Our Epic Foolishness

New York Times Op-ed columnist Bob Herbert writes:

If a bank is too big to fail, it’s way too big to exist. If an oil well is too far beneath the sea to be plugged when something goes wrong, it’s too deep to be drilled in the first place.

When are we going to stop behaving so stupidly? We nearly wrecked the economy and we’re all but buried in debt. But we can’t break up the biggest banks, and we can’t raise taxes. Now we’re fouling the magnificent Gulf of Mexico and ruining entire communities along the southern Louisiana Coast.

And, by the way, we’re still fighting a futile war in Afghanistan that we’ve been fighting with nonstop futility for nearly a decade. (I’m sure the troops saddled with this thankless task were thrilled to see fans and teams demonstrating their undying support for their efforts by wearing fancy baseball caps on Memorial Day.)

For a nation that can’t stop bragging about how great and powerful it is, we’ve become shockingly helpless in the face of the many challenges confronting us. Our can-do spirit was put on hold many moons ago, and here we are now unable to defeat the Taliban, or rein in the likes of BP and the biggest banks, or stop the oil gushing furiously from the bowels of earth like a warning from Hades about the hubris and ignorance that is threatening to destroy us.

All around us is the wreckage of our failure to master the challenges confronting us. We see it in the many millions of Americans who remain out of work and whose hopes are not rising despite all the talk of economic recovery. We see it in the schools where teachers are walking the plank by the scores of thousands because of state and local budget problems.

We see it in the shrinking middle class and in the black community where depression like conditions are fostering not just a sense of helplessness, but despair.

What’s needed is dynamic leadership (it doesn’t have to come from the top) to reinvigorate the spirit of America and turn that sense of helplessness around.

Herbert makes a great point, the U.S used to be the nation of can-do. But it seems that now, we are a nation of we have a lot of problems that need to be fixed, which we can fix and should fix. But we are too lazy to actually fix so we will just act like we want to fix our problems but never actually fix.

When will our country, founded by can-do kinds of people, realize that if we continue down this path, our country’s problems will become even more difficult to reverse? Now is the time to act. Now is the time to work together to form a more perfect union.

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Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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