Is reading about a potential Terry McAuliffe FBI probe a good thing for us to know? He’s a buddy of the Clinton’s and we know where that leads. It produces that unsettling who-can-we-trust feeling that permeates these times. Trust in most things keeps us stable especially when individuals in power determine outcomes that impact our lives.
That includes health care, our economy, standing by our allies, national security and secure borders, job security, truth, respect for our police and military, even stable marriages. It encompasses the things that provide self-esteem and resiliency with less disruption and more reliability that endures over time.
When things work, it makes us feel good.
How are we doing in America?
We can measure certain facts:
- A sense of dread that the world is not safe with acts of terrorism increasing, the most recent occurrence, a downed EgyptAir jet flying from Paris to Cairo. We’re forced to ask: is flying from Paris safe anymore?
- Two-thirds of adults across America and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese. That involves a slew of issues like nutrition and affordability, education, changes in behavior that can lead to better health. A willingness to care for ourselves. Obesity is endemic loss of control.
- A startling increase in antidepressant use by many seeking a psychological lift even when they aren’t diagnostically depressed. They’re just having a hard time dealing with life and want easily acquired prescriptions for a quick fix that isn’t necessarily effective or safe.
- Increased feelings of helplessness exacerbated by endless waiting for information from companies, institutions, bureaucracies who don’t respect our time. Politicians catering to special interests and not telling the truth or acting in our best interests. There are many examples of cumulative disregard that lead to frustration and anger.
- A feeling of fair play by being treated well by those from whom we require assistance. It’s hard to find. Attentiveness isn’t prioritized. Voice mail and canned automated voices predominate along with bloated government interference and too much regulation.
- Too much divorce which attests to declining morals and a skewed belief that marriage is disposable. Many don’t try to save marriages when they can. This disregard effects the children these marriages produce. Divorce impacts children.
Self-regard and the quality of our lives effect the way we behave.
But there is more. Political lies that create stress: You can keep your doctor but oops, you really can’t. Islam is a religion of peace when what we observe tells us otherwise. The Iranian deal was a deception orchestrated by Ben Rhodes, a fiction writer who became Obama’s deputy national security advisor charged with concocting a foreign policy fiction with startling ramifications. Race baiting promoted by our first duly elected black president. Two political parties that feel eerily similar and hardly indistinguishable; political promises long forgotten.
Cumulative insults all.
Did you know one in four Americans has no emergency savings and the ones that do don’t have enough to sustain themselves for six months? Shocking, but why would we expect anything different when our country has $19 trillion in debt with no willingness to address this escalating problem.
Our attitude toward Islam is another interesting conundrum. Do we believe only Islam can save us from Islam – that we need ‘moderate’ Muslims to fight radical Islam? Has that happened? Should we avoid Muslim immigration until it does? We know the radicalized among them will try to kill us when they can. There are organized sleeper cells already in America. Why endure false accusations of Islamophobia when we’re nothing of the kind. America is a country predicated on immigration. Should we be condemned for ensuring our own personal safety?
Need confirmation? Take a look at how increasing the Muslim population has worked for the Europeans.
Are we surprised by our response?
Excellence filters down from the top. Where there’s integrity there is bound to be a response that leads to better outcomes. But when that doesn’t occur, confusion clouds issues with mixed messages that lead to disbelief. Deception becomes undeniable followed by a loss of credibility and helplessness. Anger too, as we see now.
People with less keep coming up short, attracted to ideologies like Bernie’s socialism they’re too young to understand. Even more telling is a recent Harvard University poll that reveals 51 percent of young adults between 18-29 reject capitalism, a term they equate with financial crisis. Tragically it either reflects disillusionment with 15 years of declining household income or an abject rejection of free markets. Imagine how far we’ve fallen when our younger generation cannot relate to an America founded on free enterprise and unlimited opportunity. Their experience tells a different story from previous generations that came before.
Many across the economic spectrum now reject the typical political menu that’s not working and seek a new brand of leadership that threatens those in power who haven’t delivered.
It makes sense.
How are we doing in America? Not as well as we’d like. We’ve let ourselves down with faith in feckless leaders who disappoint. It has taken a toll on us. There’s an unprecedented backlash toward establishment that makes clear the intensity of the rage out there. The response from those in power who don’t respect their message tells us how profoundly out of touch they really are.