Sunday, June 10, 2007

What will it take?

What will it take for our government (of the people, by the people, for the people) to listen? We spoke last November when we voted. Still, Congress doesn't listen. The president certainly doesn't listen.

We, personally, have participated in anti-war rallies and have even flown to Washington, D.C., to protest the presidential inauguration.

It's just not enough.

We need to let the current crop of candidates, and the media that cover them, know that we will NOT be content with cheap rhetoric and sound bites.

We need LEADERSHIP. What a concept.

We need INVOLVEMENT from our populace. Doesn't everyone feel this bubble we're living in? It's absolutely palpable. To borrow the title of Woodward's book, we're in a state of denial. We hide out in our jobs that barely pay the bills, we run up our credit cards, we isolate ourselves in our cars that we can hardly afford, we live in our houses that cost too much ... and we try not to think about our soldiers over there.

To think about all of this is painful, especially when we realize that no one in power is listening: to us, to our vote, to the signs of dis-ease and ill health that plague our country today.

We have SO MUCH to offer the world. What will it take for us to recognize that, and take action as a people? Don't use the excuse that it costs too much, or you can't do anything because you're not Bono or Bill Gates or Oprah or whomever. DO SOMETHING.

I, Mary, intend to tell the folks running for the highest office in the land that I WANT REAL ANSWERS. I want to hear their plans. I want to hear how they'll finance their plans. I'm going to tell them that our country's future depends on their answers. Because I'm not at all sure our country even HAS a future unless we get a true leader into office: someone who not only has vision and can offer leadership, but a plan to make it all happen.

Here's a recent comment by Paul Krugman: "For if there’s one thing I hope we’ve learned from the calamity of the last six and a half years, it’s that it matters who becomes president — and that listening to what candidates say about substantive issues offers a much better way to judge potential presidents than superficial character judgments. Mr. Bush’s tax lies, not his surface amiability, were the true guide to how he would govern. And I don’t know if this country can survive another four years of Bush-quality leadership. "

This is Jeff. I'll add one thing to support Mary and Krugman's point. In the second debate in 1976 with Carter, when Ford made a major mistake - I won't call it a lie, as he seemed geniunely confused - about whether the USSR controlled Eastern Europe, it was the lead story of the debate. When Romney in a recent debate said Bush went to war in Iraq after Saddam refused to let the weapons inspectors in, not only didn't the moderator or other debaters call him on it, it didn't make the follow stories in the newspapers. The truth is Hans Blix was there with the inspectors and Bush forced them out, not Hussein.

Letting people who run for president get away with deceiving the public, much less letting the president do it, is inexcusable for the media and below the standards followed some 30 years ago. We deserve the same level of professionalism today. The times, in fact, demand it.

No comments: