Just "Who" is Responsible for this Mess?
(While this could have been the shortest post I've ever written, I think I'd rather pontificate on the topic a tad bit longer.....)
Let me back up and explain...yesterday, I wrote a little post asking why we had to have such an elaborate celebration for the changing of the Presidential guards and wouldn't that money have been better spent on food for the poor and for those who have lost their jobs. I also felt that Obama wasn't that big of a change from past Presidents in my eyes due to the fact that he's male, Ivy-League schooled, etc, etc.
One of the commenter's was clearly upset by my position and asked the question, "just WHO did I think was responsible for this financial mess in are in" and went on to offer that ex-Pres Bush was the responsible person and that he didn't even care that he screwed us all. I could actually feel the anger of each letter in her comment! After rereading the comment over and over, several thoughts came to mind:
1) Most great economists always say and are correct in saying that we give Presidents far too much credit when the economy is good and far too much credit when the economy is bad. There are just too many factors and parties (and countries, for that matter) involved for one branch of government to have enormous effect on the economy as a whole.
2) ALL politicians care about the people they govern and try to do the best job they can. It doesn't matter if you are talking about the local School Board position or a state representative or the Vice President of the United States. And I know that Mr. Obama is going to do everything he can to keep us safe from our enemies, assist with getting the economy back into the better cycles quickly just as Bush and Clinton and all the rest of the past Presidents have done before them. They wouldn't have chosen this profession if they didn't care. We the people need to understand this basic fact about politicians and stop listening to the media and individual voices who tell us otherwise.
3) I hate the way American elections are handled because it breeds the angry, divisive attitudes and ruins advanced thought by simplifying the process to one word messages. The system has been so far dumbed-down that stretching beyond 'Hope vs Experience' can actually be detriment to an election outcome. We need to give each other a little more credit than that. My commenter was angry because she heard over and over that Bush is an evil guy who doesn't care for anyone except maybe the 5% rich folks and that we need a change. It's just not that simple.
4) I believe that "we" all are responsible for the "mess" we are currently in and "we" will get ourselves out of it. Heck, "we" really enjoyed all the benefits and growth and material items during the years 2003 through 2006, didn't "we"?
5) I bet history teachers are also angry right now because they know we have not read our history books very well. Otherwise, we would know about regular economic cycles, about tax cuts and growth, stimulus packages and good roads coupled with long recessions and Presidential Inaugural speeches and the like.
6) Finally, I am glad I live in America to enjoy the freedoms we have with our democratic system but wish we could express our differences in a more mature, intellectual manner and with a lot more grace.