Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Something To Remember This Political Season

Even though I have some strong political views, I very, very seldom write about politics. I think politics and religion are very personal issues. However, I did want to make one political commentary as we head into the campaign season.

With the presidential campaigns in full swing and the candidates running around the country, it’s important to keep perspective on where we are as a nation and as Americans. One thing all candidates (Yes, even the one claiming to be part of “New Politics”) do is highlight our flaws as a nation. They make us feel as much pain as possible in order to steer us to their solutions. After listening to months of our problems and how we are spiraling rapidly downhill, it’s no wonder the political game leaves many frustrated and depressed. Some get so discouraged they tune out.

Remember, however, that this is the greatest country on Earth.

We shouldn’t take this for granted. Sometimes I think everyone in the World realizes this but us. The bodies of 50 Cuban refugees washed up on a Bahama beach last month for this very reason. These refugees sacrificed everything to get on a rickety, make shift boat and come to our country. They ultimately sacrificed their lives to be a part of what we have.

Columnist George Will recently responded to a comment made by Michelle Obama, who stated that most Americans’ lives have “gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl.” Obama was born in 1964.

The following is Will’s response:
“Since 1960, real per capita income has increased 143%, life expectancy has increased by seven years, infant mortality has declined 74%, deaths from heart disease have been halved, childhood leukemia has stopped being a death sentence, depression has become a treatable disease, air and water pollution have been drastically reduced, the number of women earning a bachelor’s degree has more than doubled, the rate of homeownership has increased 10.2%, the size of the average American home has doubled, the percentage of homes with air conditioning has risen from 12% to 77%, the portion of Americans who own shares of stock has quintupled…”

As we head into the heart of the campaign season, let’s keep some perspective. Do we have problems? Yes, certainly. Some of the politicians may even have answers to solve these problems. However, we’ve made great strides the last 40 years as a nation and we will continue to strive. Don't let the politicians, in their efforts to create pain, persuade you otherwise. I hope we all keep that in mind.

-Ron Ameln, SBM

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