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What's wrong with the U.S.?

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  • What's wrong with the U.S.?

    Are we different from other countries (probably not)? Is it the changing of times? We've had a lot of political corruption in our area. The last few days, the local paper has been running a story about a cop, who had over 20 years on the force, alledgedly supplying drugs to the county auditor (also long term) in exchange for being supplied with prostitutes. Crimes (associated with drugs, sex, or money) from people in power, seem to be the norm these days. Then when they get caught, they *might* lose their job, but usually walk the streets, whereas the ordinary Joe would be doing time. What's happened to us? Is it any wonder that so many people do not trust the police, or even the federal government? I'm getting to the point where I question *everything* that a politician or other leader does or says. I've seen Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton. Three Presidents who all had some good days, but I'm ashamed to say they were the leaders of our country. How can we be expected to trust our government? What about our religious leaders (not just Catholic), scout leaders, and other leaders who our kids are supposed to look up to? Maybe the terrorists don't have to do anything. Just sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. Is there anything we can do about it? Will we do anything about it, or just look the other way?


  • #2
    Hey Ed, you forgot to mention the 2 Bush family members.


    • #3
      I don't like the double standards here in the US. If your rich, famous or just plain good looking you go far. If you happen to be poor, ugly and a no body you stay that way.


      • #4
        The Mayor of a small town near here was caught shoplifting. Just a lipstick.
        Did she get a fine? no...
        Taken to the police station? nooo....
        Fired? Noooooooooooooooooooooooo.......

        However, she decided to 'resign' over this...but...starting from january 1st...

        Wouldn't surprise me if she got a nice severance pay as well...

        It's not just the's everywhere....

        meanwhile, it's 24 degrees, sunny, I have a small crack in the reflector of my rear fog-light (no clue what you guys call it over there...) and I get a $50 fine... Then again, I'm not the Mayor...


        • #5
          Very interesting topic Ed... I could go on all day!

          I think some of the points you have brought up run much deeper than just political corruption. Why is there a double standard?...because we have an American aristocracy. It's an aristocracy based on corporate, political and media power. Take Martha Stewart for example. Regardless of whether she is found guilty of insider trading, the perception is that she and all those like her are privy to information that the rest of us aren't. She and all her freinds in the Hamptons are like an exclusive club. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that but when they break the law, the punishment should be the same as the rest of us. Justice is suppossed to be blind!

          Look at Enron or WorldCom...the management is so drunk on it's own power that they can ruin thousands of lives in the process of lining their own pockets. Do any of these people ever go to prison? It's the governments job to regulate and punish this sort of behavior but how can they when members of the government (Democrats AND Republicans) are so intertwined with and influenced by the corporate world? Look at George Bush....he talks about how disturbing WorldCom is and how these corporate criminals need to be punished, but then we discover that he has been accused of insider trading in the past! (and got off with a "warning letter!)


          • #6
            Well said Greg. I agree 100%.



            • #7
              Thank you for bringing this up, Ed. I think about this sort of thing all the time. It's one of my favorite soapboxes to stand on.

              Since I became an adult I have been a fairly political sort. I have examined issues, excercised my right to vote, and everything else I believed was my obligation as a US citizen.

              Each election since I was 18 has found me a more jaded American than the previous one. The last election was about all I could take.

              I mean really - a choice between Al Gore (you gotta be kidding) or another Bush (Lord, help us all...)?!

              I used to be fairly liberal in my thinking, but as the years go by, I lean a bit more to the right all the time. It seems our American society thinks anything more than a slap on the wrist and a little time in an all-too-cushy jail is a violation of some God given American right. Anymore, it's not the law that determines what you can and can't do - it's your bank account and who your friends are...

              I also used to be very idealistic, thinking that people all deserved a shot at rehabilitation. Now, I say if someone proves by repeated actions that they can't be a productive, law abiding part of polite society, then they have given up any right to exist in it...

              Ethics and integrity are rapidly becoming extinct, and the whole definition of what's right and wrong seems to have changed. It's as if our dysfunctions as families have expanded and run amok to make us one seriously dysfunctional society. I think this attitude started quite a while back as the small seed of a new, and in my opinion lazy, type of parenting. In not disciplining our children or instilling them with a sense of personal integrity and a strong ethical compass, we have created a selfish, undisciplined society with no clear sense of right and wrong other than "what's right or wrong for me.

              I have no idea what to do. Elections and voting have become a complete farce. It is discouraging, and I feel more and more sure every day that it's a mess so out of control that only a major coup of some sort will set things back on the right track.

              But, I will continue to vote, and to be political, and to work to improve my own small corner of the country. I have also decided to make my own form of protest when it's time to vote. If I'm presented with another hideous choice as in the last election, I will make a write in selection and vote for none of the above

              The one final thing I guess I have to say is that for those Americans who are non-political, non-voting types, sitting back and doing nothing is not going to help things to get better. The next time you find yourself saying or thinking, "man, what is this country coming to?" answer this question:

              Besides whining and complaining, what are you doing to make a difference?

              If you have not made your voice heard, you have gotten exactly what you've asked for...


              • #8
                I could say a lot about this, but to keep it simple - most of the people who sit around and whine and complain about our country won't even get off their butt to vote. The state this country is in was brought about by apathy. All things said above are true, however we are still better off than most other countries.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jakaleena

                  Each election since I was 18 has found me a more jaded American than the previous one. The last election was about all I could take.
                  Good point! I think a lot of people feel that way. Of course the last election also showed how strong our system of government can be. How many other countries could have such a close, disputed election and not have any violence associated with the transfer of power?

                  If anything our government is not just needs to be updated for the 21st century. Like I mentioned before, the influence of corporate America and lobbyists has become an insidious cancer. People no longer feel like their participation or vote matters because politicians only seem to answer to "big contributors".


                  • #10
                    I don't consider myself to be either Democrat or Republican, and I don't think it matters when it comes to our so-called leaders doing the "right" thing. It's just a mess, and it wouldn't surprise me if the people of our country actually demanded a change in ethics and policy in government. But I also think that our children need to be taught the proper way to live their lives. It won't be long, and they'll be running the country. It's just too bad they have to see the greed of people in power. Yeah, I could go on with this thread for a while myself. I'm fed up like the rest of you. I wonder if Big Brother is watching? Like Jak, my views on things have changed dramatically.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Walden
                      Hey Ed, you forgot to mention the 2 Bush family members.

                      You also forgot about George W. and his early drug and drunk driving days. Somehow that also passed the media as well.

                      Not to mention it really irritates me that some are let go, but others are cruicified for doing the same thing, it just depends who's in the OTHER corner at the time and who starts screaming?



                      • #12
                        I mean really - a choice between Al Gore (you gotta be kidding) or another Bush (Lord, help us all...)?!
                        As the most highly rated democracy in the world (not sure who did the rating), I find it strange that it's very difficult to stand for government in the US unless you're extraordinarily wealthy...


                        • #13
                          Actually, the US is a considered a republic and not a democracy. But, I would class it as neither. I don't know what it's really turned into, but whatever it is, it ain't working anymore...

                          Here's an interesting article:


                          • #14
                            Al - You are correct. The only people capable of running a campaign for a high office (President, Senator, etc...) are usually wealthy individuals or have the backing of rich corporations. Something is very wrong about that...and unless someone overhauls the entire campaign system it will only get worse.

                            Our system of Presidential debates is a perfect example. Rarely do you see third party candidates. Granted, they might not have a realistic shot at winning, but a Libertarian or Green party candidate could actually bring REAL issues to the debate. The debates as they are now, are just fluff...lot's of talking but no one really says anything.

                            We need a system where the an average individual could legitimately run for office and not be crushed under the weight of an opponent's money...then maybe politicians could get back to debating ideas. ...or maybe I'm just dreaming of an impossible utopian existence!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by G. Couch
                              We need a system where the an average individual could legitimately run for office and not be crushed under the weight of an opponent's money...then maybe politicians could get back to debating ideas. ...or maybe I'm just dreaming of an impossible utopian existence!
                              The only way I see that happening is for realistic campaign spending limits to be imposed, for limits to be imposed on campaign donations, and for the media to be required to give equal time to all candidates.


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