Expanding the Reach of President Obama’s Call for a Year of Action
By Patrick Frank
In line with President Obama’s call for a “year of action” throughout the nation, I am calling for not only political action, but also reconciliation and a determination of the Parties to work together amicably for the common good. In this time of schism, acrimony, name-calling, the shifting blame of blame, self-righteousness, and out-of-control ego on Capitol Hill, politicians must be held strictly accountable for their refusal, far too often, to reach out in a spirit of good will to political adversaries. In the news media, we see far too much sensationalism, focus on negative voices and promotion of a crisis mentality. I, deliberately, am not going to name names in this piece. What I wish to shed light on is a political culture which engenders fear and gives people the sense that nothing significant will ever change in terms of narrowing the income gap, expanding the middle-class, bringing the races together, job creation, a sane immigration policy, educational advancement, and reduction of the national debt.
It is my conviction that the majority of Americans are not radically inclined. I see that there many yearn for a day when a constructive moderate stance will prevail in Washington and around the country. Not to say that we will not have folks who are inclined to be liberal or conservative; but it would be greatly reassuring if both side would make a serious effort to extend themselves to a middle ground position through serious dialogue and thoughtful policy-making on a bipartisan basis. It seems obvious to me that we need both free enterprise and reasonable government regulation in this country to insure that rich and powerful interests do not act in such way that the poor (including the working poor) are not taken advantage of. On the other hand, a strong free enterprise system is absolutely vital in this country because it tends to fuel self-motivation and innovation.
We seem to have become a more angry and distrustful people; that is not the kind of attitude that works well, especially in the cultural climate of America. Greater religious tolerance is sorely needed. Basic civility and concern for the well-being of others, including strangers, would be a welcome change. I see things like more pushing and shoving in line and crazy driving that endangers others; these trends indicate that our bonds of self-interest are frayed. Let us work together to heal these divisions.