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September 1, 2008

Waiting for the President

Steven R. Berryman

At least the conventions are a stepping-stone along the road to electing a new president, but here we sit, waiting. We wait for a president to solve our problems for us, as is human nature. Surely they will, as their speeches tell us so.


Somewhere along the line it seems that we have become virtually programmed and conditioned to be a dependent audience.


This also helps us psychologically as we seek to shift the burdens of responsibility for our situations today from ourselves, in both in a national sense as well as a personal sense.


The American loss of reputation and one time dominance abroad comes to mind, as does the declining economy. Personal wealth is but one step away from stag-flation now, with the managed “soft-landing” of markets hitting individuals in a stair-step staggered drop.


Surely our next president will fix things; and just as surely, when we vote and finally decide on Election Day (November 4, 2008), the winner will be the candidate that most Americans feel will most certainly come to our rescue.


But have we not been waiting since November 2004? And November 2000 before that?


We know this in part because our current president has been “running” for his office ever since his most recent election day even though a 3rd term is prohibited by law. The electioneering never in fact stops, and we just have not gotten down to the business of running the country.


In fact, it runs us; and we have been stuck in a reactionary mode. Leadership is absent!


And when, if ever, will we get down to doing “The People’s” business as our Founding Fathers envisioned? Will that process finally begin on the next Inauguration Day?


If it does, what make you think so?


As if political pledges magically become mandates. Will Congress finally become coordinated with the Executive Branch overnight and begin to pull our great country into a common direction? Examine our recent history of bipartisanism for the answer.


Our current president, George W. Bush, famously in his first campaign ran on a platform that included “I am not a ‘nation-builder.’” That was followed by “I’m a uniter, not a divider.” Just see how that worked out.


One past president notably commented upon coming to the Oval Office: “Now I finally have access of all of the buttons and levers of power, only to find that they are not connected to anything!”


Our problems are born of inaction and in a negligent way, so why wait any longer?


The gridlock of selfishness and of politics-before-people will be there for either John McCain or for Barack Obama.


And what should be the national priorities for our new savior-president, assuming they stop waiting? How about some long-term systemic fixes for a change:


*The size and efficiency of Government – Is the federal scale manageable, or a welfare program?


*Sharing the tax burden – Can the middle-class carry the load without failing, or should we examine a “flat tax?”


*Examine abuses to consumers in lending practices – Who does a bail-out benefit?


*Stock Market manipulation including derivatives – Frankenstein’s Monster.


*Energy policy that benefits citizens, as opposed to corporations – ’Nuff said.


*A global diplomacy package that actually involves strategic cooperation – A worthy goal!


*Working towards federal level solutions that do not include a dumping of problems down to the local government levels, including:


*A solution to our national immigration policy vacuum – This one won’t wait and is toxic to our identity as a nation.


*Education policy keyed towards bringing up our youth with a competitive edge in order to be prepared for global job competition. This without allowing the lowest common denominator to pull down the best and brightest due to political correctness.


*Term limits – Now you are getting it!


But why wait? How about a start – a down payment on handling our problems. Find out who is stalling and why. Pursue them.


National pride could be immediately impacted by dealing squarely with these issues now, instead of waiting.


“Yes we can” save the world; but first we have to fix ourselves, procrastination aside.


No time to wait as the future is now.


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