Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tired of being told what’s wrong with us? Me too.

Post by Brian O'Neill on April 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm with 9 Comments »
April 24, 2011 10:08 pm

“You know what’s wrong with America?”

I gotta be honest, I can’t stand that question. For some reason it has become the pop culture question of the decade, just as comfortable on the lips of a Fox News Anchor or an NPR analyst; it shows up on the front of a weekly news magazine or the cover of a book put out by the latest batch of political know-it-alls. It will definitely be asked more and more as November 2012 approaches.

To me this question, which smugly suggests that the speaker has the answer and that one answer reigns supreme, rings false. For our country this question has become an interrogative phrase dripping in divisiveness and seeking no real truth. It serves only to broaden the chasm between fellow Americans with increasingly divergent self-interests.

A conservative may profer the answer one day that it is crime. Another day that it is terrorism. Still another that it is taxes. A liberal (unless that’s now an undesirable word) might one day provide the answer as poverty. Or lack of health care. Or not enough taxes. The point is that at the moment the rhetorical question is raised, there’s only one answer; please hold while (fill in the blank) provides your answer.So what, if I may be so hypocritical as to ask, is wrong with America? Lots of stuff, to be sure. But what about a reminder of what we’re doing right, now and then? What about thinking that’s positive for a change?

After all, this is the country where the best products in the world are created: Boeing airplanes, chocolate chip cookies, free speech, Ford Mustangs, Idaho potatoes, the Star Wars movies (first three), Apple iphones/pods/computers/Washington apples, chicken gumbo, laser surgery, the right to a speedy trial, Harley Davidson motorcycles, Harvard and Stanford, baseball, high school proms, southern accents, trailer parks (scratch that one), good roads, Wisconsin cheese, jazz music, and (by some accounts) the stripper pole. Oh, and our flag is pretty cool.

So, when all is said and done, we’re looking pretty good, here in the U.S. of A.

As we start down the winding, twisting, switchback road towards the next election wouldn’t it be great to encounter some pundits, politicos and other p-word types who, instead of smacking us up side the head with all of our problems, remind us of how many answers we got right rather than wrong? Maybe then our political discourse would finally lead us to the holy grail: a candidate who can tell us how to do it better.

Probably not, but I’ll see how far positive thinking goes in the next 18 months.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. Brian, I noticed you said “this is the country where the best products in the world are created”. Its interesting you did not say, are made. hmmm. Yes we are doing great, never has it been better, we will always be the greatest.

  2. ROFLMAO, I’m sorry but I have just read the perspective story below. Was it really written by the same Brian that had complained of negative stroies in the media?

  3. Alison7613 says:

    I appreciate the attempt at optimism and do concur with the comments about the prom and all the good things. However, we certainly may make good planes, but as far as our other goods, we are lagging far behind. Half our high tech workforce comes from out of the country. Our educational system is in shambles. We rank 37th in the world for healthcare. Our biggest asset is our military, however, Eisenhower told us the military industrial complex would be our ruin. Instead of false optimism, I believe in a healthy realism. The reality is we are a falling nation. I disagree we are the best nation on the planet. I could name others that are much safer, more peaceful and that care for their people. Sweden, Norway, Denmark…etc. Sorry Brian. I appreciate the try though.

  4. Alison7613: Yes, I agree with you, but in one area. I believe our military is a liability rather than an asset. It is so strong that our “leaders” use it at their leisure, the individual soldier pays for it with his/her life, and the taxpayer pays for it with their sweat. BTW I’ll add Taiwan to your list of safer countries.

  5. Alison7613 don’t let the door hit you in the backside as you leave then!

  6. Brian O'Neill says:

    While a few of you are quick to point out the problems in our country–some of which are likely real–I still maintain that the American spirit behind so many of those exceptional products, rights and traditions is beyond compare. My parents both (legally) immigrated to the U.S. with little in the way of material wealth. They worked extremely hard in their business, along with many of my aunts and uncles, and the result was that my father’s generation is now able to retire in comfort far in excess of that available to them in the Old Country.

    There must be a reason that the hordes aren’t trying to sneak in the back door in Scandinavia, Taiwan or any of the other countries mentioned in previous comments. I believe it is because other countries lack our energy and the promise of success that awaits anyone capable of working hard, saving and applying themselves over the long haul. I’ll stick with America.

  7. Brian O’Neil: Actually many are trying to sneak in the back door of ALL the countries you mentioned, every one. If anyone prefers to rest on the laurels of our past, well feel free to continue with your head comfortably buried in the sand. If we continue to elect leaders that have continued to be a problem over the years, then we are part ot the problem.

  8. Out sourceing jobs is our biggest problem! Working people pay taxes and the more we lose jobs the worse it will get. Maybe greed drives it ,don,t know. We cannot support the whole world by giving financial to them and then giving them our very jobs that pay the taxes to give them the aid. No other country in the world does that!! We need jobs industry, construction, you name it. But to out out source all we do is insane. Still they come here by the droves!! Why? Because we are a great country!!!! Whats wrong with America? She needs to take care of her own people firts, then she will be more able to help others,not that she doesn,t care. History shows she always has!!!

  9. smokey984 says:

    First responders unite!

    Coming to a neighborhood near you!

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