OP-ED: America, What Is Going on with Us?
By John Johnston
When we look at the problems in the United States, we should first look at ourselves. We are failing ourselves and our country because we do not actively question our leadership. Maybe we do not care; maybe we are simply too busy worrying about money to understand the civic contract that we have made with each other. We have more sound bites and tweets than real discourse in our society. There are so many disagreements about race, culture, and life that we forget our common identity.
We are forgetting what we have gone through and what we have accomplished over the past 250 years. Are we living up to the dreams the founders had for our country and accomplishing what Lincoln hoped we could do and what Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt believed we would do? Franklin Roosevelt said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but we are a nation of fear now. Old white people fear change, young people fear not having change, and we all seem to fear each other on the basis of language, gender, and opinions. We do not take the time to really understand ourselves as a people anymore. What can we expect from our elections or our discourse if we cannot solve problems like we used to?
We do have the ability to put policy over politics. No one that runs for office today encourages us to reach for the sky—it’s all talk and no action. The leaders who encourage change never last because special interests force them out or voters become so shortsighted that they do not understand what these leaders are trying to do.
The 2020 United States presidential election does not give me a lot of hope that there will be great leadership in the White House in January 2021. Biden is a nice guy but has no leadership skills and is not very inspiring in a personal or political sense. Donald Trump is an angry man who appeals to the lowest common denominator of white America by encouraging people to fear their differences.
So what do we have to do to change things for January 2025? First, we need political competition everywhere in the United States. We have too many places where there is only one party in government in urban and rural areas. Second, we need to think about creating a new political party in this country that brings centrists from the Republican and Democratic parties together. Finally, we need to keep fringe elements out of the parties. The fringes of both parties are running this nation into the ground and setting us on a collision course to doom.
With a new centrist movement in our country, maybe we can return our discourse to finding common ideas to solve the issues that this country is facing. This would also allow us to reach for the sky and accomplish great things because we are a nation that can do great things and help the world. When this nation has unity and a common thread, the world is a better place and can solve problems. Without us, the world is sinking fast due to issues ranging from climate change to the coronavirus to wars. The world needs a strong United States that isn’t ruled by fringe elements and that has a common identity and purpose.
We are not helping future generations to do better. We can do better, we should do better, and we must do better. If we really want to have morning in America again, arise my fellow Americans, get involved, and fight for our common identity. We have much more in common than we think regardless of our differences. Once we recognize this, we will reach for the stars. A house united can only succeed.
Learn even more:
The Trump-Taliban Meeting and the PR of Forgiveness
The Trial of Trump: Illuminating the Illusions of Impeachment