Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Hardball Factor 360°: Why America is failing

    Well, it’s looking like the government will be open again by the time this goes online.

    My initial reaction is to be excited. I mean, sure, the U.S. economy lost about $24 billion and we may have, for the foreseeable future, irreperably damaged our global reputation. But, on the other hand, the Tea Party didn’t actually take us into default – so I guess that’s good. It also looks like the vast majority of the American population have all pretty much agreed that whatever has been going on for the last 16 days was wrong and shouldn’t have happened. The best news–for me, anyway–is that I never have to write about a shutdown again. Right?

    Well, unfortunately I fear that may not be the case.

    The “solution” that’s been worked out to pull the drowning cat from the water just-in-time doesn’t seem to be much of a solution at all. That cat’s still dangling above the water, and it looks like some individuals (cough, Ted Cruz, cough), are itching to shove it back down again come the New Year.

    I’m told that this used to be a great country–a model of freedom and justice around the world. In my lifetime, however, it’s shown to be a haven for fear and spite more than anything else. As much fun as it is to blame the descent of America on powerful, egomaniacal people like Ted Cruz, it would be dishonest.

    America isn’t failing because it’s government has failed. America is failing because as a whole we, the American people, have failed. We had a responsibility to uphold the values and strength we pledged to, and we didn’t. We allowed fear to cloud our dreams of universal equality and transform our free society into, essentially, a giant prison. It is us, the egomaniacal public, who decided that we were too inherently special to devote substantial amounts of time contributing to our society so we forced the media to truncate everything into soundbytes that have no real meaning and only serve to condense everything to 140 characters or less and in the process dumb-down what should be intelligent debates to frivolous nonsense.

    Every morning we have the chance to be great again, but instead we go to Starbucks, scroll through Facebook, get furious about something we don’t understand for the time it takes to tap out a tweet, then we move on.

    We need to start caring more and doing more. For years we’ve donned blindfolds and provided our toddlers with paint, markers, crayons and the like. In what universe is it rational to life the blindfold when we feel like it and get angry at the toddlers for scrawling all over the wall? Anything that is happening right now, ultimately, is happening because we all became so shallow and scared.

    Looking at the younger generation, I worry the problems we now face will only magnify. Something needs to change because honestly, right now, I’m embarrassed by us.

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    Dallas Goschie, Author

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