being reelected than they are in making the correct, if sometimes hard, decisions. This is a time for citizens as interested in their country and their neighbors as in themselves. This is a time for change, but change to a time when we asked, we questioned; a time when we voters were more important than the money from lobbyists. This is a time to regain our government; whether you are Republican, Democrat or otherwise, this is a time to take back the role of the government by the people, for the people.