I always appreciate Bob Herbert, op-ed columnist for the New York Times. I appreciate him even when he makes me sad and angry and afraid. I suppose it’s because I agree with him.
I, too, believe that the U.S. is in big trouble and has been in big trouble for a long time – and I’m afraid that 2010 won’t be much better. Oh sure, maybe the economy will improve and we’ll have some half-ass form of healthcare reform. But real change? Really addressing the real problems we really face? I don’t think the U.S. – its leaders and citizens – have the will to make real change.
Herbert says its better than I can (“An Uneasy Feeling,” January 5, 2010 NYT): “This is a society in deep, deep trouble and the fixes currently in the works are in no way adequate to the enormous challenges we’re facing…. What’s needed are big new innovative efforts…. [BUT] we’re not smart as a nation. We don’t learn from the past, and we don’t plan for the future…. The fault lies everywhere. The president, the Congress, the news media, and the public are all to blame. Shared sacrifice is not part of anyone’s program. Politicians can’t seem to tell the difference between wasteful spending and investments in a more sustainable future.
“Voters were primed at the beginning of the Obama administration for fundamental changes that would have altered the trajectory of American life for the better. Politicians of all stripes, many of them catering to the nation’s most moneyed interests, fouled that up…”
And so, as Mr. Herbert says, we as a nation and a society – all of us, not just our leaders – are “squandering a golden opportunity to build a better society.”
How very sad. For you and me and our families and our neighbors and our soldiers and our workers and those not working and our children and future generations. Squandering the chance to change. Squandering the chance for a better society and country and world. Shame on us.