Posted by: goalpath | March 20, 2010

Can Grass Roots Web Sites Strengthen America’s Future?

In the past, Americans have always provided for future generations, but our political leaders reversed that trend. Will a new movement emerge with the aim of providing our children with a brighter future or will we just leave them with budget deficits and mounting debt?

In a recent Op-ed column in the New York Times, David Brooks wrote about the failure of politicians to provide for future generations. In his column, Mr. Brooks wrote, “One of the keys to healthy aging is what George Vaillant of Harvard calls ‘generativity’ – providing for future generations.”

Mr. Brooks went on to write, “The odd thing is that when you turn to political life, we are living in an age of reverse generativity. Far from serving the young, the old are now taking from them.” He brought up the fact that the federal government now spends $7 on the elderly for every $1 it spends on the children. Add to that the enormous debt load we are leaving to future generations and the future doesn’t look to bright for our kids and their kids.

The federal government and its policy makers have thrown in the towel when it comes to solving America’s financial problems and ceded them to our children and grandchildren. It is like continuing to operate your business at a loss year after year, and then hoping your kids will be able to fix it when they get to take over the business. That is just postponing the inevitable. Not smart.

It should be obvious to most people that our current system of government is self corrupting and has become counter productive. Regardless of how sincere our newly elected representatives are, they can’t seem to make any real progress towards getting America back on the right track. The lobbyists and special interest groups have a stranglehold on our political process and only want to pursue programs that serve their own greed and self interests.

Add to that, opposing political factions that seem to only want to ensure that representatives from the opposing party don’t succeed in addressing the issues at hand, and you have a recipe for no progress. Consequently, our political leaders are getting nothing accomplished. Their best intentions are ridiculed and lambasted by their political opponents and big business interests. America is marching in place, not moving forward.

What’s the solution? I believe there is a solution. Spontaneous social movements have been successful in the past. Anti-war and racial equality movements in the sixties ultimately changed America. Gender equality was another. Where would we be today without those movements? Back then they had only the network broadcast media to help them move their causes into the limelight.

With the internet, the playing field has become wide open to anyone with a voice and a web connection. Recently, web campaigns like the Obama campaign and the Tea Party movement have both been very successful in drumming up support for their agendas. The internet created instant traction for those movements in America.

There are a couple of ways we can get the ball rolling? A great many of you have called for term limits. In reality, your vote is an excellent method of enforcing term limits. All you have to do is register and exercise this privilege. If the incumbents are so totally consumed with raising money from special interest groups to get reelected, whose future will they be voting for in Congress. Not ours.

Recent elections have demonstrated that most folks are fed up with their current representatives or party affiliation. In those elections, most prognosticators have said that those elections were votes against the President and his party. I say the voters were just demonstrating that they wanted a change, regardless of party.

Besides throwing out the old guard, it is up to all of us to weigh in on the issues and voice our opinions. Go to the news and opinion sites and let your collective voices be heard. Isn’t that how spontaneous social movements get started. If enough of you speak out against the current political shenanigans going on in Washington, maybe some of these guys will get the message and begin actually doing the job for which they were elected. If not, just vote them out of office.

Taking our elected officials to task is not the complete answer. They obviously need our advice. Unless you think that being advised solely by lobbyists is okay for your representative, then we need to speak up. Broadcasting your ideas about how we can best address the critical issues facing America is another way you can help. Particularly those of us 45 and older need to bring our collective wisdom to the table.

Since we are already being blamed for the majority of problems facing America, we should be the first to offer our political leaders advice on how to fix them. Don’t you want to help to ensure that our children and grand children have a bright future? Well, if you do nothing, then nothing will change. You can just sit back or you can jump in with both feet and make a difference. It is up to you. 

My web community, www.boomeropinion.com is all about weighing in on the issues and voicing your opinion. The site already provides polls, discussion forums and articles on critical issues facing America. And we are currently redesigning the site so that each and every one of you can suggest your own polls, ask your own questions of the membership and submit your own discussion topics and follow the discussion as it progresses. Why not join today? It only takes a minute to join.

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