2008-06-11 / Editorials

All That's Fit to Print

Fixing what ails us
Brenda Wall

I hope that voters aren't looking to the next president to "fix" gas prices. We voters have a tendency to do that, expect government to right the wrongs in our lives.

Since the election is still months away and the new president won't take office until late January, it's a long wait and puts us right up there with oil speculators. They are betting the price of oil goes up and voters are putting their money on political pandering.

If you'll notice, candidates always mention the things that voters care about, but come up short with real answers. I don't need someone to remind me gas prices are high. I know that when I fill my car.

What would happen if candidates for office actually said something in their speeches?

What if one said "sure, gas prices are high, but you know you can cut back on your driving. You city slickers can use all those fancy mass transit systems the government paid for and it wouldn't hurt if some of you would cut out a few pleasure trips. Park those cars, folks. Do your part.''

What if a candidate said "I know the credit crunch has hit folks hard, but you had to see it coming. You knew you couldn't afford that house, not with the thousands you owe on credit cards for stuff you didn't need. I'm going to try to fix it for you, but could you stop buying stuff until then?"

What would happen if candidates suddenly began speaking the truth, suddenly began telling voters that while some things fall under the government's umbrella of responsibility, that we all have umbrellas of our own.

Under those umbrellas are the responsibility to look after our families, to go to work, to contribute to society in some positive way.

Can you imagine how much money the government would save if every adult did that?

I talked to someone the other day about the Great Depression. I'm hoping that the questions weren't prompted by the fact that she thought I was that old. But, we did talk about whether people today would be tough enough to make it through such a time today.

While I have great faith in the spirit of the American people, I'm not so sure we are tough enough as a whole to adapt to lean times. We want too much, have too much, need too much. We have lived the good life too long, many of us without lifting a finger.

As this election season continues to roll forward, I can't help but watch the candidates and wonder what's behind all the fancy words, what's behind the speeches and public appearances? What's the real measure of the men, or women, who run for office? What are they really thinking about voters, about the direction of this country?

I guess we are asking too much to have someone step forward and tell it like it is to voters. The truth hurts. Candidates know that. In the meantime, we'll continue telling ourselves the next president will fix whatever ails us. He'll tell us the same. Experience tells me nothing much will change.

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