These Troubled Times | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

These Troubled Times

Letter to the editor

In response to Ellie Light's letter, "He Never Promised a Rose Garden" (Jan. 20) I wholeheartedly agree.

Candidate Obama was clear and forthright about the crises/issues facing our nation. He stated the importance of taking a first step though a solution might not be realized in his term. Most importantly he called for Americans to bury apathy, embrace cooperation and rebuild an active, healthy, participatory democracy. Recall his call to action:

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world... that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

With the complexities and far-reaching consequences of these issues it is incomprehensible to imagine a quick fix so we can go on our merry way. This is a troubled world. We've a long, hard and complicated struggle ahead. Too, I know President Obama's picture is larger than mine, his awareness of issues greater than mine.

Times of transition are emotional, confusing, frustrating; change can seem slow measured solely by our instant gratification, fast-paced lives. Yet there's only one way to climb a mountain - one step at a time.

Public memory is short-lived and selective. It took years and years and years of inappropriate actions, negligence and greed to bring us to this place in time of economic, health care, unemployment, climate change crises. There are many including our collective selves to hold accountable.

The ease at which we succumb to propaganda, media hype and antagonism troubles me. A startling juxtaposition between the silent non-questioning Bush years and the attacks and accusations we see today. An entire political party has adopted an obstructionist stance because they want to see our president fail. People like Limbaugh, Beck and Palin incite anger and violence. At the core of this campaign is the continuation of racism.

Walking across the threshold of the White House, Barack Obama was immediately face to face with two unpopular wars, an unprecedented worldwide economic collapse, tremendous unemployment, millions of foreclosures and more. To top it off - all these urgent issues pale in comparison to the climate crisis. Whatever you might believe the cause you cannot deny the effects. Unprecedented worldwide warming, desertification, extreme poverty, refugees, ocean acidification, melting icecaps, ocean levels rising, coastal communities washing away, erratic weather conditions, etc.

Were Congress a healthy, functioning unit, President Obama would still have to contend with the traditional congressional way of doing business. They're not about to change their process overnight and it will be a hard nut to crack, but crack we must. Step by step.

President Obama needs our support - not blind support without constructive disagreement, without reasoned, researched debate, without compromise, but with a willingness to cooperate and work to lift our nation to higher responsibilities.

Barack Obama offered us a way forward, a path to active self-governing. A vital realization of our forefathers' dream. Yes, we believed in the hope and vision he offered us. I still do.

Yet, Barack Obama also believed in us. No, he is not failing the American people. We are failing President Obama. We're fractured by divisiveness and self-serving desires for a few ignoring the welfare of the whole people and coming generations. Have we so little faith in ourselves? Let's not allow this opportunity to slip away.

... the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

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