Are we squandering our opportunities to regain our economic strength, our intellectual capital, and our civic drive? While the US bickers, other countries aren't waiting for us to grow up and once again become adults. China and India, to name two, are on the move. Although it is true that China is not always proceeding in an environmentally prudent fashion, proceeding they are nonetheless. I know less about India, except that it has aspirations of long-term hi-tech dominance. Brazil is on the move. All the time, the US seems to slog through the quicksand of partisan gridlock and the Janus complex--one head looking forward, one head looking backward.
The public's perception of the congress is that nothing gets accomplished. Most of the president's proposals (even those formerly championed by his Republican opposition) are reflexively blocked by either the Republican led House or the Republican minority in the Senate. Even domestic issues and cause from which we all would benefit (infrastructure repair or replacement, for example) are rendered impossible, or nearly so, to pass and fund. When the next bridge collapses, let's remember just who blocked efforts to rectify these situations.
Meanwhile the moneyed interests, that have so long manipulated the citizens to oppose each other, accumulate more and more wealth--and so, thanks to the Citizens United decision of the US Supreme Court, more and more power to manipulate the people, while they drain them of wealth, security and dignity. Interesting time, we live in.
I have mused several times in old posts about what we, as a nation, could accomplish of we would work together instead of working against each other. The failure to do so after the economic collapse of 2008, illustrates a certain poverty of vision and clear-headed thinking. Perhaps it is an inability to suspend our sense of insecurity and dread long enough to lift our collective heads and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Instead, we stumble blindly forward (or what we think is forward) fighting each other all the way. And while we fight and bicker amongst ourselves, others are preparing to move into our coveted leadership position, educating their children to take advantage of the future economy. The Chinese funded their own economic stimulus, one far larger as a percentage of their economy than Washington could stomach. They are preparing to take advantage of our indecision and paralysis, using our own research universities like a parasitic wasp uses a caterpillar. While we bicker...