Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We Must Change

I'll start out by saying that this post is not about Barack Obama, voting for Barack Obama, or voting for the democratic party. This post is about what it will take to actually initiate effective change regarding the issues we are most interested in - education, economy, environment, and ethics.

Over the past years, when dealing with almost every issue, our nation has been told that there is either no hope (social security for example), no movement for change (education for example), or out right denial (climate change for example). Why is it that society has allowed itself to be told this over and over again?

We have allowed ourselves to be told that we should not get our hopes up...not have high expectations for the decisions of our policy makers...not have an optimistic outlook on the future. No wonder the youth generations are as inactive in public discourse as they are! They have been given no chance to lend their ideas - if it isn't a part of the political norm of the day, they are told indirectly that it is unrealistic, infeasible, or not good enough.

While we write, speak of, and comment on these posts, I think it is important to note that no idea is ridiculous. For example, it will take some outside-of-the-box solutions to truly fix increasing entitlement costs, climate change, and education (see comments from previous post)for example. Outside-of-the-box solutions could be something brand new or a solution that was deemed "not possible" by the current political crowd.

Society needs a change in message - one that is inclusive and open minded. High minded debate is excellent and needed, but will be for nothing if those very debates are constricted by a message of "it's not possible" or if the solutions of such a debate are passed over. It may seem unrealistic to think this way, but the issues that face us require it.

The video, while being for Obama, also tells the story of a new message. It says nothing of what cannot be done, but of the possibilities of what can be done. If anything, this message could make the ideas and solutions talked about in these posts real and within reach. Do you think a message such as this is good for society? Policy making? Will it be enough to tip the scales in favor of real solutions for education, the economy, ethics, and the environment?


Panhandle Poet said...

Interestingly, George W. Bush, proposed social security reform, educational reform, and other "compassionate conservative" ideas that died (or were severely mangled) in the political hardball arena of competing ideas.

I personally believe change for the better is possible -- and is in fact occurring. It may require removing every single officeholder and half of the "public servants" in Washington and the state capitols to get it done.

Maybe change needs to start in the political process itself. Our two-party system isn't particularly representative anymore. It is controlled by money, media and special interest groups. "Super delegates" -- not tied to the will of the voters -- may determine the outcome of the party primaries. Sadly, I see little real choice among the candidates still in the Presidential race. Yes, there are differences in their stated positions, but when you get to the heart of it, there isn't a true leader/statesman among them.

Change must start at the grassroots level and percolate upward. This endeavor that we call Blue Island Almanack is part of that process of change. It is a forum for placing new ideas into the public debate. Over time, people will begin to take notice and perhaps emulate.

I find it interesting in viewing the Sitemeter on my other blogs that I receive "hits" from all over the world. On my Ag,Conservation and Energy blog, a high percentage of them come from government and university servers. It tells me that there are those in positions to make a difference that are looking -- searching -- for answers.

My son is a teenager with his future ahead of him. His eyes are on space. He wants to be an aeronautical engineer. His classmates have told me they want to be such things as lawyers, doctors, scientists, teachers -- they inspire me with their enthusiasm. Yes, time and hard knocks will dim some of that enthusiasm, but with each succeeding generation pushing the envelope just a little futher than the previous, progress is made.

We have poverty today, but it isn't anything like it was 100 years ago. We have cured diseases, mapped DNA, gone to the moon, built economic empires, created the Internet, and on and on. The future is bright. If things look dim, just study history. See where we've been and where we've come.

Sue said...

I'm glad that there are young people in America that believe that they can reasonably aspire to be aeronautical engineer, lawyers, doctors, scientists, and teachers. Unfortunately, I live among thousands of young people who lack those kinds of hopes and dreams. They will consider themselves lucky if they can finish their associate of arts degree within five years while they work full-time at deadend jobs, that they realize they still may be stuck with even after they get their degree.

This is a divided America.

You don't have to be a "liberal" to think that. Six years ago, there was a brilliant article in Business Week about the split in America between the Walmart crowd and the Nieman-Marcus crowd.

Panhandle Poet said...

Sue, there have always been deep divisions within this country -- just as there are in every country in the world. It is the division between the haves and the have nots. Some have wealth, others don't. Some have power, others don't. Some are educated, others are not.

Perhaps the divide seems to have widened over the last few years. I attribute the widening more to a growing division in views of morality than to anything else. We have such divisive issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage, the role of religion, terrorism, and sexual mores that are constantly bombarding us from every side that the divisions on those issues spill into every other issue in life. There have been poor and wealthy, educated and uneducated, powerful and powerless, since time immemorial. In many ways the poor are not as poor, the uneducated are not as uneducated, and the powerless have greater power, than at any time in history. These aren't new problems, just unsolved ones. Perhaps they will never be solved. All we can do is our best to help those that we can to better themselves.

I think these are all issues that most people are interested in. Where we see divisivness is in the ideas of how to attempt solutions. The watershed issues above have increased the virulence of that divisivness. The divide itself is nothing new.

Panhandle Poet said...

PS: Sue, I shop Walmart. I believe they have brought great value to this country and to other countries where they have stores. They have provided goods to people that might not could have afforded them without Walmart. If the local Mom & Pop store can't compete, they need to do something different.

Sandy Kessler said...

message good but his record as a senator is not impressive- may be just talk- I feel some real good men have left the race - unfortunately