It deeply saddens me that it was even necessary for Obama to release his "long form" birth certificate. It should have never been an issue, frankly. I still wish he hadn't (I rather liked the idea of letting Trump build up some momentum on this issue and keeping it at the forefront of the GOP primary).
Yet, as has been the case for some time now, the whole birther issue both hides and illuminates larger, more concerning problems that are facing our nation. It illuminates the fact that we can no longer have a rational debate in our society. It demonstrates our utter inability to seriously address the issues of the day and our total willingness to delve into nonsense in its stead. And it highlights our meager capacity to trust one another, or ourselves.
Ultimately, such a society--in my opinion--is ungovernable. No President can possibly hope to take on the serious issues facing our country with the gravity they demand against a backdrop of a people who are either unwilling to do so with him, or are incapable of doing so earnestly. When it came time to talk about health care, we descended into an argument over fictional death panels. When it came time to talk about the budget, we instead chose to battle over abortion. When it came time to talk about foreign policy in Libya and Egypt, we became overcome by arbitrary notions such as doctrine. If the American people were a spouse, you would have long since divorced them due to their perpetual propensity for deflecting criticism and hiding from true relationship issues.
All the while, no one bothers to ask what they can do for their country, but instead wonder what their country can do for them. Circumstances will soon necessitate--and I use that word very pointedly--the raising of our nation's debt ceiling. Not one single person who has any clue about this issue whatsoever suggests that we could avoid economic meltdown if we were to fail to do so. This is, or should be, a non-debate, and yet there are those among us who will try to leverage this dire situation to get something, as if not plunging us all into bankruptcy isn't "getting something".
Much of this stems from our collective ignorance. To wit, 60% of the public believes that the budget can be balanced (or close to it) by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse." Sure enough, there are--by the reckoning of the Government Accountability Office--several billion dollars worth of waste that could be eliminated. Yet that number would have to at least $37 billion just to shave 1% off of our annual budget
. The saddest part of that poll? 53% claim to be paying "a lot" of attention to the budget debate. How can you possibly be paying attention and still believe the problem can be significantly controlled by waste alone? http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50486.html
In light of this, my question to all of you: do you still believe this nation can be governed