Times are really tough my friends. It seems to me that just about every politician in the United Stated is stumbling along the road of life mumbling the same sorry mantra: "We have to cut -- We have to cut -- We have to cut." When you can pin them down long enough to ask a question or two you get part two of the mantra: "Poor economy -- Poor economy -- Poor economy." These people seem to have all the mental stamina of a punch drunk boxer from the old movies. For me to say that they seem somewhat confused is a rank understatement.
Powerful forces are running amuck in our country. People within governments from coast to coast are doing things under the guise of economic distress. We hear new stories everyday about how the economic downturn has lead to a decrease in revenue across the board in America. I am concerned that people are not telling us the real story. More than that, I think they are pitching long-held selfish personal agendas under the guise of the current fiscal woes.
When was the last time that you saw a slight up-tick in the economy without it being accompanied by an equal (or far worse) downturn somewhere? I believe that one of the main reasons we are not coming out of this recession is that the news media are all concerned that they would have nothing to report if we did.
The guts of this article have been rumbling around in my brain (and my gut) for some time now. Not a day seems to pass without some political entity (local, county, state or federal), or the appointed bureaucratic henchmen (or henchwomen, if that is an appropriate term) of that entity uttering something really stupid or inane. How can these people, I ask myself, be so out of touch with the reality of what you and I are doing in and for our communities?
Then the answer comes to me. They do not care about you and me! I do not want to think that this answer is really that case, but what is a boy to do when faced with the repeated stupidity which we see on an almost daily basis? How else can you explain the repeated cuts to our budgets and the asininity of their actions and their comments? How else can you explain the drive by some people to combine police and fire into a single agency?
Let me assure you that I have been pausing and pondering just how to address my thoughts on this matter. Let me now share an important part of my thought processes with you. Back in late May I spent some really valuable time teaching in the great state of Nebraska. It was my good fortune to be allowed the privilege of sharing some of my wisdom and experience with a really neat group of folks at the Nebraska State Fire School in Grand Island.
During the course of my three days in class, I was privileged to run most of the ideas about the current problems with the state of our economy past my students. They were a most reflective and respectful group. Not only were they in agreement with me, they took the time to broaden a few of my thoughts just a bit with their own experiences. They also strongly suggested that I should share them with you. So here goes.
My friends, it would seem to me that these challenging economic times are bringing out the worst in some people. If the messages, phone calls, newspaper articles and website pieces I have reviewed are any indication of what is going on, then that is truly the case. I am of the opinion that some really simple minded people are coming to the fore. Worse yet, they cloak themselves within the dignity of government and believe themselves to be blessed with a certain aura of mental superiority. In reality, I see them as part of the latest generation of self-absorbed dumb-asses.
They seem to be filling the airwaves with chorus, after the chorus of whining, moaning, and groaning. No one is interested in compromising on anything. Solid debate is taken as a sign of weakness. And lying, dishonesty, and deceit seem to be the order of the day in far too many places. Behavior which would get you kicked out of your local fire department is now the new standard in the halls of Congress (see also the name Congressman Wiener).