America is crawling away from the fires of our crisis of 2008. Yet, even in what seems like a slow reversal, we are not assured of recovery or even survival. Our choices to revive our economy thus far have left millions suffering in their wake and millions more treading water. We must therefore commit to using this economic lull to assess our best path forward if we hope not merely to survive but to thrive, as we know America can, on the other side of the crisis.
The thriving path forward will require America’s factions to commit fairly soon to pull together as one nation to solve our serious problems. Yet, our government and businesses seem almost paralyzed to act, as if in fear of hastening doomsayers’ disastrous predictions, as if these doomsayers’ have overpowering incantations to hold us in stalemate. And for most Americans, our nation’s problems seem overwhelming in size and complexity. For every answer that seems right to us, we hear just as many adamant opposing views.
Can it truly be that the problems facing America are too great to correct, greater than all the incredible odds that we have overcome to date? As we hear the beat of the doomsayers’ drums proclaiming the fast approaching end of America, are we to fall prey in a frenzied fire dance of fear that their learned visions of our dire future are somehow more likely than the thriving path? If their learned visions were so clairvoyant, why did so few attempt to stop America from falling? If their proposed solutions are so right for America, then why are we so entangled by the snares of their proposed paths?
Let me be clear. We Americans know that most of the solutions touted by our leaders today serve only to fix one set of problems while exacerbating or creating others. Our nation’s problems are indeed severe and we are right to devote single-minded attention toward answers for America’s future. Yet the current batch of solutions seems weak because they are weak. The strong ones are waiting on the determination of the American people to draw them out of our government in compromise if we are to right America’s course.
I am here to shout that America’s problems are by no means unfixable. If we dissect this conglomeration of issues into defined, finite ones, examining causes as well as interconnections with other problems, the answers will become clear. But once optimal answers are understood, Americans must have the will to follow through.
The will to follow the thriving path necessarily means holding our leaders accountable to place America’s future before their own. If we can agree on just these few guiding principles moving forward, America will endure our current crisis and will continue forward on the thriving path toward our destiny as the shining city on a hill.