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©Carol Jane Remsburg

February 2009




What Is Wrong With America



Well, there’s a lot WRONG with America these days, likely even people living in huts in the furthest remote regions across the world know it.  Yet most Americans don’t even know why or how WE have made it so.  Two bits of unrelated news have happened over the last few days which tie it together quite neatly, the exact problem with America, including the scope of laziness and greed, actually highlighting it.


Yesterday, another of President Barack Obama's appointee’s, Senator Tom Daschle, opted to withdraw his appointment to President Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Resources due to unpaid taxes of $140,167 to be exact.  The President was upset, this is the THIRD of his cabinet appointees who have had “tax” issues.  The news abounds with professional politicians who, “oops, I made a mistake” were exposed.  Caroline Kennedy hoping for a quick slip to replace Hillary Clinton in NY encountered the same issues and simply did a fade.  Her elitist concept that as JFK’s last remaining offspring she would be exempt from any real scrutiny, as if she actually HAD any valid credentials to be a senator in the first place.


Most Americans were mad about it, seemingly no longer surprised by this nearly fact of life.  However, Daschle paid his taxes and pulled back, likely without any further penalties, interest, or investigation into likely previous tax ‘whoops.’  He just didn’t get the job he’d been promised.  However, he WILL continue on in is present position, with lifetime retirement and benefits we, as taxpayers, pay for.


This is just news, most already know about it.


Moving on to YESTERDAY’S news bombshell, “Michael Phelps Bong Pix!”  He admitted it.  He’s our current national hero of the United States with 8 gold Olympic medals, and nearly $500 million in endorsements.  Most of his commercial endorsers, currently have held fast.  In most media I’ve read from Bulletin Boards, to blogs, to TV interviews, newspapers, and the average opinion tends more to, “Oh well, he’s just a kid.  Pot isn’t so bad.  He only had that DUI at 19, he’s still a kid…”


So he’s to be rewarded for being STUPID, not just once, but TWICE.  How funny we hold role models of the same, those in government with political power who manage OUR MONEY and athletes up to our kids.  What we are telling and TEACHING our children is that it’s totally okay to lie, cheat, break the law, it won’t really matter, well, if you are important it won’t matter.  If you aren’t important, your butt will get tossed into the clink, but don’t worry, we’ll forgive you.  You didn’t really “mean it.” 


Whether it’s cheating on your taxes, parlaying a vote for side money, selling an appointment to the highest bidder, driving drunk or knowingly using illegal drugs, none of it matters.  Go carjack the minivan for a joy ride, rob a convenience store (they won’t miss the cash, and hey, those people who work there aren’t really PEOPLE anyway), kite some checks while you can, you aren’t really stealing, it’s only a bank and they have insurance, right?  Use that new bow to shoot the neighbor’s dog (you never liked him anyway), while you are at it break into the neighbor’s house, take that 50” HD Sony that you can’t afford to buy because you don’t want to work, that just interferes with your life.  Hey, they only paid for it, but you really NEED it.  Go ahead—TAKE IT!


See, there WILL be some kind of excuse you can give, if nothing other than the “Twinky Defense” and that DID work right?  If you are important enough, it won’t matter, you’ll get OFF.  Geez, you might even get PAID for screwing up, a good book deal, with a ghost writer because you can’t write it, you never passed 10th grade English class.  But the movie deal is likely to bring in even more outside of the talk show roundabout.


Are we getting there yet?  I am beating a dead horse but some will only see the dollar signs to sell it for dog food.


Hyperbole aside, and the funny part is most isn’t hyperbole at all.  What it comes down to is that as Americans we simply have ALLOWED this all to happen.  We allow criminals to be lauded, whether they are elected officials, athletes, movie stars, musicians. CORPORATE CEOs , their staff, and their ilk.  We blare it on the internet, the TV, the papers, everywhere.  The status quo IS to cheat, lie, and steal, get all the money you can and if you get caught, cry a little and all will be forgiven.


When you think about it there can’t be any ANY elected official either in the House or the Senate who doesn’t have a tax professional going over their taxes every year to make them painfully honest in the reporting of their income.  If they do NOT, well, you shouldn’t have elected them because they are flat out STUPID if they don’t.  These are the same people who vote and oversee YOUR money to the benefit of all.  If they are dumber than you, why do you hand over your wallet to them?  Corporate execs, the same thing goes.


As for athletic, movie stars, musicians, and any other kind of public HEROES, those who are raking in millions of dollars also have to be kept to the same standards either your mother or your grandmother would approve.  In today’s world, nobody seems to care what happens.  “Oh well, they didn’t really mean it.”  Lots of murderes say that in the interview rooms at police stations too.  (Just watch any of the reality TV shows like “First 48”) Most think they will even get to go home afterwards.  And worse, most are KIDS simply emulating what we’ve taught them already.


We are reaping exactly what we’ve sown for decades past.  There is such a thing as right and wrong.  Having become the most politically correct nation in the world to a painful degree, the ‘gray’ has run the gamut.  Black and White as far as right and wrong no longer seems to exist.


America, until we all sit up and decide that this is WRONG, things will only get worse.  Follow your mother’s teachings:  don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat.  Go to school and get the best education you can, work hard, earn an honest wage, buy what you can AFFORD or do without, save as much as you can, love your family, and help your neighbor.


As long as we continue to allow those of celebrity/power status a pass on their misdeeds, we are teaching and allowing not just our children but ourselves to do the same.  If we do, just push down the handle and listen for the “FLUSH” because that’s were all the offal is going, and that will be us too.



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