This century has been something for the US. If the twentieth was called the Century of War, I wonder what this one will be called when they look back? It starts with the controversy of the Presidential election, the terrorist attack on the US, the Global War on Terror, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as campaigns in that war. The expansion of government security in domestic and international travel, the detainment of terrorists (who may or may not be POWs) on Cuba and elsewhere, enhanced interrogation techniques, and a vastly expanded eavesdropping, or spying capability, apparently without the current President having any idea what his government was doing to our friends and allies.
We have encouraged the overthrow of regimes we had previously spent billions of dollars supporting, as well as ones that were coming to end their support of terror, while encouraging the spread of Islamic fundamentalism through our acts. We have expanded the use of drones to target individuals and eliminate them one by one. In other times these would be considered assassinations, today it is acceptable within the rules of engagement where the rule of war supersedes the rule of law. It seems an interesting option to choose by a Nobel Laureate for Peace.
Then we have the issue with American health care and citizen expectations. When the President and the Democratic Party swept into power, atop their agenda was the need to fundamentally change the healthcare funding structure and increase Government involvement, promising increased patient protection, and affordability. The Republicans have fought this from day one. Personally, I believe increased government involvement will accomplish neither of the President’s promises, but will only further accelerate the rising cost of health care, undermine the doctor-patient relationship, and alienate an increasingly divided nation. I also think the Republicans have wasted a lot of political capital and in reflection would have been better off sitting quietly this year while the administration failed in its roll out. Interestingly, again the President was unaware of the risks and problems with its implementation, apparently spending his time focused on those evil Republican terrorists.
Finally, I can only shake my head at the debates about the economy. How many people have stopped working, how many people are being laid off because of this or that law, what to do about welfare, who should do what, and what should be done for who? As long as we continue year in and year out to elect the same Representatives and Senators we can always blame them for the problems, but should we blame them for the failures when we know going into the election they can’t do the job in the first place?