Thursday, November 6, 2008

Please Friends, Come Together

I feel a sense of happiness that change is on the horizon. Although I greatly admire those who are able to put their faith unequivocally behind the ideals of one political party, I feel I will never be able to do this. The needs of our nation as a whole are much too fluid for one party's ideals to always include the right fix. That's one of the reasons our democracy has prospered for as long as it has. One of the reasons America has always been admired by other nations, even if in secret, is that as a collective we always find the right way and the good way. When we were split on the issue of loyalty to the king, the voice of liberty eventually cried above all others. When the question over whether one man could hold ownership over another man, the collective broke the chains of oppression. Now, we stand at a crossroads that while it may not be NEARLY as monumental as those I just mentioned, it is signficant nonetheless. We stand as a nation polarized by a hard fought election. Many have come out dissappointed by the results. Now a man who claims to have the interests of the common man in mind is going to lead our country. Having come out of nowhere, many are legitimately concerned by the programs he intends to put in place. Some of us feel it goes against the capitalist ideals that our nation was founded on, and that it will create a sense of entitlement among those who have not earned it. Undoubtedly, this goes against what we as a nation stand for. But do our ideals today truly stand in the place of honor our forefathers envisioned when they created this great nation?

We talk of how Obama's policies will bring forth an air of entitlement among those who haven't "earned it." And certainly, many are right in that there are some in this nation that will molest and expose social programs our government puts forward. It has been happening for hundreds of years, and it is ludicrous to think there is anything that will stop it. The notion of teaching a man to fish instead of simply giving him a fish is an ideal we have tried to emulate so many times before, only to fail. However, when we talk of entitlement, let's not forget the truths of our nation today. If we are to blame the mother of 4 who lives in the projects and doesn’t work for taking a welfare check every month, why don't we blame the mother of 2 who lives in the high end suburbs as well? She and her family make 10 times that of others, yet we turn the other cheek while they live paycheck to paycheck, spending every penny on the fancy cars, the big house, and the private school for the kids. They max out credit cards, yet get more because of the money that they earn. Do they have the capital to live the life that they live? Most certainly not, yet we as a nation have become so materialistic and petty that these very people would be looked down upon within their community if they do not maintain this lifestyle. When our economy re-adjusts itself as it is doing now, suddenly they are left without a job and with a pile of debt they will never be able to pay. How is this any less of a drain on our economy than the mother on welfare?

We like to blame the father who used to work at an assembly line, but is now clamoring for help because he can't make his mortgage, and his unemployment isn't getting enough food on the table. He is a drain on our society, a leech on the money that many of us have worked so hard for. Yet we applaud the capitalistic ways of the businessman who has outsourced 80% of his labor costs. He makes all this money, and we congratulate him, for he is living the American dream. But since when does the American dream include making profit by paying people in India half that of what your former American worker earned? Since when is it the American ideal to remove yet another job from the American workforce, and the capital that goes into the economy with it, so that Joe Businessman can make sure his kids can have their Nikes, their Xboxes, and their new, shiny bike. We commend those who have worked hard to earn what they have. It is a cornerstone of our nation. But is there no problem with the fact we live in a nation rubbed so callous by the bottom line of profit that we may forget our American brethren all in the hopes of another dollar?

It is time for change. And the next administration faces a challenge in which few presidencies face, and even fewer have succeeded. But with all the talk of change and hope, one must wonder when we will actually see change. And one must hope that what we face can be defeated by a nation united, and not one divided. We see in front of us a vast mountain range abounding with blinding snows, jagged cliffs, and a peak beyond our vision at this time. We cannot scale this mountain with one leg dragging the other. Our new president must be able to bring everyone together in the spirit of the greater good. The only way we will sea the peak, and the majesty and beauty that comes with it, is with the left foot and the right foot working in harmony, pulling the other up with each step along the way. If we are unable to do this, we simply stay where we are, and in time the rot of stagnation will overtake us, and we will most certainly perish. Not the left, and not the right, but us all. We are the greatest nation to grace the face of this Earth. We will prevail, but only together.

God Bless America

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