Tough times for a liberal optimist

It’s an understatement to say that these are tough times.

It’s painful to read the newspaper each morning and watch the news at night.  Our government failed to govern, a very few extremist legislators usurped the will of the majority, we thought we’d narrowly escaped a financial crisis caused by defaulting on our nation’s debt only to witness a horrifying drop in the markets and the shameful implications of being downgraded by a ratings agency. The global economies are so tied together that a financial crisis in Europe or the United States has staggering impact everywhere. Our president — who I so desperately want to successfully lead our nation back to security, prosperity, jobs and more reasonable dialog — repeatedly demonstrates how not to negotiate. As a progressive Democrat, it was hard to watch President Obama completely give up on raising revenue along with cutting spending as the debate got tough.  It’s not negotiation when only one side compromises in any significant way. 

The financial crisis has the potential to dominate our thoughts but then we’d miss noting the presidential hopeful talking about our “Christian nation.”  What happened to separation of Church and State?  The United States of American isn’t a Christian nation, nor a Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist nation. That’s the point!

And still, more horrifying than the frightening mess facing our nation is the staggering famine in Somalia and the world’s inability to get food to the starving. How can we — in the year  2011 — merely watch the devastation, powerless to help because of the armed and violent thugs who steal the food, kill the hungry and claim there’s no food shortage.

And in this morning’s, Boston Globe, I read about three fifteen-year olds in a New Orleans suburb who were plotting to shoot fellow high school students during the first day of classes. But…we’re told that guns aren’t a problem. 

These are tough times around the globe and I feel so fortunate that my family and friends are all safe, secure and well-fed. Still…sometimes this liberal optimist just feels like screaming!

One Response to “Tough times for a liberal optimist”

  1. Anne Manning says:

    Thanks Beryl. You’ve captured my thoughts perfectly. It felt like this mess was initially created by the intense financial crisis triggered by banks and is now being exacerbated by all politicians. I so wish they would have the courage to minimize the rhetoric and maximize real discussion of what we need to do to get out of this disaster, which is certainly the most significant in our adult lives. Ugh.


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