In Times of Turmoil, We Should Look Home


Feb 21 2011

In Times of Turmoil, We Should Look Home

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We find ourselves slipping from power and having less influence worldwide. We are amid budget crisis and a weakened economy. We have many problems we are facing as a country, and yet we still try to be a major influence around the world. But we just don’t seem to be able to get anything done!

This weekend, President Obama faced some heat for a fairly offhanded remark regarding unions in Wisconsin. “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions.” The president spoke fairly accurately and with very little conviction, yet his words started a flurry of tweets and news posts regarding his opposition of the Republican party. This simple remark was construed to be a direct assault on the governor of Wisconsin. The story here is of little import- simply politicians being politicians. But that is the very problem that I am attempting to address. How can our president, or any president to follow him, function effectively when even the slightest remark can cause such distress? How can he help Wisconsin in an era where we have such powerful tools of communication in internet news and twitter? More importantly, if such unimportant things can make people so upset, how can we expect him to implement any kind of world policy?

Our government is frozen by politics. And as important as the rapid change in the Middle East and China and everywhere else in the world is, I think we need to focus on fixing our system first before we can start meddling in world politics again. Our president and our government needs to be able to work together to solve our problems home before we can attempt to shape the world around us as we have done so effectively for the past 60 years.

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