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America: Don�t Change What Makes You Great

American FlagBy Henry J. Levy

For far too long, it seems that America has been in a crisis mode. We have been told that our country is on the brink of disaster and that if we don’t institute drastic policies immediately, sometimes within days, then we are doomed to a depression the likes of which most of us have never seen. We have been sold a bill of goods that there is no time to discuss the issues or evaluate the options and that only fast action can avert economic Armageddon. The American people are not world class economists or scientists or uber-politicians that can understand complex issues in an instant, but we are responsible for our families, and ourselves, and given information in a clear manner can be trusted to formulate reasonable solutions to almost any matter, even if it is only to wait for more data before messing with a system that has worked pretty darn well for over 200 years. When our input is neither requested nor listened to, then it is relatively easy for us to lose faith in our leaders followed by shouting, “We are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”
            America was promised change we can believe in. We were promised transparency by our legislators. We were promised time to read, review and discuss all legislation proposed. We were promised a new era of cooperation between parties and openness and a crackdown on earmarks and on corruption and on undue influence by lobbyists.
            Is it any wonder that Congress has approval ratings lower than Bin Laden? Is it any wonder that Obama, who had Americans united and elated on Election Day [as the first Black President] cannot get 50% of the people to support his policies today? Can Americans become any more disgusted with their Representatives in Congress when they see their votes being bought and paid for with pet projects in their districts, by their party leaders, in order to pass legislation that most Americans do not want?
            Is it too much to ask for our Representatives to represent our wishes and to focus on our needs and on our concerns? Is it too much to ask for them to use all of their intellect and ideas and energy to solve our immediate problems and improve our lives?
            Most Americans instinctively know what the right thing to do is. We know how to live moral lives. We know how to teach our children to be truthful and honest. We know that this country was meant to be “of the people, by the people and for the people”. When and why did our President, Senators and Congressmen forget this? It surely seems that they have.
            It is a sad commentary when we raise our children not to lie or cheat or retreat from their principles and core beliefs or to sell themselves out for any price … and yet that is exactly what our country’s leaders appear to be doing more often than not.
            Obama, Reid and Pelosi deserve a loud and clear wakeup call. The majority of Americans don’t give a rat’s behind about climate change or a government takeover of the health system or more stimulus programs or our government taking over auto companies, banks and the financial industry; certainly not when our country is experiencing 17% unemployment; certainly not when more of our children being graduated from college can not find jobs worthy of their training if they can find jobs at all; certainly not when family members are laid off and family homes are foreclosed upon, and savings are depleted, and pensions, if they still exist, are worth only a fraction of what is needed for them to retire on. After being told about every other crisis under the sun, we need our leaders to focus on the unemployment crisis. We know this. Why in the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ghost don’t they?
            Does this mean that America should therefore ignore our obligations around the world? Of course not! We expect that our leaders can walk and chew gum at the same time. Foremost among international issues is fighting terrorism. Unfortunately we have a President that doesn’t even want to use that term. He prefers the phrase “manmade disasters” in lieu of “terrorist attacks”. He also instructed that any terrorists [that’s what they are and that’s what we’ll call them] if captured should be read their Miranda rights.
            Then, as we New Yorkers know all too well, these terrorists will be charged for their acts in a regular American court instead of before a military tribunal because even if they are captured on the field of battle, they are obviously engaged in a possible crime, not an act of war. Furthermore, not to cause any terrorists any undue stress, they have also been made aware of exactly what interrogation techniques can be used against them to elicit any information that they may have regarding possible attacks against innocent people. The fact that an American President would ever in a million years order such actions to be taken is incomprehensible. It does seem to clash with his oath of office to serve and protect our citizens and our country, but maybe we are being just a bit picky here.
            Our country has always been a beacon for freedom around the word. It has been, and continues to be, the ultimate destination for many who want a better life for themselves and for their families. While our streets were never paved with gold, the opportunity for anyone who works hard to achieve any dream, was and is golden. The entrepreneurial spirit has always set us apart from many other nations. It is our own citizens desire to achieve success, not wait for government to provide for them, that has always made us great. It would be a profound disservice to our nation’s founders, and the framers of the Constitution, to let the American spirit be diminished. Not one of us should dare to sit idly by and let our nation be transformed into one where personal responsibility and initiative are replaced by government. We must stand up to keep our nation great. We must be allowed to individually decide how we shall care for ourselves; how we shall be compensated for our creativity; raise our families; serve our fellow countrymen; and remain the great, independent and free America that we love.s and throughout the world.

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