Friday, January 29, 2010

Pots and Kettles #100127

I was half-listening to the State of the Union Address the other night and, towards the end, something the President said grabbed my attention:

Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions – our corporations, our media, and yes, our government – still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper.

I'd have a little more faith in the institutions if the leaders of those institutions didn't remind one of a 'Three Stooges' sketch involving name-calling, poking, slapping, and nyuk-nyuk-nyukking between the lot of them.

But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.

President Kettle is calling out the Pots. How about when a politician tears down bankers and corporate leaders, reducing the economic crisis to a sound byte to cover his own failure? Or when union leaders game the system to cut special deals?

No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there.

No wonder there’s so much disappointment.

No [bleep], Sherlock. And after the cheap populist sloganeering above, the President has the gall to then say:

Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths.

How about the hard truths that many Americans, like their Government, have spent too much, borrowed too much, thought too highly of their own prospects? Or the hard truths that government meddling in the markets has done as much damage as deregulation? Or maybe the hard truth that a big factor in the loss of manufacturing in our country is that most Americans don't want to pay the costs of items made by fellow Americans?

After such accusations from the President, I'm sure the Pots will gladly return fire. With all the clatter in the kitchen, I'm stepping out for a while.

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