About to Lose Hope for America
By Gail Hanley
Special to The Pilot
I watched the vice-presidential debate last week with all but a flicker of hope that they would really discuss what is wrong with America.
I wondered if politicians even know what is wrong with America. Certainly, the media don’t ask the right questions. Americans don’t really want to think about what is really going wrong in their country, because they are the problem.
The debate is a systemic indicator of how “off” the American thought process is. Policy in Washington isn’t America’s problem. It is a marker for the problem. In my grandmother’s America, no one knew what was going on in Washington. And she managed to survive plagues, no electricity, no plumbing, world wars and no medications.
What’s really wrong with America can be summed up in three essential areas: (1) We are an obese nation. (2) We are a drugged-out nation. (3) We are morally unbalanced.
As a result of our obesity, our health care system has been taxed to the point the only Americans getting treatment are the ones not paying into the system, and those who might solve their own health issues by stopping poisoning themselves with bad food choices, substance abuse, and no physical activity.
Second, when did Americans start solving every problem with a pill? Back to my grandmother. She never drank, smoked or took medication. Yet she lived through many illnesses to be an active 80-year-old woman. She buried two children without the crutch of medication or counseling. She had the highest moral standards of any individual I’ve ever met. Her commitment to humanity and helping others didn’t need a medal or recognition. It was part of her moral code.
Our children are drugged — either early on by their parents or experimentally when they get to middle school. They come to high school high. The parents want someone else to solve this problem for them, because their coping skills are watered down by their own issues with drugs.
Finally, America has lost its moral center. We are a permissive society that claims “everyone else does it” — which leaves our population relying on the system to care for their needs even when they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.
Our citizens are gaming every system they can. They buy homes they know they cannot afford, remortgage the home, default on the mortgage, and use the equity to buy another home they have no plan of paying off.
Kids are using credit cards in their teens but have no idea how to balance a budget — and no real concept of where the money for their expenditures comes from. This is largely because their parents don’t care if the child learns this essential lesson early or not, because they themselves have a sense of entitlement.
No, the flicker of hope I had while watching the debate last night didn’t last through the first few questions, because the questions were wrong. I’m still waiting for a debate that will highlight the truth. And perhaps Americans are so wrongheaded they wouldn’t recognize the truth if it were spoken.
So I guess the alternative is to go the way of Greece, Spain and other countries whose citizens who will continue to avoid the problem.
Gail Hanley lives in Aberdeen.
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