Sunday, April 15, 2012

Accountability?

Recently I engaged into an interesting topic with a close friend of mine. We were discussing various political topics which included the "Buffet Rule", entitlements, health care and other topics. During our conversation we touched on war. The question my friend offered up is, and I paraphrase, why is it that in war today that the country doesn't sacrifice as it was expected when the United States entered in World War II?

 It is a great question. So we brainstormed on why there isn't the level of sacrifice displayed now with two wars going on as there was during World War II. The reason for our resurgence into Afghanistan was to get Bin Laden - well we have him yet we have troops still there and in Iraq. While I acknowledge it is not as easy as flipping the light switch to pull out, it should be noted that we still have not. True a time table exists for Iraq. Throughout our conversation my friend pondered if we should feel guilty for not making sacrifices as brave men and women fight in a land with no clear objective. Granted one could argue that the objective is to root out Al Queada.

 I offered up a theory as to why American's may not feel guilty or have the sense of sacrifice that has allowed Iraq and Afghanistan to drag on and on and on. That theory is that American's have become so reliant on the Federal Government that if our elected officials say its good to stay then it must be so. When our ancestors lived through their Great Depression they did something about it. They didn't look for the government to provide them a paycheck for 99 months or pay for the health care. We have become so reliant on the Federal Government that we have lost our way as Americans. Freedoms have been slowly eroded away for various reason - National Security, general health and welfare - and instead of America standing up to our elected officials, we cower and wait for our next entitlement.

 After Sen. Obama won the Presidency a sector of society started to wake up to the fact that our deficits are too large, our spending is out of control and we have lost a number of person freedoms. Freedoms that our Founding Fathers agreed to, in the end, belonged at the State level. Instead of American's embracing this movement - Tea Party or the Coffee Party - the Right worked hard to CO-OP them while the Left looked to demonize them. The same can be said of the Occupy (fill in the blank) group. The Left is working to back them while the Right is looking to point out their flaws. We have lost the ability to be accountable for ourselves, our town, our community, our county, our state and our Federal Government. While a small part of society gives the ultimate sacrifice in the Middle East, the rest of us go about our lives looking for the next entitlement program. We don't demand that our Commander in Chief go before Congress to engage our country in armed conflict nor do we demand our Congress to hold said Commander in Chief in contempt for doing so. Instead both parties play their political theater and grand stand the soupdujour in an effort to get re-elected.

 Damn straight we should feel guilty. Trouble is that we allow this to continue, we allow our elected officials to dictate to us how it is we are to live and which freedoms we get to enjoy. Be accountable, hold others accountable. Call, write, visit your elected officials at every level of government and demand accounability. America is living on borrowed time and money - time has come for all of us to make sacrifice and demand our society to do so as well.