Few who care about our country are completely satisfied with the direction that our government is taking us. While we have much to be grateful for in the USA, we also have ample room for improvement.
However, if you watch the election coverage, (and sadly, I do), it is easy to get the impression that the whole country is spiraling out of control, and only the extreme, fringe elements are prevailing. I find that notion to be poppycock. The problems of this country are deep and complicated, decades in the making and years in the repairing, but hardly beyond the ingenuity and dedication of the American citizenry. Clearly, our problems cannot be solved by any one person, as our president is beginning to figure out.
Our problems cannot be solved by the Democrats.
Our problems cannot be solved by the Republicans.
Our problems cannot be solved by chucking the two-party system.
Our problems cannot be solved by dismantling our nuclear arsenal.
Our problems cannot be solved with health care coverage for all.
Our problems cannot be solved by prayer in schools.
Our problems cannot be solved by new Czars.
Our problems cannot be solved by more speeches, town hall meetings and television appearances.
Our problems cannot be solved by court decisions, new amendments, unfunded mandates or executive orders.
Our problems cannot be solved by leveling the playing field, affirmative action, increased diversity or wealth redistribution programs.
Our problems cannot be solved by erecting a fence or wall, or creating a national ID card, and we solve nothing by strip-searching grandmothers in airports.
Our problems will not be solved by a food pyramid, a new, improved food pyramid, better access to nutrition information or a national Food Police Force.
Our problems will not be solved by furtive intolerance of or legislated protection of particular religious sects.
Our problems cannot be solved by penalizing big oil, big banking, big pharma, or any other big industry that can afford the huge punitive fees used to fund so-called restorative programs.
Our problems cannot be solved by increasing the size, budget, power or authority of the federal government.
Our problems have been caused in large part because our apathy as citizens has allowed do-gooders and evil-doers alike unfettered access to the cogs and wheels that regulate our system of government.
Our problems have also been caused by the idea that someone else should help us solve our problems, or better yet, take them over for us. Lately, that someone else is the federal government. The can-do attitude that typified American self-sufficiency is becoming a vestige of the distant past.
Our problems will not be solved by one election cycle, one political party, one man or woman, one bill passed or repealed, one clever ad or yard sign.
We can only begin to address and repair the many challenges facing this country by shaking off our apathy and doing our civic duty.
The solution is simple and elegant. Vote.
Vote on Tuesday, November 2nd. Excuses abound: yes, it's optional, it may seem pointless, you may be just one person, but the rest of us are counting on you. It doesn't matter if we don't agree on one single candidate or issue. The country needs you to care enough to make that small but very important effort.
Call me if you need a ride or a babysitter.
See you at the polls.