Is America in Decline?
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Is America in Decline? • Posted: Nov 04, 2012 13:46:20Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

There have been a rash of articles and news programs in recent weeks responsibly reviewing the evidence regarding the truth of that assertion. The rather consistent conclusion one is left from reading, viewing, and listening to those articles and programs is that the situation is decidedly mixed. But, Republicans have consistently spent most of the last 4 years trying to convince us all that is not the case, that there is no ambiguity about it. And, no one listening to GOP election rhetoric will hear anything to the contrary. They insist that not only is the evidence clear America is heading in an undesirable direction, but that it's all Obama's fault.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the people are in charge. They decide who takes over the reins of government. And, by popular acclamation, their cheers, moans and groans, consumer decisions, pointed letters, donations, demonstrations, and poll responses, they decide what our goals will be and what policies we follow going forward. It's a chaotic system that, at base, depends on the interests, intelligence, motivations, commitment, and civic good will of our citizenry.

Take a look at the two citizens above. Then take a cold hard look at the few citizens around you. These people, the two in the photograph above and those around you, are your teammates. They are the people upon which your future and your children's future rests. Are you feeling inspired to confidence? Or, are you beginning to worry, maybe even feeling the need to strike out and sweep away, clear the deck?

What exactly makes for a good team? And what exactly would make you, yourself, a good team member?

Many would insist personnel make for a good team. Someone doesn't measure up, they get "cut". The underlying assumption is that not everyone can be on the team, only the "best". But in a closed system with limited resources wherein everything depends on everything else, i.e. our Earth, how do you do that? Genocide? Emigration to another planet? Totalitarianism? Forced religious conversion? Cynical and resigned selfishness?

It's both interesting and tragically sad as one reviews the feeble flounderings of people across the globe and throughout history as they've struggled to reach a definitive answer to that question. As yet, no one has. The overwhelming reason has always been arrogant ignorance. We think we know what the answer is, but then reality intervenes and we find ourselves crushed. We have incompletely modeled the reality we think we are dealing with and, in the end, it overwhelms us.

Reason for cynicism? Hardly. Instead, it means we need try harder to pool all our resources and work together in the common struggle to truly understand what is happening around us and craft a sustainable equitable way to live within that reality. If not, at least a substantial number of us, or even perhaps all of us, will be "cut from the team".

Make a wise and hopefully inclusive choice this election. It matters.

Friday, June 29th, 2012