I think the perception of America at home and abroad is changing. Some people have experienced real change in the way they look at their day to day lives. But that sort of change has always been around. We all live evolving lives.
America is made up of all the people, institutions and places that exist within the country. It is made up of the culture, society and subcultures of these United States of America. There is no doubt that the American experience is a varied and diverse experience. But Ebola, ISIS, military cutbacks, lower labor force participation, tensions with Russia, struggles to cope with change in Asia and the lack of real growth in many sectors are issues which force people to reconsider where America is and where it is going. This blog has been a place to view certain problems in our country since its inception. In today’s post I want to deal with perception itself and the possible crisis of credibility in our discussions. There will be no grand conclusions here but there will be an effort to get us in a mindset for meaningful discussions by examining two sets of current events.
But what is fundamental to America’s well-being more than to most nations is an ability to deal truthfully with present conditions. If that is really at risk then so is a great deal more. There is a lot of diversity amid the States in this Union. I am well aware of Louisiana and what pertains to Louisiana. I see the world from my viewing station on this State. This is true for many other people in other States as well.
There is a lot going on in America at any given time. Americans work hard every day to make their mark and do what is right as best they can. The do this in all walks of life including athletics. Excellence in athletics was recognized near where I live yesterday among all the negative news on the same day. But there are real crises in our country.
It is true that I have seldom been accused of having too rosy a view of things but there are two very different stories in today’s news which remind me of the importance I place on credibility. The need for credible sources of information and real discussion of situations by those who make decisions.
We do have multiple healthcare workers infected by one cooperative Ebola patient in a hospital in the USA. We have to live with who we are, what we have and what constitutes our situation.Early on people were assure medical facilities in America could safely handle Ebola and now the same people like Dr. Richard Besser of ABC are asserting the need to use specialized hospitals to deal with Ebola. Ebola in Dallas came with one cooperative patient. The risks by many other theoretical possibilities are vastly greater and we are much less than ready for all possible risks if only specialized hospitals can safely confront the disease. On the other hand, the good news is that the first nurse — Ms. Pham — is still showing signs of making a good recovery in the general hospital environment which many are losing their faith in all of a sudden.
I am as critical of the American healthcare system as almost anyone I know. But America does have a vast wealth in general hospital systems and the services around them. huge numbers of educated and well trained people and many resources from technology to insurance are committed to these institutions. These hospitals are not all called general hospitals but when America faces challenges as potentially vast and terrible as Ebola could become, or chemical weapons attacks or anything vast I think the CDC, the military, the insurance industry and other institutions must think of coming to support the general hospitals of our country with ancillary services and expertise. We cannot face such vast challenges without them.
It is no secret that I am of the opinion that America must evolve to face the challenges of the future. Readers of this blog will know this well. Nor have I been shy about discussing possible radical change here and here. I have also discussed healthcare at length. The post linked in the last sentence is only one of many. But we do have many fine resources that must be respected even as they are reorganized to meet new challenges. Ebola is not a unique situation in an absolute sense — it is part of the whole world of healthcare challenges we must face.
So we come back to what more of what makes America one nation most — national security and military issues. We have a very significant story to think about right now. We need a strong and supported military. But don’t we also need to have discussions based on the truth.
The second story is that after hundreds of debates and articles and elections to determine all kinds of things we may find that all of these exchanges were based on lies. There may have been weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq after all. It may have mattered quite a lot all this time and have been kept secret. The US government may have found WMD in Iraq as the Bush administration promised — thus that prediction was not a lie. However, they may have lied about finding the weapons (only keeping up morale makes since as a motive). This is now coming out as we worry about ISIS having weapons from Iraq as well as the vast caches of Syrian weapons that are known to exist. The future must be faced in discussions based on the truth. That is what I have always believed and still do believe.
When we look at Ferguson, Missouri and at the approval ratings of the President and Congress we know people are unhappy about the state of things. Add to that those affected by all the many crises on the news more directly than you or I may be. We have a big election coming up and I am glad for it. I intend to vote. But Americans must demand more truth and have a more complete political discussion sooner rather than later. Personally, I have much to do besides worry about the nation and so do most Americans. But I think we have challenges that demand a larger than usual response.
I look forward to seeing how our politicos respond to this set of crises. I know I will be watching and some of you reading this will be as well.