Home > Uncategorized > More Pre Debate Thoughts: Courage, What If

More Pre Debate Thoughts: Courage, What If

The United States faces many grave problems. Worldwide, the economic system is coming apart at the seams. We are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We face other crises in Syria, Libya and Iran. At home, unsustainable levels of debt threaten our economy, increase the likelihood of a credit downgrade and higher borrowing costs, persistent high unemployment erodes worker skills and erodes the tax base, and public dissatisfaction and distrust of government may lead to continue civil disobedience and unrest.

Instead of facing these crises head on, much of our political leadership chooses to ignore them or score political points. None of these issues is going away. Congress has demonstrated little leadership in regards to reducing the national debt. There has been little effort on the part of the federal government to root out financial fraud or prosecute those responsible for the collapse of the housing market, the robo-signing scandal or the recent “disappearance” of over $1.2 billion of customer funds as MF Global collapsed.

Simply put, our leaders lack courage. What if they didn’t. What if Congress, rather than avoiding their responsibility, insisted on voting on a declaration of war before the president committed our troops to war. Instead of Congress having it both ways – delegating their power to declare war while simultaneously criticizing the president’s conduct – what if they solemnly and carefully made the decision to send troops to war and accepted responsibility for their actiions? What if, instead of delegating their legitimate power of the purse to a “Supercommittee”, Congress debated the best way to bring down the debt, and clearly outlined the consequences of their proposed action?

Instead, our current Congress, president, and presidential candidates – largely – choose to ignore the issues that face us. We hear clever slogans and sound bites. What we need is more exposition. We need candidates with the courage to state boldly the issues that confront us now and in the future. Even if political constraints prevent them from completely outlining their proposed solution, it would at least be a relief to know that they understand the outline of the future and are thinking seriously how to deal with it.

Will we see courage from the Republican candidates tonight during the Republican national security debate? Who knows. We do need courageous leadership to emerge. We can’t live in a world of what if. We can’t ignore the problems that face us. Political games, sound bites and gotcha aren’t enough – not by a country mile. What if a courageous candidate emerges and wins the race for the White House? What if?

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