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As Congress fails to act, America must push for a new direction

Monday, February 2, 2009 | 10:00 a.m. CST

With the shape the country’s in at the present time, I don’t think anyone needs another thing to depress them.

That’s why I don’t understand these politicians and pundits who are insisting that the current administration should investigate the previous one to search for evidence of war crimes. I don’t know why they didn’t get Congress to act when the Bush administration was still in office. It seems to me the administration andCongress should be working full time on trying to get us out of this financial situation. When the nation is up and running again, then our leaders can take steps to put laws into effect to prevent illegal behavior in the future. For the time being, we just need to get some of our current problems solved.

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As far as I’m concerned a major portion of the Bush legacy was to leave many people so scared that they are willing to give up many of their freedoms and their civil rights for the sake of safety. These people don’t mind if the government eavesdrops on millions of innocent people on the slim chance that they might apprehend a could-be terrorist, if they torture people held in captivity to gain information and totally disregard the Geneva Conventions. So, until these people come to their senses we can pretty much forget making them change their minds about anything.

We are all aware of what a dangerous world we live in. A few minutes of watching television news will inform you of that fact. All we can reasonably do is to trust our leaders to do their best to protect us and be alert for what is going on around us. To become suspicious of everyone and everything to the point where you lapse into irrational behavior will only make matters worse.

In the meantime, you can certainly tell the young generation from the old generation just by the way they think. Just the accomplishments that we have witnessed in the wise use of new technologies by these educated young people puts them so far ahead of the old guard that it makes these die-hards look hopelessly inept.

I also am hoping that a third independent party will emerge out of this turmoil. It’s bad enough having the two parties wrangling all the time when things are going well. When they are going badly, it’s too much to take.

Sometimes, it appears that changing behavior for some people is the hardest thing in the world to do. A lot seems to depend on the environment one is operating in when the process is begun. That’s why it is important for young offenders to be kept away from their peers. The same seems to hold true for old political leaders who are accustomed to thinking in the same box as their cohorts. They can’t break the habit. The only thing the citizenry can do to get things changed is to vote them out of office. The inability to make independent decisions for many of our Congressional people seems to be an incurable curse.

Because of the history that exists between the two parties they seem to be unable to deal with our problems in a bipartisan manner. Everything has to favor one side or the other. I know a lot of people thought that as a result of this historic election things would be different. I don’t know how much longer we can go through this until enough people get it in their heads that this two-party system has had it. As serious as our troubles are, these politicians continue to play the same old games. We have reached the point where we can no longer blame them — we have to blame ourselves for putting up with them.

As it is, we’ll have to wait another two years before we can make a decision that can either take us in a fresh direction or continue to bog us down in this hopeless situation. Will we pass the same worn out system of problem-solving on to the next generation and the generation after that? In other words, will our great-great grandchildren still be suffering from the effects of these power hungry, do-nothing, ideological politicos?

If this election proved anything, it proved that we are not an intellectually ravaged society. We have enough smart people to lead us where we need to go, but custom and habit will prevent a small minority from moving forward. The question is can the rest of us afford to wait on them to catch up. Time and circumstance will not wait while we ponder.

For the sake of future generations, we have to move on.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at nolen@iland.net.


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