I was in Chicago yesterday. Second largest public transit system in the country- and the Blue Line to O’Hare was running at 17mph!
The bridge in Minneapolis collapses during rush hour.
Foreclosures on homes in record numbers.
All while we are “fighting a war on terror” costing hundreds of billions.
This country was made with rail power- now we can barely keep Amtrack running- while the rest of the world is going 200+ mph (oh yeah, don’t get me started on the fact that we’re the only idiots in the world NOT using the metric system).
Kids aren’t graduating from our lame public education system- with a 180 day school year, we don’t have universal medical coverage, we’re building a trade deficit with China that if allowed to continue, we’ll all be learning Mandarin.
In the meantime- our political system is totally bought, sold and paid for by special interests- and we’re more worried about what time strip clubs close than about how to equally and fairly fund our schools in Ohio.
This isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing anymore- I can’t even blame George Bush for it anymore. At some point we have to readjust our ego as Americans and realize that we’re still leveraging previous generations’ accomplishments for a false sense of bravado.
Being an American isn’t about becoming a millionaire by leveraging stock options, or “right-sizing” jobs out of America. Yes, this is still a land of opportunity- but increasingly, the playing field is being warped by our loss of touch with premises set out by our founding fathers, remember the line that went:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
If you go and read the Declaration of Independence, you might wonder if we’ve forgotten about what it means to have a common, unified appreciation for what Americans used to be made of.
Somehow, someway, we have to find our way back to our roots. We have to restore the pride- and cultivate a new generation that isn’t inspired by rock star athletes, politicians, CEOs, musicians and start appreciating the common denominator of a country that believed in the golden rule- and individual rights.
As I rode the slow train to O’Hare, all I could keep thinking was Mussolini sold himself to the Italians as the man who could make the trains run on time. If we’re not careful about how we continue- we may be headed in the same direction.